A newsletter for and by the staff of CareOregon

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Patrick Curren refuses to let recent surgery stop him from participating.
Learning the Ropes of Leadership
by Jeanie Lunsford, Communications
Have you ever gone to work suspended 30 feet in the air? Unless you are a circus acrobat, the answer is probably no. But that is exactly what 11 CareOregon staff members did recently.

Representatives from almost every department went to Whidbey Island for a four-day experiential learning designed to expand their sense of exploration and inquiry, and increase their ability to lead "on the edge."

For many, the high-light (no pun intended) was the day-long ropes course. Staff had to learn to coach, inspire and care for each other, while crossing ropes and wires suspended 30 feet above a forest floor.

Some of the class had to cope with severe vertigo, finding it a challenge just to scale the initial tree to land on a tiny platform in the sky.

Read more ...

Audrey Kuchen, NBC 5 and Fox 26 News Medford with Denise Johnson, CareOregon
Audrey Kuchen, Anchor, NBC 5 and Fox 26 News in Medford interviews Denise Johnson, CareOregon
Lights, Camera, Action ...
and nutrition

by Jerry Rhodes, Communications
Guards in the 10th floor hallways to prevent loud noises were the outwardly visible signs. A glimpse into the conference rooms showed more: television cameras, lights and boom mikes.

Something was different at CareOregon on the morning of June 24.

And we hope that something will be different in Southern Oregon because of CareOregon’s participation in the Smart Choices, Healthy Lives project with KOBI-TV and other participants.
Read more ...

Oregon Health Reformers Gather
to Learn from Swedish System

by Jeanie Lunsford, Communications
Göran Henriks and Sven Olof Karlsson,
from Jönköping, Sweden
As the health care reform conversation heats up, legislators, Oregon Health Fund Board members and other reformers recognize that this isn’t only a state issue—it is a global crisis. For that reason, a number of health care leaders and legislators convened at a Learning Summit sponsored by CareOregon on July 22, to talk with Sven Olof Karlsson and Göran Henriks, from Jönköping, Sweden. 

Sweden is known for having one of the best health systems in the world, and one of 21 county systems, is recognized as the best in the country. When tested against a variety of standards, Jönköping, has the best health outcomes and the lowest costs in Sweden.  How did they dramatically improve health care delivery, access and patient satisfaction? And are there lessons for Oregon?

Read more ...

Why did we embark on OPEX in the first place?
Fritz Rankin
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Executive Officer
CareOregon had just come through a remarkable time that included buying and refurbishing a new building, doubling in employee size, implementing a new claims system, bringing claims processing in-house, going into Medicare, and forming an insurance company subsidiary, any one of which would have been major ventures.  Because of deadlines driving us to impossibly short timelines, we were rather like troops moving through the forest with our machetes.  There was a lot of pain.  It was time to slow down and focus on elegance.  On quality.  On empowerment. 

But we needed collaboration to make our new integrated systems work, and we needed training to know how to change.  We adopted Deming’s theory of Profound Knowledge, which emphasized Accelerated Process Improvement, and trained many in how to do rapid PDSA (plan, do, study, act) cycles.
Read more ...

Casting for RecoveryCasting for Recovery
by Dee Dee Phillips
Medical Management

For women who have experienced the challenges and anguish of breast cancer, fly-fishing can seem like an activity to restore the spirit and soothe the soul. The gentle current of the stream, the fly line’s graceful arc through the air, and the tranquil natural setting all conspire to help put aside life’s challenges and simply enjoy the moment.
Read more ...

Jodie AltigA Personal Journey to Healthy Living
Jodie Altig, Utilization Management,
is interviewed by Eleanor Gorman, Communications
What motivated you to begin this journey to a new you?
I have always struggled with my weight.  I have topped the scale at 300 pounds.  This last winter I no longer could fit into my "fat clothes."  Everything was tight and uncomfortable.  I had to make a choice to either buy larger sizes or control my eating.  I decided to control my eating. I had to come to the realization that nobody was going to lose weight for me.  I had to do it for myself.  I had to take control and change my lifestyle and eating habits.
Read more ...

What are you doing this summer?
Karry Donnelly, Provider Services
For the past eight years I have been making the trip out to the Cougar, Washington area in order to climb Mount St. Helens with family and friends. You need a permit to climb past the tree line and up to the summit and our climbing party consists of about 30 people.
Read more ...

Lorinda with Leaning TowerSummer in Italy
By Lorinda Koller
Medical Management

Italy is a country with personality to spare.  It is big, beautiful, unruly, sociable, charming, quaint, modern, spirited, and full of contradictions.  It is the California of Europe.  We spent a wonderful two weeks there recently.

It seems the further south you go in Europe, the less people queue up in lines.  Italians like to walk boldly to the front of the line and thrust their money to the harassed clerk.  Sometimes they wait in line, but things may grind to a screeching halt while they hold a spirited family argument at the ticket window.
Read more ...

One Day in the Life ...
A Report from the Isle of Iona
by Claudia Lashley
Human Resources
Read more ...
Top of Page

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
Featured Articles
For your information
CareOregon Gallery
Healthy Living
April - June Service Anniversaries
Volunteer Opportunities
What's Cookin'? at CareOregon!
Who Cares? Archive - Past Issues

Race for the Cure
Save the Date
September 21, 2008
CareOregon will again have a Race for the Cure team and we would like to have even more participants than in the past.  It’s a lot of fun and it is amazing to be part of such a large group of individuals, all with the same goal. 

If you don't want to walk, there is always the Sleep-in for the Cure, where you can stay home but still show your support by being part of the team.

Sharon Hummert
Utilization Management

Happy 150th Anniversary Oregon!
You don't look a day
over 145 ...

On February 14th, 2009, Oregon is turning 150.

Did you know that you can buy a brick with a name laser engraved and become a part of the history and the downtown Portland
renewal project?

Learn more ...
Volunteer for Project Homeless Connect
Friday, August 22, 2008
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Portland Waterfront Park

Fun Picnic Suggestions

Head west on West Burnside Street. Turn right on NW Barnes Road. Turn right at NW Pittock Drive. Turn right to stay on NW Pittock Drive.  Grounds are free.  Spectacular view of Mt. Hood and the city.  No matter how hot it is on the street, there’s always a breeze here.

Crystal Springs
SE 28th and Woodstock
Find a shady bench. 
Talk to the geese and weird Muscovy duck. 

Not big enough for a picnic but still worth a visit,
is on the median at the corner of SW Naito Parkway and SW Taylor Street. At 452.16 square inches, Mill Ends Park is officially the smallest public park in the world.

Have an idea? Want to write an article? Contact us
is a newsletter for and by the employees of CareOregon.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual contributors and not necessarily those of the company.