This week 34 OHA and DHS employees graduated from the Leadership Academy. Since 2003, this program has helped participating employees build skills in strategic thinking, team building and other skills that make good leaders.
This graduation has caused me to reflect on what it will take to help these leaders and everyone who believes that OHA is a place to serve our state while growing professionally and personally.
Strong leadership, creative thinking and bold action from every part of the agency are going to be important in the years to come. We are entering a time when we are facing very large reductions in funding to the Oregon Health Plan. At the same time, we will be laying the groundwork for transformational change to reduce even greater cuts in the future and to create a financially sustainable health care system that improves the health of all Oregonians.
This is not going to be easy. But I am not worried about our ability to get the job done. Over the past several years, through budget cuts, agency changes, increased caseload and new demands, time after time the employees of this agency have risen to the occasion. We can't stop now. Now that legislation to create the health insurance exchange has passed, we must keep pushing to make sure that it will open the door to health care for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians. And we must keep pushing in every way to build a better health care system for our state.
Congratulations to the graduates of the Leadership Academy and to everyone at OHA striving to make things better for the people or our state. Thank you for all you do.