State giving children in low-income families statewide $170 million in extra food money

BY: - March 27, 2023

Oregon is sending $170 million in extra food aid to children in low-income families statewide. The Department of Human Services will start issuing payments of $391 from late March to the end of May. A news release said 434,000 children will receive payments.  The money comes from a federal program to help children whose access […]

Why some states want to guarantee Medicaid coverage from birth to age 6

BY: - March 16, 2023

Before the Covid-19 public health emergency began in 2020, millions of children churned on and off Medicaid each year — an indication that many were losing coverage because of administrative problems, rather than because their family’s income had increased and made them ineligible. Spurred by pandemic-era lessons, several states are rethinking their enrollment policies for […]

Oregon faces brighter future on the health front, with lower levels of respiratory infections

BY: - March 9, 2023

Along with warmer weather, the weeks ahead are likely to bring a brighter outlook on the respiratory disease front, a leading Oregon health official said Thursday. Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state epidemiologist, said during a monthly news conference about COVID and other infections that the “near-term outlook” is good. “Our sense of optimism is growing,” […]

Close up of patient getting a Covid-19 shot.

Health care officials urge workers to get flu shots to protect themselves and patients

BY: - February 22, 2023

After a three-year lull, flu infections are up in the community and health care settings, prompting a warning by the Oregon Health Authority for more health care workers to get vaccinated. The agency said in a news release Wednesday that before the COVID pandemic, flu vaccinations among hospital staff had steadily risen. They increased from […]

Dean Sidelinger gives month news briefing on respiratory illnesses

State shifts toward normalcy after three years of pandemic

BY: - February 9, 2023

Oregon is moving toward normalcy after three years of the pandemic but some masking requirements are likely to remain in place for months, a state health official said Thursday. Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority, told the media during the authority’s monthly briefing that hospitalizations for viral respiratory infections in the […]

FDA experts still puzzled over who should get which COVID shots and when

BY: - January 27, 2023

At a meeting to simplify the nation’s COVID vaccination policy, the FDA’s panel of experts could agree on only one thing: Information is woefully lacking about how often different groups of Americans need to be vaccinated. That data gap has contributed to widespread skepticism, undervaccination and ultimately unnecessary deaths from COVID-19. The committee voted unanimously […]

Exercise classes help keep seniors fit

Rural seniors benefit from pandemic-driven remote fitness boom

BY: - January 17, 2023

MALMO, Minn. — Eight women, all 73 or older, paced the fellowship hall at Malmo Evangelical Free Church to a rendition of Daniel O’Donnell’s “Rivers of Babylon” as they warmed up for an hourlong fitness class. The women, who live near or on the eastern shore of Mille Lacs Lake, had a variety of reasons […]

hospital care

Oregon’s health care crises will spill over into the new year

BY: - December 26, 2022

Oregon’s health care system will begin 2023 with a fresh start as a new director for the Oregon Health Authority takes the helm and Gov.-elect Tina Kotek is sworn into office. James Schroeder, currently the CEO of the state’s largest Medicaid insurer, Health Share of Oregon, will serve as interim director starting Jan. 10, the […]

Oregon Health & Science University's Doernbecher Children's Hospital is swamped with patients wit a respiratory infection. (Christine Torres-Hicks/OHSU)

Oregon Health Authority bringing in dozens of contract nurses for children’s hospitals

BY: - December 2, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority is bringing in 112 out-of-state registered nurses and respiratory therapists to help the state’s two largest children’s hospitals. Oregon Health & Science University’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Legacy Health’s Randall Children’s Hospital, which are both in Portland, asked the authority for help to cope with a surge of patients sickened by […]

Oregon pausing new applications for mortgage assistance program

BY: - November 30, 2022

Oregon’s housing agency will pause accepting new applications for its homeowner assistance program. The pause, which starts at 11 a.m. Wednesday, will allow the Housing and Community Services agency to process current applications, complete system maintenance and tally the federal funds available for homeowners. The program helps Oregonians who’ve fallen behind on mortgage payments during […]

More than $37 billion in disaster aid under scrutiny in congressional lame duck

BY: - November 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration wants Congress to approve more than $37 billion to help communities throughout the country recover from various natural disasters, including Hurricanes Ian, which battered Florida and the Southeast U.S. in late September, and Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico.  The supplemental funding request comes on top of a $9 billion COVID-19 […]

Children's hospital in Portland

Sick children and adult patients jam Oregon’s hospitals

BY: - November 28, 2022

The number of patients needing hospital care for the flu is rising, fueling the demand for beds by hundreds of children with a respiratory illness and adults suffering from COVID-19. According to the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, about 220 hospitalized patients had COVID in mid-November. That shot up to about 375 people […]