This week we celebrated Labor Day, making it a good time to also celebrate the work of each and every Oregon Health Authority employee. Every day across the state I see evidence of just how much our staff cares about serving the people of Oregon and making this a better place to live.
Here are just a few examples.
The Public Health Division touches the lives of every resident or visitor by helping to ensure that the water we drink and the food we eat are safe. Among many other things, staff work hard to educate the public about the importance of getting immunizations, giving up tobacco and living a healthier lifestyle. Their work focusing on population health - the kind of health that happens outside of clinical settings - will be key to our success meeting the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower health care costs.
All of the staff in our health care programs - Oregon Private Health Partnerships, the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool, Public Employees’ Benefit Board, Oregon Educators Benefit Board, Healthy Kids, Office of Client & Community Services and the Division of Medical Assistance Programs - work to bring health care coverage to over 850,000 Oregonians. They also work closely with providers and stakeholders so care is there when it's needed. In a time of rising demand and reduced revenues, this work can be especially difficult. Yet, in spite of those challenges, these teams continue to press forward, ensuring that everyone in our state who should have coverage through OHA or our private market programs receives high-quality care. In an era of rising costs they are on the front lines of the vision of stemming unnecessary costs through improved health and well being.
In the Addictions and Mental Health Division, workers are focused on revamping our mental health and addictions system with a vision that everyone in our state will have the right care at the right time in the right place. That includes the amazing work and transformation going on at the Oregon State Hospital. I am continually impressed with the dedication and personal commitment that everyone at AMH and OSH brings to their work.
The team at the Office for Health Policy and Research provide the facts and data about health policy on which we build our work. OHPR staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty in preparing information and providing support for the four Oregon Health Plan transformation work groups.
And of course, all of our work would not be possible without the tools and support we get from our great Office Information Systems team.
I do not have space here to cover all of the work that happens every day in our agency but please know that I do recognize it and appreciate it. I know that at times working in public service can be difficult. There are budget realities, political realities and social realities that affect us. I am so proud to work at an agency that rises above the difficulties, sees the importance of the work before us, and comes to work each and every day ready to start again. Thank you very much for what you do.