May 2012 Newsletter


29th Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference & 4th Annual Apple A Day Dinner and Auction

October 24 - 26, 2012 at Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, Gleneden Beach

May 20-26 is National EMS Week 2012

Celebrate the EMTs and First Responders in your community! We depend on them to be there for us, take this time to celebrate and thank them. Need any ideas?

Nominate your 2012 Hero of the Year!

It is never too early to choose your hero! Every year, the Office of Rural Health awards the Oregon Rural Health Hero of the Year Award to someone who has made an impact on health care in rural Oregon. It can be a provider, a teacher, a local leader, activist, provider group or volunteer.

NOSORH Grant Writing Institute

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) will start its second round of grant writing classes in June 2012. With the assistance of Kassie Clark, a former Oregon Office of Rural Health staff, NOSORH has designed this institute specifically with the needs of community leaders and rural health partners in mind. In addition to offering basic grant writing skills, the institute will give participants a greater understanding of rural health issues and the resources available to address those concerns. The institute also encourages participants to share this information with other stakeholders, thereby increasing the capacity and visibility of SORHs and their partners. Registration ends June 20, 2012.

Morrow County Chip—Connecting a Community

 Biggest Winner Heppner Participants

By Andrea Fletcher, MPH, Coordinator

Morrow County CHIP is an alliance between health care providers and the community designed to developed and implement strategies that will improve the local health care system and health status of area residents. “Health improvement is both an individual and health system activity“, says Andrea Fletcher, Morrow County CHIP Coordinator. “We are determined to bring those two points together and make Morrow County a healthier place.

Our vision for CHIP is to help create a more healthful Morrow County by working collaboratively through active community participation to develop local innovations to strengthen and sustain our health care system, promote health and wellness, facilitate communication and coordination between health care providers and advance community outreach efforts,” says Fletcher. Two great programs developed by the MCCHIP are the Biggest Winner and the Work on Wellness program.

For twelve weeks, Morrow County residents were challenged to participate in a weight loss competition and healthy lifestyle program called the Biggest Winner. Three hundred and nineteen people registered. The range of body mass index measurements at the inception of the program ranged from 22 to 54, with an average of 36. At the conclusion of the program, participants in Boardman, Heppner/Lexington, Irrigon and Ione lost over one ton (2,614 pounds) of body weight! Top winners earned cash prizes totaling $3,600.00 by losing the greatest percentage of body weight in their respective community’s competition.

One participant expressed, “Our whole family made changes to our life, cooking, eating and exercising.” Another stated, “I thought it was a great program. I came away with lots of good hints and ideas and a better feeling about myself.” A third indicated, “When the weather is moderate we can walk outside, but Morrow County really needs places that people can access to be active in a safe and accessible environment, especially for our older adult population.”

The availability of recreational facilities can influence individuals’ and communities’ choices to engage in physical activity. Access to places for active physical fitness conditioning or recreational sports activities is associated with higher physical activity levels, which in turn is associated with lower rates of adverse health outcomes associated with poor diet, lack of physical activity, and obesity. Conversations have been occurring in the communities to identify space and create a plan to ensure that affordable, accessible and safe environments are available to give people more opportunity to increase their physical activity levels.

MCCHIP would like to acknowledge the contributions made to the program and thank local restaurants and grocers that supported healthier eating choices, individuals and volunteers who promoted physical activities and instructors that provided fitness classes, the Morrow County Health District and Columbia River Community Health Services for donating lab services and the Oregon Office of Rural Health for CHIP grant support.

A significant portion of the county population is affected by, or at risk for developing chronic disease, which was determined by examining data and information collected in the county-wide health needs assessment. Because health behaviors that contribute to the development of many chronic diseases include obesity, inactivity and tobacco use, the intent of the program was to encourage healthy lifestyle changes in those areas. The MCCHIP, a partnership of community members and health, human and public service organizations, initiated the Biggest Winner program to increase awareness and educate the community about these local health issues.

In addition to the Biggest Winner, MCCHIP hosted “Work on Wellness” sessions in Heppner and Boardman with local businesses to examine the health needs identified for Morrow County, opportunities for businesses to affect the health of the community and options for worksites interested in developing wellness programs to encourage healthy employees and reduce health care costs.

Andrea Fletcher opened the session with a presentation of information about the health needs of Morrow County, how the social and physical environment people live, work and play in (livability of a community) affects well-being, and how a community working together can advance the quality of life for individuals through thoughtfully planned and coordinated programs and services coupled with a supportive environment.

Jan Noland, Citycounty Insurance Services, presented a summary of what influences health care insurance premium costs, how modifying the lifestyle factors that contribute to the development of chronic disease (overweight/obesity, tobacco use and physical activity) can address the future decline of health status for individuals and decrease health related costs.

Dawn Robbins, Oregon Health Authority Wellness@Work Program, navigated https://dwp1.dhs.oregon.gov/WellnessAtWork/, a web-based tool with free resources available to businesses both large and small, to gauge the business’ health environment, learn about assessing employee interests, needs and health risks and generate ideas for workplace activities or programs to support employee wellness.

Tricia Rollins, Bank of Eastern Oregon; Marcia Kemp, United States Forrest Service, Heppner Ranger District; Roz Pedro, Conagra Foods Lamb Weston; and Karen Kegler, Boardman Foods, Inc. described their organization’s philosophy about healthy employees, incentives, programs and physical environment that prompted them to institute worksite wellness initiatives.

Work on Wellness was funded by the Northwest Health Foundation and supported by CHIP, Columbia River Community Health Services, Morrow County Public Health Department and Commission on Children and Families, Community Counseling Solutions, Morrow County Health District, Heppner and Boardman Chamber of Commerce, Dale Bates and CenturyLink.

We encourage you to visit us online if you are interested in improving your health or the wellness of Morrow County!

CCO Applications and Public Presentations

Fourteen entities submitted CCO technical applications by the April 30, 2012 deadline. These applications are the first step in becoming a local Coordinated Care Organization (CCO). The first round of CCOs will be up and running by August 1, 2012. If certified, the proposed CCOs would cover more than 90 percent of Oregon Health Plan Clients.

Organizations that submit an application to become Coordinated Care Organizations will be holding public presentations in the communities they applied to serve. Get involved, learn more and share your feedback. These presentations are designed so that CCO applicants can receive input from interested community members about their application.

The calendar of scheduled presentations by CCO applicants includes information supplied to OHA; the calendar is updated as information is provided.

Medicaid's Pivotal Role in Leading Oregon's Health Care Transformation

As the CEOs of the largest health insurers in their states, Medicaid directors are positioned to influence the delivery of higher-quality, more cost-effective services across the health care system. This profile details Oregon’s innovative health care transformation process and the critical role of the state’s Medicaid director Judy Mohr Peterson in the statewide restructuring. It also describes the Medicaid Leadership Institute, a unique fellowship program designed to enhance the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors to maximize the potential of publicly-financed health care.

Providence Seaside Hospital honored

The Seaside Signal reports that Providence Seaside Hospital’s Extended Care Unit has received national attention and topped it off with a perfect score.

The unit has been named to the 2012 Honor Roll in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Nursing Homes. U.S. News recognizes top-rated facilities in all 50 states, and only one nursing home out of 400 is able to meet the honor roll’s standards.

Congratulations to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital (Lincoln City) and La Clinica del Carino (Hood River) for winning Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program grants! These grants support projects that demonstrate creative or effective models of outreach and service delivery in rural communities.

Oregon Senators Support Rural Funding

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined a bipartisan group of 24 senators who sent a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services announcing their support for rural health programs.

AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program Cancer Materials

Cancer continues to be a critical issue in healthcare, as current trends predict that one in two men and women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Healthcare professionals and patients need to know the treatment options that are available to them and the bottom-line facts on which treatments may help or harm.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program makes it easy to find evidence-based research that helps health professionals work together with their patients to compare cancer treatment options. Resources include consumer and clinician summaries comparing treatment options for breast, prostate, and head and neck cancers.

These materials are the latest in a growing library of research reviews, free, plain-language, English and Spanish summaries and continuing education activities produced by AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program, a leading Federal effort to compare treatments for health conditions and make findings public.