First, the four work groups convened by Governor [John] Kitzhaber to provide input on health transformation and the creation of Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) have begun to meet. The meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged via e-mail and online survey. I encourage you to learn more about the work groups and make your voice heard by visiting www.health.oregon.gov. It is very important that the voices of Oregon’s addictions and mental health community are heard in this process.
As you may know, in addition to our work on health system transformation, Addictions and Mental Health Division [the state agency which manages contracts with counties and private vendors for mental health and addictions providers] has undertaken a system change effort to bring better outcomes and greater flexibility and accountability to publicly-funded mental health and addictions services that are outside of the Oregon Health Plan. As part of that effort, a design advisory group of partners and stakeholders is meeting from August through early October to gather input and feedback on how to best provide the non-OHP mental health and addictions services through the state-county partnership. The meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged via e-mail and online survey. I urge you to learn more by visiting our web site at www.oregon.gov/oha/mentalhealth/systemchange/.
Finally, in the coming weeks, the Oregon Health Authority will sponsor several community meetings across the state chaired by executive staff from the Governor’s office and Oregon Health Authority. These public meetings will be an important opportunity for addictions and mental health stakeholders to learn about health system transformation and discuss local needs and expectations for health reform. Look for announcements by e-mail and at www.health.oregon.gov.
Richard L. Harris, Director
Addictions and Mental Health Division
Oregon Health Authority
500 Summer St NE E-86
Salem, OR 97301-1118