DHS news release
April 28, 2006
Contact: Patricia Feeny (503) 945-6955
Program contact: Vic Todd (503) 945-5636
DHS schedules public forums on framing 2007-09 budget proposal
Bend will be the site May 8 for the first of a series of budget forums that Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) officials have scheduled to hear public input on development of the 2007-09 budget proposal.
The second session, a May 12 public video conference with DHS officials, is scheduled at sites in La Grande, Pendleton and Ontario. Subsequent discussions will occur in Salem on May 16, Eugene on May 22, Medford on May 23, Portland on May 25 and Newport on June 1.
"We want to hear what the public has to say about what more we should be doing as well as anything we could be doing more efficiently," said DHS Director Bruce Goldberg, M.D. "Instead of bringing proposals to consider, leaders of every DHS program area and I are coming to listen."
He said the meetings scheduled so far are:
May 8 meeting in Bend from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at DHS offices, 1300 N.W. Wall St.
May 12 video conference for La Grande, Pendleton and Ontario from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific time). The La Grande session will be at DHS offices, 1607 Gekeler Lane; Pendleton at DHS offices, 1555 Southgate Place; and Ontario at DHS offices at 186 East Lane (Hope room of suite 2). Participants will talk with DHS program leaders by videoconference, with a local manager at each site leading the discussion.
Details about sites and times in other locations will be announced as they are scheduled.
Following a brief overview of the agency and its budget, Goldberg said, participants in the Bend meeting will talk in smaller groups with leaders in five program areas:
Children Adults and Families, comprising child welfare, self-sufficiency, vocational rehabilitation and related areas.
Office of Medical Assistance Programs, comprising the Oregon Health Plan and Medicaid.
Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services, comprising mental health (including three state hospitals) and alcohol and drug prevention and treatment.
Public Health, comprising a host of programs such as communicable-disease prevention and control, safe drinking water, child and maternal health and emergency preparedness.
Seniors and People with Disabilities, comprising services to seniors and people with physical and developmental disabilities.
"We want to know where people believe the state can strengthen its investment in human services," Goldberg said. "Likewise, we want to know if there are ways to do this more efficiently."
DHS will make its recommendations to the governor, who in turn will deliver his 2007-09 budget proposal to the Legislature and the public on Dec. 1.