July 24, 2015 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Lynne Saxton, Director

Celebrating and supporting our communities

To the OHA team:

  Sheila Blain, DHS vocational rehabilitation counselor
 

Sheila Blain, DHS vocational rehabilitation counselor

 

On Thursday, July 23, the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building was rocking with activity as members of our community celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There were sessions on reading Braille, training service dogs and assistive technology. Patients of Oregon State Hospital sang and residents from Shaun's Place Home Care danced. It was a festive day as our neighbors joined us to mark a law that bans discrimination, and requires reasonable accommodation and accessibility to public places. And there was cake.

One in five Americans has a physical or mental disability. Though it's nice to celebrate the reality of the world being easier to navigate for people with disabilities, it’s also a reminder for us to keep those most vulnerable in our minds every day as we move forward with health care transformation. What can we do to make good health accessible to everyone in Oregon? How can we improve our customers' experience when they connect with our agency? How can we make it easier for people to navigate the health care system? Our work is critical, because we can make life healthier and better for our neighbors and communities.

Thank you for the part you play in helping Oregonians to achieve better health and making Oregon one of the healthiest states.

Thanks, Lynne

To your health: As we ease into mid-summer, many of us are taking advantage of Oregon’s many lakes and rivers. This summer has been a hot one, resulting in many algae blooms — some of which are toxic. Our partners at the Department of Environmental Quality can’t monitor every body of water for hazardous algae, so we need to be familiar with our surroundings and know the signs of a bloom before we take the plunge.

  • Don't go into water that is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red. A good rule of thumb for you and your pet is; When in Doubt, Stay Out!
  • If you believe you or your pet have been exposed to a harmful algae bloom, OHA staff are available to answer health-related questions and to receive illness reports.

OHA on the web