The CareOregon SPIRIT - A newsletter for and by the employees of CareOregon
Our member, McKensi Payne, shares her story
McKensi has been a CareOregon member since January 2004. She was diagnosed with leukemia at age three.

My Story
McKensi Payne
My name is McKensi Payne. I’m 12 years old and I go to Da Vinci Arts Middle School, which is an arts magnet school in Portland, Oregon. It provides dance, drama, photography and visual art, most of which I have attended the past couple years. The teachers and students there are all very friendly.  I hope to be doing my capstone project in either visual art or drama.

I also enjoy writing but I do most of that out of school for entertainment. I like making up different characters and mostly writing in comic book form rather than a normal book. In 2007 I did a zine called "Hotdiggitydog." People bought the zine and the money was donated to a family in Niger, Africa, to buy a goat. We donated two goats before I became too busy with school to go on with it.
More about my leukemia. When I was first diagnosed I was only three, so I don’t really remember being scared the first time we found out. I didn’t even know what it meant.

Read McKensi's story ...

What does a loss of $733 million mean to the state budget of Oregon?

Tax increases to fund schools and human services tend to be very personal questions that are debated in a very public campaign and voted on.   That is the Oregon way. 

In the first week of January Oregonians will get ballots in the mail due by January 26th.  We would never presume to tell employees how to vote. That is a very personal decision and totally up to you. However, we do want you to know what impact the election will have on CareOregon and our members.

The result of this election will directly impact the state budget and consequently the revenue for Oregon Health Plan, the quality and scope of services available to our members and CareOregon’s budget.  For our members and the people who work here it is hard not to look at this personally.
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Emily KatzLegislative Update
Direct from our Washington, DC Office

Health care reform remains at center stage in Washington, D.C.  Members of Congress are poised to enact sweeping insurance reform legislation and Medicaid expansion in the coming weeks.

Over the past several months we have seen five committees work on separate health care bills, and now five bills have become two — one bill in the House, one bill in the Senate.  The House recently passed their bill, H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009" by a vote of 220 to 215.  A vote is expected at any time on the Senate bill, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," which was just released to the public on November 18th (links to the House and Senate bill summaries are below).
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Children’s Access Summit begins planning route
toward better health in Metro counties

But will that be enough?

In Portland, health care advocates gathered Oct. 13 to discuss the issue of access to health care for children in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.

The event was organized by Children First for Oregon, Oregon Health Action Campaign, Oregon Nurses Association, the State Office of Family Health, Oregon Pediatric Society, Oregon Primary Care Association, Oregon School-Based Health Care Network and CareOregon.

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Healthy Living

I have lost a total of 42 pounds on the Weight Watchers at Work program.  To stay motivated I think about how far I have come and how far I want to go.  I think about this on a daily basis.  The key factor that has helped me to stay on track and lose weight is that I am feeling wonderful and more beautiful.
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  We welcome ...
Barbara Kohnen Adriance, Corporate

Barbara joined us in October as our Manager for Governance & Business Plan Development in our Corporate Offices. Please stop by Barbara's office on the 11th floor to welcome her.

My childhood ambition: 
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Lorinda Koller reviews the book "Three Cups of Tea"A Good Read

This book mirrors CareOregon’s philosophy of providing access to care for a vulnerable population.

Greg Mortenson, the author of "Three Cups of Tea," explains its title; “With 3 cups of tea … the first cup you’re a stranger, second cup a friend, and the third cup you become family. That doesn’t mean you just go around drinking tea, having peace in the world. But what it means is that first we have to build relationships and get to know each other.”  Greg Mortenson understands this firsthand, having worked among the desperately poor people of the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan for 13 years.
Read more ...

In This Issue
A Good Read ... a book review by Lorinda Koller
Calendar of Events
A Earth-friendly Workplace
Featured Articles
For your information
Gallery - Images from Alaska by Sharon Madara
Healthy Living
Legislative Update
Service Anniversaries
Volunteer Opportunities
What's Cookin'? at CareOregon!
S P I R I T  Archive - Past Issues
We congratulate and thank , for her 12 years of service with CareOregon.

Julie reflects on her 12 years with CareOregon
"Wow, 12 years. A baker’s dozen if you count the year I worked as a temp before I was officially hired. I’ve probably had at least that many team names/job titles here though my job has been the same. My favorite times were when I used to visit our members turning 100 years old (and over!) and do birthday celebrations for them. Someone from Communications would come with me and write a story about the member. We called it 'Chicken Soup for the CareOregon Soul.' One of my favorite members was ‘'Pinochle Sal,' who was 102 and 'Happy Gladys' who was 103, both young at heart!"
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We thank this year's United Way Team

They pulled everything together in a relatively short timeframe, in between packed work schedules, family demands, and the challenges of everyday life.  They did it because they believe that working together makes things better for everyone, and because helping others just seems like the right thing to do. — Lorinda Koller

A Cruise to Alaska

In September, my husband, Ted, and I cruised to Alaska for seven days ...

Here are a few of the tidbits learned from the naturalist on board the ship and from our guide Richard during our photo safari.

Overall I learned so much more that relayed here about Alaska; its geographic history and the reasons behind its settlement by “outsiders”.  I was also privileged to see some of the most inspiring scenery I have viewed in a long time.
Read more ...

Sharon has shared some of her favorite photos of her Alaskan adventure with us.

Take a look ...

Advance information about the bargains to be offered the day after Thanksgiving.
Free word games that make a difference
Sponsors donate a small charitable contribution for each correct answer you provide.

Please Note:
Community Warehouse

3969 NE MLK Jr. Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
(503) 235-8786

The SPIRIT Archive - Past Issues
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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.