All across Oregon, families and friends will come together this week to celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a good time to reflect on the year and consider the things for which we are thankful.
The first thing that comes to mind for me is that this year, so many more of our neighbors will have the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance coverage. Today, 95 percent of Oregonians have coverage, many for the first time. And the more than one million who receive coverage through the Oregon Health Plan will benefit from a system of coordinated care that is designed to help people get and stay healthy.
I am thankful for the thoughtful rollout of unprecedented investments in community mental health services across our state. This year, stakeholders came together in a series of seven "town hall" events to design a behavioral health strategic plan. The plan will build a local behavioral health system that promotes equity; supports prevention, recovery, independence and resilience; and ensures access to a full spectrum of behavioral health services at the local level.
I am also thankful that our public health system has gathered partners and resources to prepare for the unlikely event of an Ebola case in Oregon. We can feel secure in the knowledge that we know what to do to protect the health of the patient, as well as the public, in the face of a dangerous disease.
Finally, I am grateful, as always, that I work among so many smart, caring individuals who are committed to our vision of a healthy Oregon. Thank you for all that you do.
Have a safe and happy holiday.