Over the past few months, people from across the state have come together with an important focus: improve Oregon's community-based behavioral health system. Make it more available, more effective and more efficient.
In cities across Oregon and in an open webinar, consumers, health care providers, local government officials, representatives from coordinated care organizations and stakeholders from a wide variety of other groups participated in these discussions.
People said that the state should invest in the right services at the right time and emphasize prevention and promotion of behavioral health. They said services should be directed by the person and should involve family and friends. People are calling for innovation and collaboration, for building on what's working well and sharing best practices among communities. Local communities also want to provide holistic, culturally competent, comprehensive care.
As I said in June, we will take what we have learned from these discussions to create a statewide behavioral health strategic plan. You can find a summary of the common themes that came from the local town halls on the strategic planning website. The next step is for OHA to draft a strategic plan for another round of feedback before it is finalized later in the year.
A successful strategic plan will address how we will meet the needs of the thousands of people who are now covered by Medicaid rather than the patchwork safety net. It will also create a road map for the integration of behavioral and physical health, which is essential to Oregon's health system transformation efforts. This plan will move us to an improved system of care for all Oregonians, not just members of the Oregon Health Plan, with a focus on prevention and early intervention to care for anyone in crisis.
Thank you to everyone who gave their time to this important project. We are inspired by your passion and dedication to this issue. We heard you.