Since March 2008, Oregon has experienced a recession characterized by high unemployment and overall economic slowing. The unemployment rate climbed to 11.6 percent in May of 2009, the highest level since 1983, and has remained above 10% for over two years. Today, Oregon’s unemployment rate stands at 10.2 percent. As a result, citizens increasingly must utilize the services offered by the Oregon Health Authority, the Department of Human Services, and County and local agencies.
During the current 2009-11 biennium, the economic recession curtailed revenue from the Oregon General Fund and other sources. The revenue outlook for the 2011-13 biennium is also bleak. This reduction in available revenue has caused State, County and other agencies to begin to limit the number of clients they serve or lower the amount, duration and scope of services available.
Thus, just as the need for services is increasing, the funding needed to provide those services are decreasing. Many Oregonians are struggling to meet their basic needs (e.g. food, housing, health care). As we heard in Part I of this “Pain” series, the challenge of meeting basic needs often results in stressful family situations (e.g. homelessness, domestic violence, abuse/neglect of elders and children and more). Yet, funding, staff and capacity shortages at OHA/DHS and its community partners make it difficult to meet the increasing demand.
The Oregon Health Plan is the health insurance provider for about 15% of all Oregonians (38% of all Oregon children), covering about 500,000 lives.
In the long-term care arena, the Seniors and People with Disabilities Division is responsible for case management and other services provided to about 18,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities and approximately 30,000 individuals who are aged or physically disabled. Local contracted Area Agencies On Aging provide services to the majority of individuals in Oregon who are aged and physically disabled and qualify for public assistance.
At the local level, organizations such as county health departments, community action agencies and others provide vital additional support for the needs expressed.
Our speakers today will address the current challenges of maintaining a strong safety net for those most in need among us.
is currently the Interim Deputy Director for NorthWest
Senior and Disability Services (NWSDS). NWSDS is an Area Aging on Aging that provides Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – Food Stamps), Oregon Project Independence and Older Americans Act services to seniors and people with disabilities throughout a five-county service delivery area – Clatsop, Marion, Polk, Tillamook and Yamhill counties.
Rodney has worked for NWSDS for more than six years and has been responsible for various operational activities within the Agency including program oversight, budgeting, contracts and business services. In addition to his experience with NWSDS, Rodney has also worked as a Manager in state offices within the Seniors and People with Disabilities division, and has served on many committees, groups and advisory councils that shape and impact Oregon’s Long Term care system.
Rodney’s educational background includes a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University and a Masters in Business from Webster University. www.nwsds.org
has worked within the non-profit community of Salem since 1996. She began at the Humane Society running a 500+ member volunteer program, spent eight years with Community Action Agency as Program Director of the Drug Prevention Network, followed by two years with the United Way as the Campaign Director, and is now back to Community Action as Deputy Director.
As Deputy Director, she is responsible for community partner advancements, special projects, IT department, and communications and marketing efforts which support the Agency and its seven programs; Child Care Resource & Referral, Community Action Drug Prevention Program, Community Resource Program, Energy Assistance, Head Start, HOME Youth & Resources Center, and Nutrition First.
Cyndi is committed to bettering our community and also serves on numerous community committees and boards that promote healthy children and families and volunteers with numerous organizations including Rotary, North Salem Business Association, Sprague Little League, Wright Elementary, UO Alumni Board of Directors, Salem Duck Club, and Salem and Keizer Chambers of Commerce. http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/
Join us Friday, April 8, 2011, in the Dye House at Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill for this opportunity to hear how these difficult economic times have impacted this segment of our community. For those not on our “continuous attendee” list, you may e-mail lunch reservations to: email@example.com
or call 503-370-2808 by Wednesday noon, April 6, 2011. New for April - register online! Visit www.salemcityclub.com
and register online. SCC members lunch cost is $12, all others $15. Doors will open at 11:30 AM. The community is welcomed and encouraged to join us! There is a $5 charge for visitors who would like a coffee and cookie. For more information on upcoming programs, and directions to this event please go to www.salemcityclub.com