Congress passes proposal to make it easier to research benefits, effects of marijuana

BY: - November 27, 2022

Although marijuana is legalized in several dozen states and easily obtainable even in areas where it’s illegal, scientists have faced big bureaucratic barriers to conduct research on the drug. A new, bipartisan bill just passed by Congress aims to snip away some of that red tape.  The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act does […]

Long-running case involving defendants and the Oregon State Hospital back in court

BY: - November 23, 2022

Oregon State Hospital operations continue to be at the center of a federal case over timely admissions to ensure people are treated before facing criminal charges. The long-running case was back in U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday, with a judge hearing from attorneys representing hospitals, district attorneys and Disability Rights Oregon over a […]

Oregon Health Authority director, behavioral health director are stepping down

BY: - November 17, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority’s director, Patrick Allen, told the agency on Thursday morning that he will step down in early January, when Gov. Kate Brown’s term ends. Hours later, he said that Steve Allen, the 66-year-old behavioral health director, is also leaving. The two are not related. Patrick Allen, who’s 59 and earns $253,308 a […]

Oregon poised to continue drug decriminalization, treatment measure

BY: - November 17, 2022

Oregon’s decriminalization of drugs and addiction treatment programs are likely to forge ahead now that the election is over, giving Democrats key victories. Both Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan and nonaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson said they wanted Measure 110 repealed. Approved in 2020, it decriminalized possession of a small amount of illegal drugs with a […]

Staff care for a Covid-19 patient at Oregon Health & Science University.

Free program allows Oregonians to obtain COVID medication at home

BY: - November 15, 2022

Oregonians at risk for a severe COVID infection now have access to free online health care visits thanks to a new state program. The Oregon Health Authority announced Tuesday that a California-based health care company, Color Health, will offer telehealth sessions online or on the phone to Oregonians who at risk of developing a severe […]

Emergency room sign at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center

Oregon will be the first state to make affordable health care a constitutional right

BY: - November 15, 2022

Oregon will be the first state in the nation to enshrine the right to affordable health care in its constitution.  Ballot Measure 111 narrowly passed, with nearly 50.7% of voters in favor and 49.3% of voters opposed. The measure’s long-term impact on Oregon health care is unclear because it doesn’t prescribe how the state should […]

Thousands of Oregonians vote against psilocybin centers

BY: - November 14, 2022

Thousands of voters across Oregon have decided to ban or block the rollout of psilocybin treatment centers. But two counties bucked that trend:  In Deschutes and Jackson counties, voters rejected the proposed bans and chose to move ahead with Measure 109, which passed statewide in 2020 and legalized the limited use of psilocybin in state-regulated […]

Oregon prepares for a potential surge of Covid-19 cases and other viral infections

BY: - November 10, 2022

Oregon public health officials are keeping an eye on a trifecta of illnesses as winter approaches and Oregonians spend more time indoors: Covid-19, a respiratory virus that’s affecting children and influenza.  This will not be a respiratory illness season like the last two, when the focus was on Covid-19, a virus that primarily affects adults. […]

Two statewide measures on slavery and legislative walkouts have passed in Oregon

BY: - November 9, 2022

UPDATED: Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:18 p.m. Oregon voters passed ballot measures to remove references to slavery from the state constitution and punish lawmakers for skipping work.  Supporters of a third proposal that would tighten Oregon’s gun laws have also declared victory, though the battle is tight and thousands of ballots remain to be […]

Lower-income Oregon veterans can sign up for free dental

BY: - November 7, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority is gearing up to launch a no-cost dental program for lower-income veterans. This month it opened the application process, and on Jan. 1 the program will launch. No one knows how many will sign up and qualify among Oregon’s 300,000 veterans but it could be thousands.  To qualify, vets can earn […]

Nurses and staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland

Oregon Nurses Association pushes for stricter hospital staffing law

BY: - November 2, 2022

The Oregon Nurses Association is pushing for minimum standards that establish how many nurses hospitals need to operate and meet patients’ needs effectively.  The union, which represents 15,000 nurses, on Wednesday released details of legislation it plans to pursue in the 2023 session. Oregon already has a law that requires hospitals and nurses to develop […]

4 statewide measures on ballot, with 2 that would change state Constitution 

BY: and - October 31, 2022

In November, Oregonians will vote on four measures affecting health care, criminal sentencing, gun safety and the ability of state lawmakers to stall legislation.  Two of the ballot measures would change the state’s Constitution, adding an amendment to make access to affordable health care a fundamental right and eliminating slavery and indentured servitude as acceptable […]