SPIRIT A CareOregon eNewsletter
  May 2012   2012 Vol. 3
Teo Simmons
CareOregon member
Teo Simmons
Teo Simmons, Photographer

Our member Teo Simmons is 15 years old. He lives with his grandmother, Kathy Gaskins, his four sisters, 16 miniature horses, two geese, three dogs, five puppies and assorted stray kittens at the family farm north of Astoria. Teo's job on the farm is to take care of the horses and the geese.

I met Teo and his family last year when Jerry Rhodes, filmmaker Emily Jameson and I visited the family as part of our storytelling and photography project. Teo stayed close by throughout the day as I hiked around the farm with my camera in hand and it became clear that he was interested in photography. One of his favorite things to do is to take long walks into the woods clearing a path as he goes to take photographs of the natural beauty around him.

Read more and view Teo's photographs.

Margie Rowland in Africa
Margie Rowland, MD in Africa
An African SafariQ. Margie, I understand you went on an African safari.  Please share with us the process of planning the trip; when did you go, how long were you gone and specifically what part of Africa did you visit? 

A. We spent lots of time on-line and talking to people who had gone to Africa.  We were there for about three weeks in December – the beginning of their summer which means also the beginning of their rainy season.  That was both good and bad – the animals no longer all clustered around rivers and lakes because water was more widely accessible.  But the landscape was beautifully lush (or as lush as the African bush gets – it’s mostly desert) and it was warm. 

Amazing rain storms came through but really did not adversely impact our ability to be out and about.  One negative of the rain was that weather made flying difficult – one small dirt airstrip was closed because it was too muddy and, therefore, unsafe.  Bus rides between national parks got long.

Read more ...

Philip Miller, MD
Philip Miller, MD with patient Howard Lee Smith
and his mother
CCO Update
Health care reform

“What are CCOs? What do they mean for my family’s health care?”

Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) are in the news a lot lately. Under a new state law, beginning this summer, CareOregon members and others on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) will be served by a new kind of health plan called a CCO.

The most important thing to know is that most CareOregon members won’t see many changes right away. With the new CCOs, members keep the same doctors, specialists and clinics. Their benefits stay the same. And for now, they’ll still be served by CareOregon’s member and support services.

So what is different? In each community, one or more CCOs will serve as the umbrella for various provider groups, hospitals, health plans and agencies all working together to serve OHP members. (For example, in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, CareOregon is joined by the county health departments, Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health & Services, Legacy Health, Tuality Healthcare, Adventist Health, OHSU, Central City Concern, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon Medical Association and others in a single CCO called the Tri-County Medicaid Collaborative.) By joining forces, we can better meet members' needs and work cooperatively across different organizations.

Read more ...

Julia Pirani
Julia Pirani
I am a CASA

I am a CASA; a Court Appointed Special Advocate who supports a child or children who enter into the social services system as victims of abuse or neglect.  Many of these children struggle with complex mental and social issues.  The role of the CASA is to gather information, work with attorneys, case workers and DHS to help support the best interests of the child involved.

Approximately a year and a half ago, I became aware of the CASA organization.  At the time I had been unemployed for an extended period of time and had been researching a number of volunteer opportunities and felt that the work of CASAs supported a worthy cause and I would be able to positively impact someone’s life.
Read more ...

Rose CoxMeet Rose Cox, Public Policy

Rose Cox joined us recently as our Senior Manager of State and Federal Regulatory Affairs.

"I am excited to be working in an organization that is a leader in innovative and person-centric care.  I am passionate about delivering the best services to all because health care is a human right."

Q. Could you please share with us a little about your background and what led you to your position at CareOregon?

A. I am originally from Tennessee. I grew up in Memphis and worked in Nashville (the state capitol) for about a dozen years.  I have been a lobbyist/government consultant since the mid-1990s and started doing health care policy through TennCare in 2001.  The Oregon Health Plan was the first Medicaid waiver program, and TennCare was one of the first few after OHP.  They based a lot of their waiver plan on the Oregon model.
Read more ...

Chicken TuscanyWhat's Cookin'?
Chicken Tuscany

Try this delicious and healthy recipe tested and recommended by Eleanor — and Jerry Rhodes has put it to the Weight Watchers points test.

Read recipe ...


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