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OHA distributes public health modernization funds to regional partnerships

February 22, 2018

$3.9 million going to projects focused on communicable disease prevention and health equity

The Oregon Health Authority’s distribution of $3.9 million from the state Legislature’s public health modernization investment is supporting communicable disease prevention and health equity projects in eight regions around the state.

The funds, from the Legislature’s $5 million allocation for public health modernization in 2017, support the demonstration of new models of public health programs considered among the foundation of essential services for every community to protect and promote health.

The $3.9 million for the eight regional partnerships, which cover 34 of 36 Oregon counties, will help local public health authorities develop new systems for communicable disease control, emphasizing strategies to eliminate communicable disease-related health disparities. This investment will support progress toward reducing sexually transmitted infections, preventing the spread of tuberculosis, improving vaccination rates, and protecting vulnerable communities from diseases like norovirus.

Lillian Shirley, director of the OHA Public Health Division, said distribution of the public health modernization funds represents a major first step toward realizing the modernization initiative’s goals of providing core public health functions and maintaining flexibility to meet new health challenges in every area of the state.

“These new projects will give us our first taste of a truly modernized public health system in Oregon with its focus on innovative approaches for controlling communicable diseases,” Shirley said.

The regional projects being funded through June 2019 are:

  • Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties—Identify sexually transmitted disease risks in the region and develop plans to reduce transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties; St. Charles Health System; Central Oregon Health Council—Prevent the spread of communicable diseases in long-term care facilities and improve immunization rates among 2-year-old children.
  • Douglas, Coos and Curry counties; Coquille and Cow Creek tribes; Western Oregon Advanced Health Coordinated Care Organization (CCO)—Improve immunization rates among 2-year-old children.
  • Jackson and Klamath counties; Southern Oregon Regional Health Equity Coalition; Klamath Regional Health Equity Coalition—Reduce sexually transmitted diseases and hepatitis C, and improve vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Lane, Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties; Oregon State University—Improve hepatitis A, HPV, and pneumococcal vaccination rates.
  • Marion and Polk counties; Willamette Valley Community Health CCO—Decrease the spread of gonorrhea and chlamydia and increase HPV immunization rates.
  • North Central Public Health District; Baker, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler counties; Eastern Oregon CCO; Mid-Columbia Health Advocates—Decrease the spread of gonorrhea.
  • Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties; Oregon Health Equity Alliance—Create culturally appropriate communicable disease control strategies to control the spread of hepatitis and tuberculosis.

The full list of the partnerships and their projects can be found on the project's web page.

Cara Biddlecom, director of policy and partnerships at the OHA Public Health Division, said the remainder of the modernization funds will support state-level work with the regional partnerships. It also will enhance collection and reporting of population health data and enhance functionality of an important public health data system, the ALERT Immunization Information System.

For more information, visit the OHA Public Health Modernization website.

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 Media contact

Jonathan Modie

OHA External Relations

971-246-9139

phd.communications@state.or.us

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