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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter August 2023

Update From The CEO

Greetings, providers,

I hope your summer is going well, and you’re staying cool as we approach September. Please join me in acknowledging Labor Day, Recovery Month, and Suicide Prevention/Awareness Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month.

The dust is settling from the latest Oregon Legislative Session. Among the outcomes are exciting developments in behavioral health funding. Recently, Gov. Tina Kotek met with CEOs of the Oregon CCOs and asked them to make a collective investment of $25 million into behavioral health. EOCCO represented approximately $1.5 million of this total pool. CCOs are now developing the investment recommendations to go to the Governor for projects with statewide impact that will increase access to care.

Ari Wagner, Karen Wheeler, Commissioner James Williams, Lourdes Reyna standing in front of a Lake County Oregon sign

(Left to right: Ari Wagner, Me, Commissioner James Williams, Lourdes Reyna)

I had the pleasure of visiting partners in Lake County this month. Our visiting group from GOBHI included myself, Ari Basil-Wagner, and members of the field team: Lourdes Reyna, John Lucero, and Marci McMurphy. We presented at the Local Community Health Partnership (LCHP) meeting and had dinner with county commissioners; we met with various local, state and congressional leaders on the trip. We were honored to be invited to a pre-town hall meeting with Congressman Cliff Bentz on Wednesday morning and had coffee with the local District Attorney, Ted Martin. It was an inspiring experience and an opportunity to connect with the community.

In closing, thank you for your steadfast efforts and commitment to serving the behavioral health and social service needs of community members in Eastern Oregon.


Karen Wheeler, MA CEO, GOBHI / Behavioral Health Director and Tribal Liaison, EOCCO


Recovery Month

Wherever you are, you can find recovery help and support. National Recovery month.

Graphic by Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The month of September is designated as National Recovery Month with a focus on educating and celebrating the many rewards recovery has to offer. It is a time to come together and reflect on not only this issue, but also the positive and affirming message that recovery is both possible and attainable.

Consider sharing a few of these helpful links our staff shared in relation to Recovery Month.

  • Recovery Resource Center: Website by the organization Partnership to End Addiction. It includes prevention resources and more.

  • Social Media Toolkit: Provided by Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this page is a one-stop shop of outreach and awareness products. Consider sharing on your organization’s social media platforms.

  • Sobriety Dance (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation): The Láwtiwaama Sobriety Friendship Dance is coming up Sept. 13. It will be at Roy Raley Park, next to the Pendleton Round-Up stadium. Hosted by Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center.

  • Recovery Walk: Save the date and register for the Oregon Recovers and Center for Human Development recovery walk on Oct. 7.

Additionally, Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 31. Observed annually, this is a campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of family and friends left behind. Visit this webpage for more information and social media tools.


Fall provider trainings

GOBHI will be providing a series of fall trainings for the provider network. These are important learning opportunities for behavioral health professionals throughout the region. More information will be posted at the registration webpages below. Stay tuned for information about CEUs and other details.

Upcoming trainings list:


Spanish-English interpreter trainings

EOCCO has partnered with Oregon State University (OSU) to put on a Spanish-English Health Care Interpreter training program. This is an 8 week/64-hour course that requires online and in person coursework. In person sessions will take place at the OSU extension center in Hermiston (exact dates available on request). The course will teach students about interpreting in a medical setting and prepare them to become an Oregon qualified or certified interpreter. EOCCO is offering scholarships on a first come first served basis to students who live and work in the EOCCO service area. Applications must be submitted by 9/13 to be considered.


  • Students must demonstrate proficiency in English and Spanish. This can be done by 1.) providing a copy of a diploma or GED or 2.) taking a proficiency test. One proficiency test is covered as part of the scholarship. The student must provide documentation for the other language. Please note that if a student does not pass a proficiency test, they will not be enrolled in the course.

  • If the student is completing the course as part of their work duties, they will need to provide a letter of support from their manager or leadership. Please note that this course requires about 8 hours of coursework each week and we strongly recommend allowing students time during the week to work on assignments.

Informational Webinar

Join us, Thursday August 31st form 12pm – 1pm PST for a discussion on the OSU Spanish-English Health Care Interpreter training program. This training will cover how the course is structured, what skills will be taught, prerequisites, what is needed to apply for a scholarship. We welcome anyone who is considering the program to attend. Register here: FREE WEBINAR: Spanish English Health Care Interpreter Training - August 2023 (

If you have any questions, you can contact


Network Development funds

REMINDER: For GOBHI Network Development Request for Proposals (RFPs), the submission deadline for proposals is 9/30/23.

GOBHI has dedicated funds to further the goal of expanding its behavioral health provider network in the EOCCO region. GOBHI welcomes proposals that will address one or more of the following areas related to network expansion.

For eligibility and application information, visit the GOBHI funding opportunities webpage for more information.

Upcoming dates:

● September 30, 2023: RFP Closure Date - Final Deadline for All Submissions.

● January 1, 2024: RFP Awardees Project Start Deadline


Older adult BH news

Did you know? GOBHI has a team dedicated to serving older adults. One important service is trainings for providers and the broader community.


The Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative offers a variety of educational modules to support community agencies in meeting the unique needs of this growing population. You can find a full list of training topics and contact information on our webpage.



SUD Waiver reminder

Background: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Oregon’s Substance Use Disorder 1115 Demonstration waiver, effective April 8, 2021, through March 31, 2026. This SUD specific waiver helps build a full continuum of care for Medicaid members with substance use disorders. The following is part of a series of updates from GOBHI helping to keep you informed about the waiver and its related requirements.

  • As of Jan. 1, 2022 OHA has opened up several new SUD reimbursement codes. Providers can bill for these new rates and services for dates on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

  • Please refer to the CMS approval letter.

For more information, visit our SUD 1115 Waiver Website, which is updated on an ongoing basis. For questions, contact Michelle Brandsma at GOBHI,


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 flier or contact a member of our Foster Care Team.


Questions? Topics?

Invitation: County Highlights

This newsletter is published during the last week of each month.

Have information to share? 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:

Horses grazing in a field in Umatilla County


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