Oregon Health Authority
Emergency Messages as of 6:22 pm, Sat. Jun. 15
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Health Authority. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Oregon Health Authority by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Oregon Health Authority to your Twitter account or create one.

Hide this Message


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee meets June 21 - 06/14/19

June 14, 2019

Contact: Pete Edlund, 503-931-8873, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee.

When: June 21, 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: Five Oak Building Suite 775, Transformation Training Room, 421 SW Oak St., Portland. The public also may join remotely through a webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3895887851300669185 and listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, access code 1277166.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions; OHA recommendations for 2020 measure set; public testimony 9:25-9:40; review previous minutes and general updates; Dental Quality Alliance sealant measure decisions; review background information, including policy context, measure assessments, stakeholder survey, committee survey, committee measure set criteria; 2020 measure set selection (final set to be approved in July); adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund at 503-931-8873, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2Xg6now

Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Medical Community Collaboration Workgroup meets June 17 - 06/14/19

June 14, 2019

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Medical Community Collaboration Workgroup meets June 17 in Portland

What: The fifth meeting of the Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Medical Community Collaboration Workgroup.

Agenda: Discuss narrowing workgroup scope and product; plan for community engagement, including who will be engaged, what questions will be asked and how the engagement will take place; identify breakout subgroups including medical, peers and policy review.

When: June 17, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1D, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland.

The Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative brings together multiple sectors across the Portland metro area to collectively address and prevent behavioral health challenges with a focus on peer delivered services and substance use disorder activities that can make an impact in 12 to 24 months.

For more information, see the RBHC website at https://www.oregon.gov/OHA/HSD/BHP/Pages/Regional-Collaboratives.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

•         Sign language and spoken language interpreters

•         Written materials in other languages

•         Braille

•         Large print

•         Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Summer Boslaugh at 503-753-9688, 711 TTY or .h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us">summer.h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2Xcb9mT

Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee meets June 13 - 06/12/19

June 12, 2019

Media contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us

Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee meets June 13

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee.

Agenda: Welcome, updates; public comment 1:45-1:55; review of Oregon Health Policy Board presentation; review work plan for year ahead and agenda setting; adjourn.

When: June 13, 1-3:30 p.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 210, 29353 SW Town Center, Loop E., Wilsonville. The public also may join remotely through a webinar and listen-only conference line at 877-336-1828, access code 9657836.

For more information, please visit the committee's website.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund, 503-931-8873, 711 TTY, or .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Core Leadership Team meets June 13 in Portland - 06/12/19

June 12, 2019

Media contact: Saerom England, 971-239-6483, om.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us">saerom.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us

Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Core Leadership Team meets June 13 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative Core Leadership Team.

Agenda: Clarify the roles of the team and workgroups; prepare to fulfill the roles; explore opportunities to affect system-level challenges regarding substance use disorder and peer-delivered services.

When: June 13, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 177, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland.

The Tri-County Regional Behavioral Health Collaborative brings together multiple sectors across the Portland metro area to collectively address and prevent behavioral health challenges, with a focus on peer-delivered services and substance use disorder activities that can make an impact in 12 to 24 months.

For more information, visit the RBHC website.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Summer Boslaugh, 503-753-9688, 711 TTY, or .h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us">summer.h.boslaugh@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Precautionary seasonal recreational use health advisory in effect for Lake Billy Chinook - 06/11/19

June 11, 2019

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Precautionary seasonal recreational use health advisory in effect for Lake Billy Chinook

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Health Authority has issued a precautionary seasonal recreational use health advisory for Lake Billy Chinook due to cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms that routinely develop in the lake.

Lake Billy Chinook is located about 12 miles west of Madras, in Jefferson County. The advisory will remain in effect through Nov. 1, 2019.

Tests done at Lake Billy Chinook since 2015 show that blooms in the lake consistently produce cyanotoxins over OHA’s recreational use health guideline values for people and pets. In the past, OHA would issue and lift advisories on the lake as data were made available. Testing is costly, making it difficult for local water body managers to regularly test the lake during times when blooms occur. This makes it challenging to determine when cyanotoxins are being produced, and if an advisory is needed.

As a result, OHA and local partners determined that a 2019 seasonal advisory for the lake is appropriate. At this time, the OHA Public Health Division is reminding the public of the steps to take to reduce exposure to cyanobacterial blooms and the cyanotoxins that may be present throughout the season. OHA staff will evaluate the effectiveness of this advisory at the end of the 2019 season.

Enjoy non-water-related activities at Lake Billy Chinook

Non-water-related activities such as camping, hiking, biking, picnicking and bird-watching can be enjoyed with very little possibility of exposure to cyanotoxins. Certain water-related activities can be safe. These include canoeing, fishing and boating, if boating speeds are kept low to avoid kicking up spray that could be inhaled.

Activities to avoid in areas affected by cyanobacteria blooms

Avoid swimming, water-skiing, wake-boarding, tubing, and other high-speed water activities in areas of the lake affected by a cyanobacterial bloom. Watch children and pets to be sure they are not swallowing water or coming in contact with cyanobacterial blooms washed up on the shore or dried on rocks. Do not use lake water for drinking as camping-style filters and boiling do not remove the toxins.

What to look for

Cyanobacterial blooms are not unique to Lake Billy Chinook. Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of cyanobacterial blooms in all Oregon waters because only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are tested by state, federal and local agencies.

Certain water body conditions can help people identify when a bloom may be present. People and their pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, a thick mat is present, or when bright green cells can be seen suspended in the water column, making the water a brighter shade of green. In areas where blooms are found, people should avoid swallowing water while swimming or inhaling water droplets made during high-speed water activities, such as water-skiing or power-boating. A good rule of thumb when encountering something in the water that doesn’t look familiar: “When in doubt, stay out.”

Symptoms

Exposure to cyanotoxins can be serious and result in a range of symptoms, from those similar to food poisoning such as stomach cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, to more serious symptoms like numbness, tingling, dizziness and shortness of breath that may require medical attention. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy, red rash at the affected area. Children are most vulnerable to exposure and illness due to their size and level of activity. If you or someone in your family develops any of these symptoms after your visit to an Oregon lake or waterway, contact OHA at 971-673-0440 for health information or to report the illness.

Pets are at risk, too

Over the past several years OHA has received many reports of dog illnesses and even deaths due to exposure to bloom-affected water. It’s important to know that dogs are susceptible to cyanotoxins at extremely low levels. Exposure to these toxins can also occur when dogs lick cyanobacteria off rocks and off their fur, eat the scum, or drink affected water. Symptoms of exposure are drooling, twitching, inability to stand or walk, convulsions and paralysis. Symptoms develop within the first hour or two after exposure and can be deadly. If a pet develops any symptoms, it should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. OHA also takes pet illness reports; call 971-673-0440 for more information.

Other concerns

Drinking water directly from areas of Lake Billy Chinook affected by a cyanobacterial bloom is especially dangerous when toxins are present. Toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters. Contact campground management or the local health department with questions about water available at nearby campgrounds or day use areas.

People who are not on a well or a public water system and draw in-home water directly from an affected area are advised to use an alternative water source because not all private treatment systems are proven effective in removing cyanotoxins.

Fish caught from areas where cyanobacterial blooms are present should have fat, skin and organs removed before cooking or freezing, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water.

OHA maintains an updated list of all health advisories on its website that is also available by phone. OHA will update information for Lake Billy Chinook when new data are available. To learn what water bodies are being sampled for the season and whether an advisory has been issued or lifted, visit the Cyanobacteria Blooms website: http://www.healthoregon.org/hab and select “current cyanobacteria advisories,” or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

# # #

https://bit.ly/2X6847W

Tips on how to beat the heat
Tips on how to beat the heat
Simple tips to stay safe during extreme heat conditions (Photo) - 06/11/19

June 11, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Simple tips to stay safe during extreme heat conditions

Stay hydrated, limit sun exposure as forecast calls for upper 90s

Temperatures are expected to climb into at least the mid-90s this week in some parts of Oregon. Health officials are recommending people prevent heat-related illnesses that can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

"People may not realize that heat-related illnesses can be deadly," said Tom Jeanne, MD, deputy state health officer at the OHA Public Health Division. "Extreme heat conditions pose a higher risk for children, people 65 and older, and those with chronic health conditions as well as athletes and outdoor workers." Also at higher risk are people with low incomes. Often, they can’t afford air conditioning for their homes or they live outdoors where they are more exposed.

The Oregon Public Health Division offers the following tips for staying safe and healthy during extreme heat conditions:

  1. Stay cool.
    • Stay in air-conditioned places, if possible. Avoid relying on a fan as your main cooling device, particularly when the temperature is 90 or above.
    • Limit exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest. Try to schedule activities in the morning and evening.
    • Use cool compresses, misting, and cool showers and baths.
    • Never leave infants or children in a parked car. Nor should pets be left in parked cars — they can suffer heat-related illness, too.
    • Even during the summer, the power can go out. Have a plan to stay cool when the power goes out.
  2. Stay hydrated.
    • Regardless of your level of activity, drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty and especially when working outside.
    • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing large amounts of sugar.
    • Make sure your family, friends and neighbors drink enough water.
  3. Stay informed.
    • Keep up to date on the temperature and heat index when planning activities to find ways to stay cool and hydrated. The heat index measures how hot it feels outside when factoring in humidity with the actual air temperature.
    • Learn how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat-related illnesses. Know the warning signs of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash, and how to treat and prevent them.
    • Be aware of any scheduled power outages your utility company plans. If you do not have air conditioning or you live outdoors, visit air-conditioned places or a cooling shelter if your community has one.
  4. Stay safe.
    • Check on friends, family and neighbors who may have a higher risk of heat-related illness at least twice a day.
    • Always supervise children when they are in or near water, including bathtubs.
    • Wear personal flotation devices when out on boats, near open bodies of water or participating in water sports.
    • Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 when going outside.

People with a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or kidney disease, may be less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Some medications can worsen the impact of extreme heat. People in this category should learn the effects of their medications and pay extra attention to drinking enough water, accessing air conditioning and knowing how to keep cool.

Those who work outdoors or exercise in extreme heat are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness. They should try to stay as cool and hydrated as possible.

For more information, visit:

# # #

https://youtu.be/5J7j-Rs62pQ

https://bit.ly/2WDvO3P

Attached Media Files: Tips on how to beat the heat
Public Health Advisory Board meets June 20 - 06/07/19

June 7, 2019

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Public Health Advisory Board meets June 20

What: A public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board.

Agenda: Hear a presentation on transportation planning, health and equity from Charles Brown of Rutgers University; discuss implication of information presented with the Oregon Transportation Commission. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

When: June 20, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Transportation Building basement conference room Oak A/B, 355 Capitol Street NE, Salem. Also available remotely by phone at 888-557-8511, access code 596500; and .

Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Kati Moseley, 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, or ina.moseley@dhsoha.state.or.us">katarina.moseley@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHA Director Allen sets deadlines for actions to resolve state hospital capacity crisis - 06/07/19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 7, 2019

Media contact: Rebeka Gipson-King, 503-756-0366, ebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us">rebeka.gipson-king@dhsoha.state.or.us

OHA Director Allen sets deadlines for actions to resolve state hospital capacity crisis

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen notified Governor Kate Brown of deadlines he has imposed for state hospital and behavioral health system leaders to address the capacity crisis at the Oregon State Hospital, due to the increasing number of patients sent to the hospital by local courts under "aid and assist" orders.

Since 2012 patients admitted to Oregon State Hospital under an "aid and assist" order by courts have more than doubled. Patients under "aid and assist" orders are defendants facing criminal charges who are unable to participate in their trial due to a mental illness. Under state law, county and municipal courts commit defendants to the state hospital (or to community treatment) so they can become "restored to competency," or well enough to "aid and assist" in their own defense. Currently there are more than 260 patients at Oregon State Hospital who were admitted under "aid and assist" orders. Patients under "aid and assist" orders now account for more than four in 10 state hospital patients.

There are approximately 40 people waiting for admission because the hospital is at the maximum capacity at which it can be safely managed for patients and staff. As a result of this capacity crisis, many of "aid and assist" defendants are not being admitted to the hospital within a required seven-day period. On June 4 a Washington County court held the state in contempt for not meeting the seven-day requirement for four "aid and assist" admissions.

State hospital and behavioral health leaders have been acting to alleviate patient population pressure at Oregon State Hospital due to the rapidly escalating number of patients sent to the hospital by local courts under "aid and assist" orders. Today’s directive sets deadlines to:

  • Reduce the wait time for people under "aid and assist" orders to be admitted to Oregon State Hospital.
  • Ensure counties are rapidly transitioning patients back to community treatment for restoration services when they have been stabilized and no longer need hospital-level care, which will reduce the length of stay for current patients under "aid and assist" orders and free up beds for new admissions.
  • Increase community services in counties for those who do not need hospital-level care, to divert them from the hospital.

"The state hospital cannot solve this capacity crisis on its own," Director Allen said. "We look forward to working with legislators and local leaders to adopt more effective solutions that prevent people with mental illness from being arrested, keep them out of jail, divert patients who don’t need acute treatment from the state hospital and offer them housing and treatment in their communities."

Under Allen’s directive, state hospital and behavioral health leaders will expedite work underway to stem the crisis within imminent and specific deadlines. Leaders will complete the tasks and provide a complete report on their progress by August 9.

# # #

More information:

Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Task Force meets June 14 in Portland - 06/06/19

June 6, 2019

Media contact: Saerom England, 971-239-6483, om.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us">saerom.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Task Force meets June 14 in Portland

What: Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Task Force

Agenda: Welcome, task force purpose and outcomes, agenda review, introductions, background on formation of the task force, principles for guidelines, key components for inclusion in the guidelines, next steps and summary.

When: June 14, 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1A, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland. The public can also join by conference call at 1-888-278-0296 access code 843163.

For more information, please visit the Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Task Force website.

Program contact: Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, 711 TTY, or ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHP members with mental illness more likely to access emergency room for physical health reasons - 05/31/19

May 31, 2019

Media contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us

OHP members with mental illness more likely to access emergency room for physical health reasons

Report takes a 'deeper dive' into new health disparity incentive metric

Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members with mental illness use the emergency department for physical health reasons at a rate two-and-a-half times greater than members without mental illness. This rate has remained steady over time, indicating room for improvement in coordination of care for members with mental illness. A new report from OHA highlights this health disparity and encourages coordinated care organizations (CCOs) to take a "deeper dive" into their data to develop strategies specific to the needs of members with mental illness.

"We need to do more to make sure all OHP members, including those with complex needs, benefit from health system transformation," said Lori Coyner, OHA Medicaid director. "We know individuals with serious mental illness face barriers to maintaining their physical health, including experiencing stigma in health care settings. One promising solution is to better integrate physical, oral and behavioral health services."

Baseline data shows some CCOs have smaller disparities in this area than others. One of those is Jackson Care Connect, which has been using value-based payments as incentives to encourage integration of behavioral health care into primary care clinics. Value-based payments change the way health care is paid for and delivered by moving away from fee-for-service payments and paying providers based on value instead.

In October 2018 the Oregon Health Policy Board adopted a set of policies designed to improve the health of OHP members, address health disparities, control program costs and continue to transform health care delivery. These policy priorities will be written into the 2020-2024 CCO contracts and represent the next phase of health transformation in Oregon, known as "CCO 2.0."

At the direction of Governor Kate Brown, one of the CCO 2.0 priority policy areas aims to improve the behavioral health system and address barriers to access to and integration of care. Over the next five years, OHA will work with CCOs to:

  • Use metrics to provide incentives for behavioral health integration and measure its outcomes.
  • Expand programs that integrate primary care into behavioral health settings.
  • Require providers to implement trauma-informed care practices.
  • Ensure an adequate provider network.
  • Provide access to behavioral health care that meets standards for timely access to care.

"With CCO 2.0, we have an opportunity to help break down silos to support members in getting the physical and behavioral health care they need — in the right place at the right time," said Coyner. "We can also use incentives to spur innovation, learn from CCOs or programs that are doing well in this area, and spread best practices."

Last year, 2018, was the sixth year of Oregon’s pay-for-performance program where OHA created a quality pool from a percentage of monthly CCO payments to reward performance. The quality pool model rewards CCOs for the quality of care provided to Oregon Health Plan members and has been a driver for innovation and performance improvement.

OHA has provided incentives for reducing emergency department use since the program took effect, and avoidable emergency department visits decreased by over 50 percent from 2011 to 2017. Emergency department use among members with mental illness is a new incentive measure. Results from the first year of this measure will be released with the 2018 CCO Metrics Report in June.

A copy of the report is available on the OHA website.

# # #

Links:

CCO Metrics Deeper Dive report: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/CCOMetrics/2018-Metrics-Deeper-Dive-2019-05-07.pdf

CCO 2.0 webpage: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/CCO-2-0.aspx

Dr. Katrina Hedberg
Dr. Katrina Hedberg
Katrina Hedberg to retire May 31 (Photo) - 05/29/19

May 29, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Katrina Hedberg to retire May 31

State health officer helped guide response to opioid crisis and numerous disease outbreaks

PORTLAND, Ore. — State Epidemiologist and Health Officer Katrina Hedberg, M.D., M.P.H., is retiring. Hedberg drew on vast epidemiologic data to help Oregon respond to the opioid crisis, manage countless infectious disease outbreaks, develop chronic disease prevention strategies and understand the state’s aid-in-dying law.

Hedberg will retire May 31 after 29 years at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. She will remain at the division through the summer as acting state health officer and epidemiologist to help recruit her replacement.

"I have been very fortunate in my career with the Oregon Public Health Division," Hedberg said. "My work has been very gratifying, interesting, diverse, and has hopefully had an impact on improving the health of Oregonians."

Oregon Public Health Director Lillian Shirley, M.P.H., M.P.A., says Hedberg has become one of the most well-known and respected public health leaders in the state and the country. During her career, Hedberg has become a virtual encyclopedia on population health, chronic disease risk, injury epidemiology, substance use prevention, health statistics, acute and communicable diseases, and Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, she said.

Hedberg also has been integral to the development and advancement of numerous statewide initiatives, including public health modernization, the State Health Improvement Plan and youth marijuana use prevention. "We will miss her unrivaled commitment, knowledge and wit," Shirley said. "We wish her the best in this much-deserved next chapter of her life. Hers will be huge shoes to fill."

Hedberg, who also serves as an affiliate professor at the Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health, grew up in Corvallis, the daughter of two Oregon State University chemistry professors. She studied molecular biophysics and biochemistry as an undergraduate at Yale University, and graduated with a medical degree from the OHSU School of Medicine in 1980.

In her fourth year of medical school — in fall 1984 — Hedberg did an elective rotation at the Oregon Public Health Division. During this time, she took part in an epidemiology investigation of a salmonellosis outbreak in The Dalles that occurred after members of the Rajneesh cult, in an effort to sway a local election, intentionally contaminated a salad bar with the bacteria. She recently appeared in archive television footage in the Netflix series "Wild Wild Country" that documented the Rajneesh group’s rise and fall.

After medical school, Hedberg served at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS program) and completed a preventive medicine residency. After CDC, Hedberg completed a cancer fellowship and earned a Master’s in public health epidemiology at the University of Washington.

Hedberg’s more recent work has involved using Oregon-specific data to drive evidence-based programs, addressing Oregon’s opioid overdose epidemic and evaluating the public health impact of retail marijuana sales. She also has gained an interest in addressing social factors affecting health, such as housing affordability, food insecurity and educational outcomes, and using principles of population-based prevention to reduce cost and improve health. She currently serves on the CDC’s Community Guide to Preventive Services Task Force, which provides recommendations to improve population health.

Hedberg’s other career highlights include hosting a delegation from the United Kingdom House of Lords interested in data on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act; appearing on PBS "Frontline" to discuss a multi-state salmonellosis outbreak; being interviewed on Norwegian TV — and speaking fluent Norwegian in the process — about legalized cannabis in Oregon; serving as a subject matter expert on a PBS "NOVA" production on vaccines around the globe; serving as an associate editor for the Emerging Infectious Diseases’ Journal; spending six weeks in Benin to help evaluate the country’s response to the Ebola threat; and serving on a CDC delegation to China to evaluate its emergency preparedness and response system.

# # #

https://bit.ly/2X8TcCy

Attached Media Files: Dr. Katrina Hedberg
Oregon Health Policy Board meets June 4 in Portland - 05/28/19

May 28, 2019

Media contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon Health Policy Board meets June 4 in Portland

What: The monthly meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board.

Agenda: welcome; minutes approval; liaison updates, OHA report; children’s care: health complexity; public testimony; OHPB policy priority area timeline; cost of care update; Health Plan Quality Metrics Committee update; legislative update.

When: June 4, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Where: Portland State Office Building Room 1E, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, access code 915042#.

For more information on the meeting, visit the board’s meeting page.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jeff Scroggin, 541-999-6983, 711 TTY, or y.scroggin@dhsoha.state.or.us">jeffery.scroggin@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets June 3 by webinar - 05/28/19

May 28, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets June 3 by webinar

What: A public meeting of the Accountability Metrics Subcommittee of the Public Health Advisory Board.

Agenda: Approve May 6 meeting minutes; make recommendations for the prescription opioid overdose metric, discuss purpose and use of accountability metrics.

When: June 3, 1-2 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: By webinar or by conference call at 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Background: Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan. The Accountability Metrics Subcommittee develops recommendations about public health quality measures for the board's consideration.

For more information, visit the board's website.

Program contact: Sara Beaudrault, 971-645-5766, a.beaudrault@dhsoha.state.or.us">sara.beaudrault@dhsoha.state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Sara Beaudrault, 971-645-5766, 711 TTY, or a.beaudrault@dhsoha.state.or.us">sara.beaudrault@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Dental Pilot Project Program Technical Review Board meets May 30 - 05/28/19

May 28, 2019

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Dental Pilot Project Program Technical Review Board meets May 30

What: The state Dental Pilot Project Program’s Technical Review Board is meeting to review an application to the Dental Pilot Project Program from Willamette Dental titled "Dental Hygiene Restorative Function Endorsement Model." The purpose of the project is to investigate the feasibility of adopting a dental therapist model as a new category of dental care provider for Oregon.

Agenda: Review pilot project application to the Dental Pilot Project Program.

When: May 30, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be no public comment period.

Where: Oregon Oral Health Coalition, 9140 SW Pioneer Court, Wilsonville. There will be no call-in option available.

Background: Dental Pilot Projects are intended to evaluate the quality of care, access, cost, workforce, and efficacy by teaching new skills to existing categories of dental personnel; developing new categories of dental personnel; accelerating the training of existing categories of dental personnel; or teaching new oral health care roles to previously untrained persons.

Program contact: Sarah Kowalski, 971-673-1563, ah.e.kowalski@dhsoha.state.or.us">sarah.e.kowalski@dhsoha.state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Sarah Kowalski, 971-673-1563, 711 TTY, or ah.e.kowalski@dhsoha.state.or.us">sarah.e.kowalski@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Health advisory for water contact at D River Beach lifted May 23 - 05/23/19

May 23, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Health advisory for water contact at D River Beach lifted May 23

Testing shows fecal bacteria levels have subsided

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with marine water at D River Beach, located in Lincoln County. The health authority issued the advisory May 22 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect. Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call the OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

# # #

https://bit.ly/2K5hABz

Advance Directive Adoption Committee meets June 3 - 05/22/19

May 22, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Advance Directive Adoption Committee meets June 3

What: The first public meeting of the Advance Directive Adoption Committee.

Agenda: Review required work of committee, based on statute; elect a chair of the committee; review advance directive form.

When: June 3, 9 a.m. to noon. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1C, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland.

Oregon’s Advance Directive Adoption Committee provides guidance to the Oregon Health Authority on necessary revisions to Oregon’s Advance Directive form. The committee convenes for the first time in the spring of 2019. The committee reviews the Advance Directive form every four years.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Krasimir Karamfilov, 971-673-1222, 711 TTY, or asamir.karamfilov@dhsoha.state.or.us">krasamir.karamfilov@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

CCO Metrics Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meets May 23 - 05/22/19

May 22, 2018

Media contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@dhsoha.state.or.us

CCO Metrics Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meets May 23

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics Technical Advisory Group.

When: May 23, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Five Oak Building, Suite 850, Mary Conference Room, 421 SW Oak St, Portland. Limited space is available. The public also may join remotely through a webinar and conference line at 415-655-0060, listen-only code 383-191-215.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions; updates; TAG input – updated obesity metrics specifications; review stakeholder survey results; Clinical Quality Metrics Registry (CQMR) update, and TAG input on continuous enrollment for electronic health record (EHR)-based measures; adjourn.

Program contact: Pete Edlund, 503-931-8873, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us.

For more information, please visit the committee's website.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund, 503-931-8873, 711 TTY, or .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Health advisory issued May 22 for water contact at D River Beach - 05/22/19

May 22, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Health advisory issued May 22 for water contact at D River Beach

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at D River Beach, located in Lincoln County.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at D River Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the OHA, Department of Environmental Quality, and Parks and Recreation Department.

# # #

https://bit.ly/2Hvf99v

Public hearing June 4 for Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant plan - 05/21/19

May 21, 2019

What: A hearing to take public comments on Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division’s proposal for the use of funds from the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.

Agenda: Review of Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant proposal for October 2019 through September 2020. Public comment will be taken. Draft proposal will be posted at http://www.healthoregon.org/lhd.

When: June 4, 11-11:30 a.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 915, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland. A call-in option is available for remote attendance. Conference call number is 877-873-8017, participant code 767068#.

Program contact: Danna Drum, 503-957-8869, um@state.or.us">danna.k.drum@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Danna Drum at 971-673-1223, 711 TTY or um@state.or.us">danna.k.drum@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2Hw7XtV

Early results show fewer youth started smoking since Tobacco 21 took effect - 05/21/19

March 21, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Early results show fewer youth started smoking since Tobacco 21 took effect

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority announced promising short-term outcomes of Senate Bill 754, which raised the age of purchase for tobacco and vaping products in Oregon from 18 to 21 years.

OHA found a significant decrease in youth (aged 13-17) and young adults (aged 18–20) who have started using tobacco since the law took effect Jan. 1, 2018. The evaluation also shows a decrease in young adults’ perceived ease of access to tobacco and vaping products.

"Tobacco 21 was enacted to help prevent young people from starting to use tobacco, and it’s working," said Tom Jeanne, MD, deputy state health officer and epidemiologist. "With this and our strong Indoor Clean Air Act, Oregon is a national leader in protecting youth from tobacco use."

In August 2017 Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 754, making Oregon the fifth state to increase the age to purchase tobacco. To ensure compliance with the law, businesses that sell tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems such as e-cigarettes must post signs prohibiting sales of these products to persons under the age of 21.

Ending youth access to tobacco is only a minor cost for retailers but a huge gain for reducing tobacco-related deaths and diseases in Oregon’s next generation, Jeanne says.

Fewer current youth tobacco users reported purchasing tobacco products from convenience stores, grocery stores, or tobacco or vape shops after the legislation went into effect. However, statewide requests for proof of age by retailers did not change significantly, especially outside the Portland metro area. This is, in part, because Oregon is one of only nine states that does not have tobacco retail licensure.

"Nicotine is a poison and tobacco is sweet, cheap and easy to get in Oregon," Jeanne said. "Enforcing Tobacco 21 is vital, and there are other actions we can take to keep our momentum going. For example, we know that raising the price of tobacco keeps kids from starting and encourages people to quit. Our Legislature is considering several bills this session to increase the price of tobacco, e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products."

The evaluation of Tobacco 21 assessed short-term outcomes of the law in communities throughout Oregon. OHA contracted with RMC Research, an independent evaluator, to conduct the evaluation through online surveys with youth and young adult tobacco users before and nine months after the law took effect.

The report is available as a PDF at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/TOBACCOPREVENTION/Documents/Oregon-Tobacco-21-Impact-Evaluation-Report.pdf.

# # #

https://bit.ly/2WXeGSV

Updated: Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Taskforce to meet May 23 in Portland - 05/20/19

Updated with call-in information

May 20, 2019

Media contact: Saerom England, 971-239-6483, om.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us">saerom.y.england@dhsoha.state.or.us

Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Taskforce to meet May 23 in Portland

What: Oregon Opioid Taper Guidelines Taskforce

Agenda: Welcome, taskforce purpose and outcomes, agenda review, introductions, background on formation of the Taskforce, principles for guidelines, key components for inclusion in the guidelines, next steps and summary

When: Thursday May 23, 2019 from 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building (PSOB), 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland Oregon Conference Line: 1-888-278-0296 Public Meeting ID: 843163.

.For more information, please visit the Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Task Force website.

Program contact: Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Lisa Bui, 971-673-3397, 711 TTY, or ootg.info@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Keep your family safe from the West Nile Virus this summer - 05/20/19

Update for news stations: Raw sound on tape and B-roll https://youtu.be/YRWZfA3iEF4

Spanish / Español

May 20, 2019

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7174, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Keep your family safe from the West Nile Virus this summer

As the weather continues to warm up, health officials say it’s important for people to protect themselves from disease-carrying mosquitoes. One of the illnesses to avoid is the potentially deadly West Nile virus.

About one in five infected people may show signs of West Nile virus. People at risk of serious illness include individuals 50 and older, and people with immune-compromising conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

West Nile symptoms may include fever above 100 degrees and severe headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, shaking, paralysis or rash. People should contact their health care provider if experiencing any of these symptoms.

Health officials are advising people to take precautions against mosquitoes to avoid the risk of infection, including preventing mosquito bites. West Nile is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

"It’s very easy for people to prevent bites from mosquitoes that may carry West Nile virus," said Dr. Emilio DeBess, public health veterinarian at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. "Although the risk of contracting West Nile virus is low, people can take simple precautions to keep these insects at bay if they’re headed outdoors."

To prevent the spread of West Nile virus:

  • Eliminate sources of standing water that are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes watering troughs, bird baths, clogged gutters and old tires.
  • When engaged in outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, protect yourself by using mosquito repellants containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or Picardin, and follow the directions on the container.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in mosquito-infested areas.
  • Make sure screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

In 2018, there were two human cases of West Nile virus in two Oregon counties: Harney and Clackamas. The virus was found in one bird, 58 mosquito pools — samples of about 50 mosquitoes each — and two horses. In 2017, seven humans, 92 mosquito pools, five horses and one bird tested positive for West Nile. The virus also can be found in chickens, squirrels and dogs.

Climate change, particularly effects such as increased temperature and changes in rainfall, have led to longer mosquito seasons and are contributing to the spread of West Nile virus, health officials say. They agree these and other climate change indicators must be considered to help people better prepare for future transmission of the disease.

Additional information about West Nile virus is available on the Oregon Health Authority website, and from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

# # #

https://bit.ly/2wbuwxv

West Nile virus overview from Dr. Emilio DeBess, OHA Public Health Veterinarian