CareOregon SPIRIT
Articles FYI Very Useful Websites Archive

What’s happening at Columbia Pacific CCO

If Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization was a baby, it would be time for its 10-month well-child check-up.

Columbia Pacific CCO is one of CareOregon’s wholly owned companies, along with Jackson Care Connect and Primary Health of Josephine County. Incorporated last summer, Columbia Pacific opened its doors to new members on Sept. 1.

The Gaskins Family, Astoria, Oregon
Kathy Gaskins (third from right) is raising her five
grandchildren in rural Oregon — each with
various health care needs — including Teo, (left)
who has diabetes. Kathy knows better than
anyone how important it is to expand health care
access throughout the state. "It's a lifesaver ...
We finally, after all these years, have the
same doctor for all of them," says Kathy.

We’ve had a good growth spurt – growing from a little over 7,000 members to almost 15,000 Oregon Health Plan members today. They live in Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties and in the coastal region of Douglas County region around Reedsport. At this point in our young life, we are healthy, learning and growing right on schedule.

Columbia Pacific has a Community Advisory Council in each of the counties it serves, as mandated by law. The CACs help ensure that OHP members and their families have a voice in how their CCO can improve their health, and the health of their community. We also have a Clinical Advisory Panel that includes clinicians from across the CCO service area, including physicians and mental health providers, as well as a nurse, a pharmacist, a nurse practitioner and a dentist.

The CACs have local leaders and members, and each is supported by Nancy Knopf. Nancy joined CareOregon in early May. Her background is as a licensed clinical social worker who helped individuals with chronic physical and mental illness. She is dedicated to ensuring that consumer voices are well represented in the development of the CCO’s community health improvement plan. That work is under way, and each of the four counties is at the phase of collecting existing data about community health needs. Columbia Pacific will need to submit a final improvement plan to the state in June 2014.

The Clinical Advisory Panel is chaired by Dr. Bruin Rugge, medical director of the OHSU Scappoose Family Medicine Clinic. The clinic is the largest primary care clinic in the CCO’s service area, with more than 3,000 CCO members. The Clinical Advisory Panel has identified several priority areas for improvement over the next year across the CCO, including achieving necessary improvements in clinical measures of quality, reducing the prescribing of and dependence on opiates, improving timeliness of prenatal care (including screenings for depression and substance use), and ensuring that infants and toddlers receive appropriate screening and referral for developmental delay. Several CareOregon staff are actively supporting the Columbia Pacific CAP success, including Dr. Amit Shah, Dr. Jim Slater, Joclyn Tosch, Nazer Frias and Pam Zollman.

In addition, CareOregon has sponsored a Care Support and System Innovation (CSSI)-type grant program for seven Columbia Pacific clinics involved in a CCO-specific primary care learning collaborative, called PC3. Led by Mindy Stadtlander and Casey Grabenstein, the PC3 collaborative is helping clinics in all four counties develop population management strategies and share learnings over the next year. The clinics are supported in their work by one-time grants from CareOregon.

For more information, please get in touch with Mimi at