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Oregon Health Authority Health eNews | Updates from the Oregon Health Policy Board

OCTOBER 5, 2012

In this month's edition of Health News from OHA and OHPB:
Governor John Kitzhaber addresses health transformation on the national stage
Oregon Health Policy Board focuses on population health
Non-Traditional Health Care Worker Steering Committee accepting applications
Final wave of Coordinated Care Organizations certified
Metrics and Scoring Committee moving forward towards recommendations
Quitting tobacco for better health
In the news

Governor John Kitzhaber addresses health transformation on the national stage

Last month Governor Kitzhaber spoke at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. The Governor addressed how Oregon is changing the way health care is delivered in the state in order to meet the ultimate goal of better health, better care and lower costs.

Governor Kitzhaber explained how Oregon's approach encourages local control, flexibility and accountability for overall health, as well as how this outcomes-based approach can serve as a model for other states and federal programs. The coordinated care model could also be used for delivering care to state workers and educators if private insurers see that the model is successful.

Watch the full video of Governor Kitzhabers speech.

Oregon Health Policy Board focuses on population health

Last month Oregon Health Policy Board members began looking at health improvement strategies that focus on the general population. At their board meeting, a presenter urged members of the board and audience to stand up for better health — literally. Hours of daily sitting can have a bad effect on wellness, and the presenter wanted to make a point: changing health means doing things differently.

"How do we restructure our goals to create a healthier community?" said Lillian Shirley, B.S.M, M.P.H., M.P.A, board vice-chairwoman and director of Multnomah County Health Department. "The struggle is not the 'what.' It is the 'how.'"

The board heard presentations about actions taken in cities in Iowa and California to support residents in creating a happier, healthier place to live, work and play. Key to the programs was local participation, healthy food promotion, and support for biking and walking.

Over the next several months the board will plan strategies and approaches to support changes for healthier Oregon communities.

Non-Traditional Health Care Worker Steering Committee accepting applications

The Oregon Health Authority is accepting applications for its Non-Traditional Health Care Worker (NTHW) Steering Committee now through October 15. The committee will support and foster the use of non-traditional health care workforces. Non-traditional health care workers, such as Community Health Workers, Peer Wellness Specialists, Personal Health Navigators and Doulas, will be critical to the success of Oregon's new coordinated model of care.

Appointments to the Non-Traditional Health Care Worker Steering Committee will be made by the OHA Director's Office. While the number of seats on the Steering Committee will be limited, we will work to ensure that stakeholders who are not appointed to the committee will have opportunities to provide input.

Anyone interested in applying for the NTHW Steering Committee must complete the online form by Monday, October 15.

Final wave of Coordinated Care Organizations certified

Three new coordinated care organizations (CCOs) were certified. The three new CCOs will cover Yamhill County, parts of Klamath, Marion, Clackamas and Polk Counties, and the Columbia Gorge region. See the full list of Oregon CCOs here.

As coordinated care organizations begin serving clients, they are already using innovative approaches to improve the health of the population they serve. For example, Trillium Community Health Plan is partnering with Lane County to reduce tobacco use among Oregon Health Plan members.

You can see more stories about coordinated care in local communities here.

Metrics and Scoring Committee moving forward towards recommendations

The nine-member Metrics and Scoring Committee, along with national experts, discussed metrics for health quality at their latest meeting. The committee will meet three more times before delivering a set of recommendations in early November. The timeline for the initial set of recommendations was set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

These measures will be critical for determining whether CCOs are effectively and adequately improving health, making quality care accessible, eliminating health disparities, and controlling costs for the populations they serve.

For more information about the Metrics and Scoring Committee, including upcoming meetings, visit:

Quitting tobacco for better health

With tobacco use still the number one cause of preventable death in Oregon, creating tobacco-free environments is key to improving the health of employees, clients and visitors to state properties. With that in mind, Governor Kitzhaber signed an executive order earlier this year that will ban all tobacco use on most state properties beginning Jan. 1, 2013. By the end of 2013, most state property grounds will be tobacco-free.

That's great news for people like DHS employee Rebecca Mapes who, like many smokers, started young. Since then she has quit several times, but this time, she said, she is done for good. Mapes credits her new resolve in part to this Executive Order.

"Smokers know that the habit is bad—there is nothing good about it. The Governor's ban just helps push that desire to quit a little further."

We all know the dangers of tobacco use and we also know the heavy weight of tobacco addiction. Quitting is hard – but the benefits are immediate and long-lasting. People who stop tobacco reduce their risk for cancer, heart disease and emphysema. They increase the likelihood of longer life and more time with their families. Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death in Oregon, representing more than 22 percent of all deaths. For more information on Governor Kitzhaber's executive order, click here.

In the news

Gov. Kitzhaber pitches Oregon's health care plan to influential DC audience

OPB News
Oregon improving on health care coverage

The Register Guard
Oregon leads the way

OHPB's next meeting

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
1:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

Bay Area Hospital
Myrtle Conference Room
1775 Thompson Road
Coos Bay, Oregon 97420

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