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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter May 2023

Update From The CEO

Picture of Karen Wheeler, GOBHI CEO

Greetings, providers!

Welcome to the warm days of summer. I hope you find time for walks in the fresh air, gardening, outdoor sports, and other fun activities that come with the seasonal territory.

With the end of the federal public health emergency comes a new chapter for the state’s healthcare delivery system. The Oregon Health Authority lifted multiple emergency declaration-era requirements for vaccinations and isolation guidelines for healthcare workers. You can view a media briefing regarding the rule change on Youtube.

BH Campaign: We are excited to announce that the Behavioral Health Workforce Campaign in Eastern Oregon was launched on May 15.

This campaign is an intensive effort to build the behavioral health workforce throughout the region. After many updates through the newsletter, we have reached the milestone of the campaign’s public reach. Please read the article below for information on how you can help us spread the word!

Legislative Session: The main fiscal take-away from the Oregon Legislative Session is that the revenue outlook looks positive. This could lead to important investments in the healthcare field. One area we will monitor closely is future investments is housing and social determinants of health.

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


BH Campaign

Starting May 15, the GOBHI Network has launched our workforce campaign. Its message is: “Come Care With Us.”

The campaign was funded by GOBHI and developed in partnership with providers and community stakeholders. This partnership is called the GOBHI Network. Staff collaborated with the firm CFM Advocates and subcontractors ZPP Productions and Birdee Media to create these high quality products. The launch of the campaign also coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, which is recognized in May each year.

The GOBHI Network encourages all partners and community members to spread the word that Eastern Oregon is a great place to live and work.

The campaign includes:

  • A website with job listings from Community Mental Health Providers and other network providers in the region, information about Eastern Oregon attractions, and details about the GOBHI network. (

  • Five short videos featuring powerful interviews with behavioral health professionals in Eastern Oregon

  • Social media messaging across multiple platforms – posts are pending and will be published soon. Partners are encouraged to share these posts and tag the campaign on social media.

  • Facebook

  • Youtube

  • Instagram

  • LinkedIn

  • TikTok

  • Radio spots

  • In-person recruitment events and outreach to community colleges, universities and high schools serving the region.

  • Open letter to all high school students in Eastern Oregon - in process.

The GOBHI Network is thankful for these partnerships and help in disseminating this messaging throughout the community. If you would like more information about the campaign, please contact


State budget update

This update concerns the state budget amid the context of the Oregon Legislative Session.

Overall, the budget forecast looks positive for Oregon and unemployment is low. The following breakdown is from Eames Consulting:

“While the news is overall optimistic, lawmakers still have tough decisions ahead with fewer federal dollars at their disposal as pandemic-era infusions dissipate.

The bottom line:

  • Net General Fund is up $7.3 billion from the close of session estimate (around $1.8 billion more than previous forecast)

  • Lottery resources are up $168 million from the close of session estimate (a slight decrease from previous forecast)

  • Personal Income Tax is up $5 billion from close of session estimate (24%)

  • Personal kicker projection is at $5.5 billion (up roughly $1.6 billion from previous forecast)

  • Corporate tax revenue is up $1.8 billion from close of session estimate (135%)

  • Corporate kicker projection is at $1.8 billion (up roughly $255 million from previous forecast), which is dedicated to K-12 education spending in 2023-25

  • Available resources for the 2021-23 and 2023-25 budget cycles have increased by almost $2 billion from the previous forecast (it is unclear as to whether this is net of the projected kicker or not).”

Helpful links:


NARCAN available

The GOBHI Substance Use Disorder (SUD) team advises that the cost of NARCAN (naloxone) has recently decreased. GOBHI still has NARCAN available for community partners.

The supplier GOBHI utilizes reported: The cost of NARCAN nasal spray was formerly $900 a case ($75 per carton, 2 devices per carton) and now is $570.00 a case ($47.50 per carton).

NARCAN is a potentially life-saving medication designed to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose in minutes. To bulk order, visit

Contact Michelle Brandsma at GOBHI, Information needed is: the amount being requested and the shipping address.


Juneteenth events and information

Shared from the Oregon Department of Human Services:

Please join Black Employment Support Team and African American Management Council in recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth. The family of Clara Peoples is invited to speak on the origins of Juneteenth Oregon.

What is Juneteenth?

June 19th or “Juneteenth” is the oldest nationally celebrated recognition of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill declaring Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Also known as Emancipation or Freedom Day, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” references the date of the holiday, combining “June” and “nineteenth”.

Juneteenth was first celebrated in Texas, on June 19, 1866. It marked the first anniversary of the day enslaved Black individuals learned of the Emancipation Proclamation and that they were free. This was over two years after it was first issued.

Community Events:

To learn more about the history of Juneteenth, we invite you to explore these resources:


LGBTQS+ Affirming Training

You are invited to a training on Moving your agency to LGBTQ2S+ Affirming; please note the date was recently changed.

  • Date: Wednesday June 21, 2023 8am- 12pm, NASW CEU’s available

  • Presenters: Jacque Serrano, LCSW CADC I

  • Location: Virtual Platform- Zoom

Training Overview:

Part 1 8am-10:00am

  • Review of sex and gender

  • Treatment for Transgender folks and Therapeutic Process

  • Discrimination: Mental Health Symptoms & Diagnosis

  • Resources

Part 2 10am-12pm

  • Culturally competent skills for working with Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Creative clients in your workplace

  • Creating a Safe Space in the workplace

  • Moving your agency from a Welcoming to Affirming space for the LGBTQ2S+ community through policy and community investment.


Member redetermination

*The following includes a reminder and update about Medicaid member coverage following the end of the state/federal public health emergency declaration.

In 2020, when the public health emergency (PHE) went into effect, health coverage and other state/federal support services were extended. Individuals on Oregon Medicaid were able to maintain active coverage without going through the standard annual review for eligibility (redetermination).

Following the end of the PHE Oregon has restarted the process of redetermining and renewal of Medicaid coverage. This process began on April 1, 2023 when the first batch of notifications were sent to individuals across Oregon. This process will continue with initial and subsequent notifications going out to OHP members every month.

EOCCO is developing talking points and resources for both providers and members.

The goal is to help as many Oregonians as possible maintain their Medicaid coverage. Below are some resources that you may find helpful. EOCCO will be sharing additional resources with network provider offices and community resource programs over the course of the next month.

This webpage on gives members information about eligibility changes. Please keep an eye out for additional information and resources from EOCCO coming soon!


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 June 9.

Helpful Links:


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