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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter October 2023

Update From The CEO


October is coming to a close. It’s a great time to thank all of our behavioral health providers for their tireless dedication and hard work! We appreciate you, especially during this busy time of year when conferences and other events are in full swing.

Conferences: GOBHI was a sponsor and/or participant in several conferences over the last month: CCO Oregon, Oregon Council for Behavioral Health, and soon we will be at the Association of Oregon Counties conference. Stop by our booths for swag and say hello if you attend a conference alongside us!

BOD: The GOBHI Board of Directors’ annual retreat took place this month. The directors dedicated their brain power to strategic futures planning - and having a bit of fun while they were there! I'm so energized and proud of our leadership for maintaining focus on the people we serve as our guiding light!

I’m pleased to announce that Umatilla County Commissioner John Shafer has stepped up to serve as our new Board Chair. Join me in welcoming Commissioner Shafer to this position. He is an experienced and thoughtful leader who has a rich history of working in the intersection of public safety and behavioral health in Eastern Oregon. Thank you as well to Chantay Jett for her fantastic service as the outgoing chair.

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


Fall provider trainings

GOBHI is providing a series of fall trainings for the provider network. These are important learning opportunities for behavioral health professionals throughout the region. We would love to see an increase in attendance at these fantastic opportunities that meet professional requirements!

Upcoming trainings list:


SAMHSA releases Adult SUD Recovery report

Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released an in-depth report relevant to our field: “Recovery from Substance Use and Mental Health Problems Among Adults in the United States.”

This brief report presents self-reports of recovery among adults aged 18 and older in the United States who thought they ever had a problem with their use of drugs or alcohol and/ or mental health.

  • Data: Summaries based on survey data/analytics concerning SUD impacts.

  • Highlights: Appendix graph with social determinant of health breakdowns.

  • Recommendations: SAMHSA includes various approaches to address the issue. Several of them align with EOCCO’s Comprehensive Behavioral Health Plan goals as executed by GOBHI, including housing, access to care, and stigma reduction.

A notable highlight is the stigma analysis. In many of our communities, there is stigma surrounding those who have either SUD or MH – perceptions that these individuals are unemployed, houseless, and uneducated. The analysis tells a different story. 67.8% of those that have had a SUD/MH are college graduates. 71.0% are employed full time. 70.3% have income more than 2x federal poverty threshold.


Awareness Months

GOBHI was thrilled to sponsor and participate in the Walk for Recovery in La Grande earlier this month. Shout outs, especially, to Kati Jokinen for her leadership role and emceeing this event!!

Thank you to Oregon Recovers, Center for Human Development, Inc., Oregon Washington Health Network, Lifeways Inc., PTC, NEON, and all partners who made this event possible! Together, we shared stories about the power of recovery. The event drew great community participation as well as interest from the local news media. These photos capture just a few of the amazing people who helped bring the event to life.


EOCCO welcomes THW liaison

EOCCO is pleased to announce the new Traditional Health Worker (THW) Liaison, Hannah Briggs (

Hannah will be leading all THW deliverables and assisting support to social determinants of health programs for EOCCO. She is eager to become part of this dynamic community of professionals and to contribute to increasing THW access and utilization. Hannah comes to this role with a background in public health, having recently completed her master’s in public health with a specialization in Health Systems and Policy. Over the past few years, she’s had the privilege of working as a THW doula. This experience has provided her with valuable insights into both the member-facing and provider-facing aspects of THWs, as well as a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding certification, DMAP enrollment, and billing processes. Collaboration and open communication are at the heart of Hannah’s approach to working with THW professionals. Because of this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Hannah with any questions, ideas, or initiatives you’d like to discuss! You’re always more than welcome to just say hello! She looks forward to the opportunity to connect with you and understand how we can work together to enhance the broader THW network and progress the health of our communities.


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.


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