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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter August 2022

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Update From The CEO

Greetings, providers.

Happy August to you all! I’ve been enjoying the blue skies and warm evenings. Most recently, I had the opportunity to join the Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center’s golf scholarship scramble at the Birch Creek Golf Course near Pendleton. It feels fulfilling to have in-person opportunities like this again, and the GOBHI team was grateful to be part of this effort supporting Yellowhawk’s scholarship fund.

September is Recovery Month as well as Suicide Prevention Month. A number of events are planned to honor these important topics and build awareness. We look forward to sponsoring, promoting and participating in these events to demonstrate our support for communities in our service area and help raise awareness.

This month’s edition includes an article from Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness and a link to a calendar of their suicide prevention events, a call for NEMT volunteer drivers, updated resources for providers regarding Oregon’s 1115 SUD Waiver, and information on therapeutic foster care.

In closing, thank you for your hard work and dedication to serving Eastern Oregon’s vulnerable and priority populations. I look forward to addressing the needs of our community members alongside you, now and in the months ahead.


Karen Wheeler, MA CEO, GOBHI / Tribal Liaison, EOCCO


Suicide Prevention Update - Wallowa Co.

*The following is an article by Wallowa Valley Center for Wellness. For more updates on upcoming events and initiatives hosted by WVCW centered around suicide prevention, please visit the their webpage.

Why I Give



1. What about WVCW’s mission excites you and/or what made you decide to join our Board of Directors?

I strive to live according to my values and one of my big ones is a concept called right livelihood. This refers to how we view work, the type of work we do and the attitudes we hold around it. It's a daily practice to see work as a desire to contribute meaningfully to your community and that's exactly what I see happening at WVCW, so that excites me!

2. What is the value that you see in 2022 and 2023’s focus on suicide prevention education and outreach?

I grew up in Wallowa County and while I experienced a lot of challenges around things like poverty, family violence and abuse, substance use, and mental health issues, the unique spirit and support of this community made a big difference for me personally. I learned a lot of lessons about integrity, work ethic, reputation, and most importantly the strength it takes to reach out and ask for help (and how many folks are just waiting to help!).

I was a young person in Wallowa County when suicide first touched my life and regrettably over the years, I have lost several dear friends to suicide. In each of these losses, I have found my way back to hope. And I think that is the other really special thing that WVCW does. The people and the programs at WVCW highlight and illuminate that hope in a way that works for each individual that reaches out for help.

Melyssa (Mel) Sharp joined WVCW's Board of Directors in February of 2022. She grew up in Wallowa County, attending school in Enterprise before residing in Central Oregon and Portland and finally returning to the county with her husband, David, in 2020. Mel has career experience leading sales and marketing teams around international commercial agriculture and in non-profit direct service including working in a DV/SA shelter in Central Oregon. She is passionate about social and restorative justice, preventative education and language & supporting transformational change and healthy communities.


NEMT volunteer drivers needed

The GOBHI Non-Emergent Medical Transportation (NEMT) team is seeking new volunteer drivers in Eastern Oregon. We have launched a webpage to host information and resources for these volunteers.

GOBHI operates the NEMT service on behalf of EOCCO. Volunteer drivers play an important role in meeting the needs of Oregon Health Plan members. Also, volunteer driving is a great way to help your community while traveling through Oregon's breathtaking scenery!

Please visit the webpage for helpful information you can share with your partners and the general public.


SUD Waiver resource page

You can find updates and resources concerning the Oregon SUD 1115 Demonstration Waiver at our new webpage.

For a list of codes, please see the attachment under “Resources.”


Oregon received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a new five-year Medicaid 1115 Demonstration waiver to help build a full continuum of care for Medicaid members with substance use disorders. The vision for this waiver is for Oregon to offer a “full continuum of care that supports all aspects of substance use status, including positive-health - supporting freedom from substance misuse, and supporting recovery."

  • In 2022, Oregon began receiving federal match for individuals receiving services in a residential facility with greater than 16 beds. Previously this was not allowed due to federal regulations known as the Institution for Mental Disease, or “IMD", Exclusion.

  • As of January, 2022, housing and employment support services were added to the benefit package with corresponding billing/encounter codes.

  • Additionally, the following services and billing/encounter codes have been implemented: brief intervention, restorative case management, crisis intervention, skills restoration, and strategic rate increases.

  • In the near future, OHA will add American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) level of care to provider licensure and certification and training for culturally specific peer delivered service providers.


Program update - Foster Care

Foster homes for youth are greatly needed in Eastern Oregon!

The GOBHI Therapeutic Foster Care program provides full-time/part-time services and care to youth in foster homes with foster parents certified and trained by GOBHI. Youth are involved with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Welfare Division.

Please visit our website to learn more about the program and how you can help by sharing information, promoting the importance of foster care, and referring individuals who are able to support this critical effort.

Help us build a network of caring homes to support youth across our state. For more information about referral incentives and how you can support foster home recruitment efforts, see this flyer or contact a member of our Foster Care Team.

Questions? Topics?

Invitation: County Highlights

This newsletter is published on the last Monday of each month.

One of our ongoing sections is a “spotlight” of each county. Each month, we invite updates from the 12 counties in our service area. We invite content from you for this section: 3-4 sentences (or ~150-300 words) about news in your county, such as staff, building, and success story content. Please contact Patrick Mulvihill to sign up for one of the 12 months. Aside from sign-ups, we will reach out to you to help gather the content. Thank you for your support.

Submission due dates for comments and submitted write-ups: the second Friday of each month, at 4 p.m. Next due date is September 15.

Helpful Links:


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