Oregon Office of Rural Health Newsletter, August 2010 Share This OHSU Content

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2nd Annual Apple A Day Campaign

Salem Conference Center, Salem Oregon
Register now, space is limited.
Great Food, Great Entertainment, Great Cause!

The Apple A Day Campaign counts on you and your generous support to help keep rural Oregon’s volunteer EMTs there when we need them. Be a part of the biggest party in town, and know that you are helping a rural, volunteer EMT!

Register Now

27th Annual Rural Health Conference

September 23 – 25, 2010
Salem Conference Center
Salem Oregon

Another year of great sessions, great opportunities, great networking!

Register Now

Help Shape Health Reform in Oregon

The Oregon Health Authority is taking the next step in health reform, developing a plan to lower costs, increase access, and improve the quality of health care. One of the key parts of the plan is the health insurance exchange, which will serve as a central marketplace to purchase health insurance available to all Oregonians. Come learn more about the plan for health and health care improvements in Oregon and tell us how the health insurance exchange will work best for you!


Wednesday, September 1st
Benton County Fairgrounds
110 SW 53rd Street
Corvallis, OR


Monday, September 13th
University Place(Columbia Falls Room)
310 SW Lincoln Street
Portland, OR

Baker City

Tuesday, September 7th
Baker County Library
2400 Resort Street
Baker City, OR


Wednesday, September 15th
Red Lion Inn (Crater Lake Room)
200 N. Riverside Avenue
Medford, OR


Thursday, September 9th
Florence Events Center
715 Quince Street
Florence, OR


Thursday, September 16th
Central Oregon Community College
Campus Center Building (Wille Hall)
2600 NW College Way
Bend, OR

The Oregon Health Authority is a leader in the effort to innovate for quality and affordable health care in Oregon, by putting the care back in health care, improving the health of Oregonians, and working to lower the cost of care so it is affordable and accessible to everyone. A nine-member, citizen-led group called the Oregon Health Policy Board oversees the Oregon Health Authority.

To learn more about OHA or other ways to provide input, visit them online.

The Oregon Stroke Network Symposium— Pulling Oregon Together: Building a Stroke System of Care

The Oregon Stroke Network will be hosting the 4th Annual Oregon Stroke Network Symposium, entitled: Pulling Oregon Together: Building a Stroke System of Care, on Friday, October 29th in Portland Oregon. The program objectives are to:

  • Understand the barriers and potential opportunities for building an Oregon network for evaluation and transfer of stroke patients,
  • Utilize AHA guideline recommendations for acute treatment, primary and secondary prevention of acute ischemic stroke patients, and to
  • Implement strategies known to improve outcomes in the emergent evaluation and triage to treatment, the hyper-acute treatments in the ED, and the sub-acute stroke care in designated units.

This Symposium is intended for pre-hospital, emergency department and in-hospital stroke care providers, coordinators, managers and administrators including: EMS Supervising Physicians/Medical Directors, EMS Agency Managers/Administrators, EMT-Basics, EMT-Intermediates, and Paramedics, Emergency Physicians, Neurologists, Physicians Providing Inpatient Stroke Care, Primary Care Providers Who See Acute Stroke Patients, Emergency Department Medical Directors, Emergency Department Nursing Managers, Stroke Program Coordinators, Stroke Unit Managers, Stroke Nurses, Hospital Administrators, Quality Improvement Managers.

You can see our current and past symposium brochures by visiting their site. Questions? Contact the Stroke Network at .

Oregon Healthy Kids

Our youth need to be healthy in order for our communities to thrive. Oregon Healthy Kids, a newly expanded health coverage program for uninsured children, will help make sure every child in the state can have health insurance their families can afford. As many families are struggling in this difficult economy, the creation of Healthy Kids means they will no longer need to make the difficult choice between their child’s health care and putting food on the table.

As a community leader in the health care field, you have a great opportunity to let families in your town know that Healthy Kids is a no-cost or low-cost health coverage option for Oregon children and teens up to their 19th birthday.

Here are a few ways to get involved and spread the word to families:

  • Understanding the application process, and assisting families through it, is the number one way to help families. To partner with Healthy Kids, contact Perry DeJoode @ (503) 945-6525, or visit their website.
  • All health care workers and advocates are welcome to attend free trainings on how to best assist families and understand the application. Visit their website to sign up for a training in your area.
  • Healthy Kids will send your office brochures, posters, banners and more. Request materials (at no cost to you) by visiting their website.
  • Know what organizations in your area already partner with Healthy Kids – refer families to these organizations so applications are completed and the process goes faster! For a list of partner organizations visit their website.

Coverage lasts for one full year and covers all health needs, including doctor visits, dental, vision, mental and behavioral health services, and prescriptions. Children will not be turned away due to preexisting conditions or be put on a waiting list.

No family makes too much money for Healthy Kids. Family income will determine whether a child is eligible for the free or low-cost coverage option. For example, a family of four that earns as much as $66,000 a year may qualify for low-cost coverage.

Please let families know that coverage for their children is available! Families may also apply for the program online or by calling: 1-877-314-5678.

Seven Oregon Health Care Organizations Awarded Subsidy by Federal Communication Commission

Seven health care organizations at 12 sites have each received a funding commitment letter from the Federal Communications Commission confirming they will receive money to fund up to 85 percent of costs to build out or grow their respective broadband infrastructure to support telemedicine and telehealth applications.

These sites are:

  • St. Charles Health System, Bend, Redmond and Prineville
  • Siletz Tribal Health Clinics, Siletz
  • Bay Area Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center, Coos Bay
  • Umpqua Community Health Centers: Drain, Glide, Myrtle Creek, Roseburg High School and Roseburg Health Center
  • Clackamas Community College’s Harmony Campus, Clackamas
  • Outside In Medical Clinic, Portland

The Oregon Health Network will fund the remaining 15 percent cost of broadband construction and installation as part of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP). This funding comes from OHN partners from the Department of Education, the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund, and Community College Workforce Development (CCWD), who all are committed to strengthening Oregonian’s access to healthcare and healthcare education opportunities with the use of technology. The organizations will each pay the remaining 15 percent for ongoing, monthly broadband service costs over the duration of the 5-year program, through May 2014.

“This award will support St. Charles Health System’s goal of developing an integrated health information technology system that will ultimately make care more efficient, better integrated and seamless to both the patient and the providers,” says St. Charles Health System’s President and CEO Jim Diegel. He added that the funding will benefit the entire Central Oregon region by connecting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, imaging staff and educators and increasing coordination of care.

“A significant barrier we see is that rural and urban providers often lack quality broadband access, equipment and resources,” says Kim Lamb, OHN’s executive director. “Emerging technologies and applications can be challenging to implement and select, so we are all very excited that these 12 sites joining a growing number of providers in Oregon who are bringing technology to provide better care for patients.”

With health care delivery and cost concerns on the rise, “it’s proving critical for providers of all sizes, designations and in all locations to better use health information technology,” says Lamb. “It’s no longer a like-to-have, now it’s a must-have.”

Oregon’s maturing telemedicine network might enable a physician to send or receive x-ray images; a patient to visit with physicians live over video for immediate care; or might capture video/still images and health record data to be stored and sent to physicians for diagnosis and follow-up treatment at a later time. The important process of having high quality and secure electronic transfer of data can help specialists and clinicians deliver care to patients more efficiently, no matter where the hospital or the clinic is geographically located.

OHN provides high-speed, high quality, broadband connectivity for electronic medical records, radiological images, videoconferencing, and distance education applications which will expand the use of telemedicine and telehealth education in Oregon. The network also connects providers to each other, reducing the cost of health care in rural communities by minimizing duplicate efforts and time, obtaining correct patient information, procedure codes and referrals, and much more. Twenty-one sites in Oregon are live on OHN’s broadband telehealth network with 24/7 monitoring by the Network Operations Center.

This award is part of the FCC’s RHCPP $20.2 million total subsidy awarded to Oregon for full deployment of the critical first phase of the infrastructure necessary to build the first statewide, broadband, telehealth network in Oregon. Through the RHCPP, OHN is working to bring on as many as 200 eligible hospitals, clinics, community colleges and government facilities onto its managed, high-speed, broadband network.

Nationally, $417 million has been allocated within the FCC RHCPP to subsidize hundreds of hospitals, providers and clinics representing 42 states, three territories and more than 6,000 health providers. In total, 33 sites have received funding commitment letters to date. Upward of 200 sites are currently actively participating in OHN’s RHCPP process.

Healing Rural Patients with a Dose of Broadband

Millions of Americans who live in rural areas travel long distances to get health care. Or they may go without it. But high-speed Internet connections now make it possible to bring a doctor's expertise to patients in far-off places, if those places are connected.

As part of its National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission has pledged $400 million a year to connect nearly 12,000 rural health care providers.

Learn More

Dr Dale Walker, Director, One Sky Center, Elected President of the Association of American Indian Physicians

Oregon Health & Science University professor R. Dale Walker, M.D., was elected president of the Association of American Indian Physicians Aug. 9 at the organization’s 40th convention in Albuquerque, N.M.

AAIP is the largest Native American healthcare association in the United States. Its mission includes motivating American Indian and Alaska Native students to pursue careers in health care and biomedical research. The association honored Walker, who is Cherokee, as the Indian Physician of the year in both 2009 and 1989. He is a one of two American Indian psychiatrists in the nation certified in addictions treatment.

Dr. Walker is the director of the One Sky Center and the Center for American Indian Health Education & Research at OHSU. He also is a professor of psychiatry, and public health and preventive medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.

His distinguished career includes advocating for elimination of the stigmas associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders. His research focuses on American Indian addiction and mental health. Walker also is working to address the low number of Indian students in the health care fields and to draw attention to best practices for the prevention and treatment of addiction and mental health disorders among American Indians. Walker and his colleagues have consulted and lectured throughout North America on American Indian and Alaska Native issues and authored more than 100 scientific articles in this area.

Walker has been an active member of AAIP since 1977. He is a 1972 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and completed a residency in psychiatry at the University of California School of Medicine in San Diego. For more information about the One Sky Center, visit their website or contact 503-494-3703.

Around the State

  • Through a partnership between Powder Valley School in North Powder and Eastern Oregon Medical Associates in Baker City, Powder Valley’s school clinic, which closed about two years ago, will reopen in the fall. In addition to medical services, it will give students an opportunity to job shadow doctors and nurses or learn more about running a medical office.
  • The Prineville CHIP has received a $10,000 grant from General Mills Foundation’s Champions for Health for Kids program. This grant will fund the construction of a greenhouse at one elementary school, help continue our collaboration with OSU Extension Service and their nutrition education in the elementary schools, and encourage kids to be more active through gardening. It helps advance the committee's goal to address childhood obesity. Prineville’s grant was one of 50 grants selected from 1100 total grants submitted.
  • Chiloquin Volunteer Ambulance Service (CVAS) is pleased to introduce their new EMS Chief, Tammie Bony. Tammie joined CVAS in 2000 as an ambulance driver and quickly obtained her EMT-Basic certification in 2001 and received her EMT-Intermediate in 2002. Tammie grew up in Chiloquin, graduating from Chiloquin High School in 1978. Most recently, Tammie has been employed at Sky Lakes Medical Center in the Emergency Department as an Emergency Technician. Tammie lives here in Chiloquin with her husband Guy Bony and their two dogs, Aden and Banner. CVAS wants to thank Jane McLaughlin, who retired as CVAS Chief.

Oregon Health Workforce Institute (OHWI) Makes Statewide Inventory Funding Available

OHWI, in partnership with the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research, has recently compiled a statewide inventory of current public and private funding in the healthcare workforce. Along with other resources, this inventory will assist the State of Oregon’s Health Care Workforce Committee in making recommendations to build Oregon’s healthcare workforce. The funding inventory, along with the following additional resources on educational programs and funding, are now posted under the resources/reports section of OHWI’s website:

Oregon Center for Nursing Quarterly Newsletter Available

The Oregon Center for Nursing, has a mission to provide the leadership to solve the nursing workforce shortage in Oregon. Check out their quarterly newsletter.

CMS Fact Sheet!

CMS has issued 3 new fact sheets about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. These fact sheets summarize provisions in the final rule announced on July 13, 2010. Here are links to each of the July 16, 2010, fact sheets:

Additional information on the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, including a link to the text of the final rule, can be found at CMS' web site. This CMS web site provides up-to-date, detailed information about the Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs. Includes fact sheets, FAQs, links, etc. Under the tab for Hospitals (to the left of main page) there is even a tip sheet for CAHs!

Funding Opportunities from RAC


September 8-9, 2010

EMS Trauma Simulation in Baker City

September 23, 2010

Annual Flex Advisory Meeting and the Oregon Rural Health Quality Network (ORHQN)
Salem Conference Center
Speakers include:

  • Steve Hirsch, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, Latest Changes to the Flex Program;
  • Linda Lang, Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems and Troy Soenen, ORH, How Best to Meet Your Community Needs Assessment;
  • Michael Curtis, the Neenan Company, Insights in Assessing Your Market Service Area;
  • Dr Ric Pardini, Mt View Hospital, Engaging Physicians in TeamSTEPPS;
  • Scott Griffith, Outcomes Engineering, Just Culture
Register Now

September 28 – October 1, 2010

NRHA RHC/CAH Conference in Kansas City, MO
Agenda and Registration

October 7, 2010

Leadership Lean Education & Organizational Planning
12.00 – 4.30 PM
Lunch Provided
Embassy Suites – Washington Square
9000 SW Washington Square Road
Tigard, OR 97223
To register, Call 503-644-4000
Who Should Attend: CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, Quality Directors, Patient Safety Officers, Performance/Process Improvement Specialists, Department Managers, Medical Directors, and other staff members are welcome.

October 20-22, 2010

The 2nd ORHQN TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer Workshop
Ameritel Inn, Old Mill District, Bend Oregon

Top national trainers, Katherine Jones, PT, PhD from Nebraska and Oregon’s own Ric Pardini, MD from Madras.

11 Oregon Critical Access Hospitals participated in the first training. Learn from their experiences and become a Master Trainer for your hospital. Funding for this workshop has been provided by the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET).

Want to apply? Then please review the Pre-Training Toolkit

All applications are due September 1st, 2010

November 11-12, 2010

Swing Bed Video Conference Workshop
Details will follow soon
Join this seminar to examine all aspects of swing-bed methodology, utilization and program improvement. Participants will learn valuable lessons about documenting outcomes and promoting this service.

CDC National Healthcare Safety Network Training