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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter June 2023

Update From The CEO

Picture of Karen Wheeler, GOBHI CEO

Greetings, providers!

I hope you had an amazing June and are headed into a great start of July with the upcoming Independence Day holiday.

In June, we celebrate LGBTQIA2S+ Pride Month. This community is an important part of the history and social fabric of the United States. LGBTQIA2S+ people have always existed, and yet many of their human rights remain contested or fraught with access challenges. GOBHI supports the community, whether that be members of staff, colleagues, friends, loved ones, or strangers. We see you and stand in solidarity with you.

Additionally, June brought Father’s Day and the Juneteenth holiday. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated recognition of the ending of slavery in the United States. The teachings associated with this holiday are important not only on the 19th but all throughout the year.

This year’s legislative session brought significant investments in the behavioral health system. This merits close attention for our region as well. Please take a look at the legislative session of this newsletter.

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 / Tribal Liaison, EOCCO


State budget update

The 2023-2025 Behavioral Health Budget framework builds from the $1.3 billion down payment the legislature made in the 2021-2022 biennium.

The investments include:

  • $2.6 million for recovery schools (House Bill 2767)

  • $37.1 million for Oregon Health Authority programming (SB 5525), including:

    • $15 million for construction of additional substance use disorder (SUD) facility capacity

    • $7 million for Civil commitment services through Community Mental Health (CMHP) Programs

    • $6 million for transitional case management services for houseless patients released from the Oregon State Hospital

    • $6 million to expand the Health Care Provider Incentive Program (HCPIP)

    • $3.1 million to advance training opportunities for pediatricians and child psychiatrists

  • House Bill 2757 – dedicating funding for 9-8-8, the suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis hotline

  • House Bill 5026 – Higher Education Coordinating Commission

  • $5.4 million – OHSU Mission Control for behavioral health

  • $10 million through the Criminal Justice Commission to fund justice-involved mental health or substance abuse disorders (IMPACTS) grants (Senate Bill 5506)

  • $4.9 million to Oregon Health Authority to fund jail diversion through CMHPs (Senate Bill 5506)

  • $3 million for Department of Administrative Services to resource the Community Based Mental Health Services Risk Pool (Senate Bill 5506)

  • $50 million to build out physical and provider capacity within the behavioral health system

  • $40 million Other Funds limitation for opioid settlement investment in the 2023-25 biennium


Breaking the Stigma event

The event “Breaking the Stigma” is returning to Pendleton on July 8.

This is the second annual event, which GOBHI launched last year in collaboration with local partners. Please share the English and Spanish versions of this event flier with your friends, neighbors, and professional connections.

  • Location and time: Roy Raley Park, 4-8 p.m., PT.

  • Theme: Together We Can: break down barriers, shatter misconceptions, and foster a compassionate environment where everyone in our community can thrive.

Contact Kati Jokinen (GOBHI Substance Use Disorder Team) for more information -


Trafficking Awareness event

Human trafficking is an issue spanning the entire United States. A local event will draw attention to crises in the region, and resources that are available to respond. This will be held on July 12 at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton; please see the flier for details.


Member redetermination materials

The Oregon Health Authority has launched the “Keep Covered” campaign to reach out to members about the eligibility redetermination process.

As of June, EOCCO has developed a helpful flier to explain the redetermination process to members. Please share this information with the community.

The key points:

  • What is Medicaid redetermination?

  • Medicaid redetermination is when the state of Oregon checks to see if members still qualify for Medicaid.

  • Before the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, this eligibility review would happen every year which is a process called redetermination. Redetermination was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, and most people kept their Medicaid plan regardless of changes in employment or income. Oregon has restarted this process and is sending redetermination notices to everyone on Medicaid between April 2023 and January 2024. The intent is to help as many members keep their coverage as possible.

Visit the OHA webpage dedicated to redetermination for details.


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,


BH Campaign


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 July 14.

Helpful Links:


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