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August 2018

Rogue Challenge Agencies Participate in CASHI

By News

Click here to link to news story:  Five on 5

Rogue Community Health is pleased to announce that members of the Rogue Challenge are participating in the Collaborative to Advance Social Health Integration (CASHI), a Commonwealth Fund and Health Leads 18-month learning collaborative designed to address patients’ unmet social health needs as a standard of quality health care.  At the end of May, team representatives traveled from Medford to Boston to share information at Health Leads 1st Learning Session on CASHI accomplishments.

Health Leads is a social enterprise located in Boston, Massachusetts that works with leading healthcare organizations nationwide to create sustainable, high-impact and cost-effective social needs interventions that connect patients to the community-based resources they need to be healthy – from food to transportation to healthcare benefits.  The CASHI grant supports Rogue Community Health and the Rogue Challenge partnering agencies:  Family Nurturing Center, Rogue Valley YMCA, Southern Oregon Goodwill and Southern Oregon Head Start.

The Rogue Challenge came together in 2016 to develop a system where those seeking services can register at any partnering location and have access to the services provided by all of the partners through a closed-loop referral process.  The intent of the collaboration is to streamline the intake process and reduce the re-traumatization for clients who may be required to share their story over and over again to obtain needed services. The idea is to create a kinder, simpler and more efficient systemic of registration to facilitate the referral process for resources people may need to move toward self-empowerment, self-efficacy, and ultimately self-sufficiency.

“The Rogue Challenge integrates access to partnering agency programs and services to help our patients and clients seamlessly engage the system with shared case management, “explained William North, Chief Executive Officer at Rogue Community Health.  A simplified intake process that is trauma-informed and meets social determinant needs while maintaining dignity and respect as people move toward independence is the goal.  The Rogue Challenge is the “Hub” for this collaborative effort of providers and is coordinating all referrals.  “Where people live, work, and play are important social determinants when considering overall health and well-being,” said North, “and we are dedicated to meeting people where they are with compassion.”

People entering as a member of the Rogue Challenge are screened for unmet social needs such as food insecurity, housing stability, domestic safety, education and/or job attainment, behavioral health, and transportation as well as for medical concerns such as diabetes and hypertension.  Access to support to meet social needs discovered in this process is a priority.

In consideration for participation in the Health Leads initiative, the Rogue Challenge partners have access to national partner expertise, an 18-month intensive engagement period, and will receive technical assistance for business case development as part of the CASHI support.  The end result will be an evidence-based approach to funding and scaling the continuum of social determinants of health across community partners.

Years of research on the social determinants of health (SDoH) have shown an undeniable connection between unmet social needs and poor health.  Only 10% of health outcomes are directly attributed to medical care, whereas close to 70% of health outcomes are driven by social, environmental, and behavioral factors.  The balance is attributable to genetics.  Despite this knowledge, the U.S. spends disproportionately more on medical care than other countries and with worse outcomes.  Health spending per person in the U.S. was $10,348 in 2016 – 31% higher than Switzerland, the next highest per capita spender.  Evidence suggests that addressing the SDoH can reduce costs and improve health.

Permanent Drug Take Back Receptacles

By News

(MEDFORD, OR 04/24/18) Patients and community members looking to dispose of excess and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as health supplements can now visit Rogue Community Health clinic locations in Medford and White City to drop off medications in safe and secure permanent drop off receptacles. Accepted medications include all expired, unused, or unwanted controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter medications, including pet medications and liquid products such as cough syrup, which must be tightly capped.  Items that cannot be accepted include trash, medical waste, sharps, syringes, thermometers, hazardous waste, inhalers or illicit drugs.

The effort to establish a permanent drug collection program was spearheaded by Director of Pharmacy, Amy Baker, PharmD. Rogue Community Health partnered with AllCare Health and Lines for Life to obtain two drug take back receptacles.  As part of the effort, Baker also delivered a third receptacle to Douglas Public Health Network in Roseburg. All three receptacles were generously donated by Lines for Life.  “This is a service that is needed in every community to reduce the potential of harm to families, pets and the environment,” Baker stated.

According to the 2015 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 6.4 million Americans abuse controlled prescription drugs. In the 2011 NSDUH study, 7.4 percent of 12 to 17 years old reported past year non-medical use of prescription drugs.

Proper disposal of excess drugs is everyone’s responsibility as a matter of public safety. More than 70 percent of young people abusing prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or family, often from the family medicine cabinet. Now southern Oregon residents won’t have to wait for a specific take-back day to clean out their medicine cabinets.

National Drug Take Back Day is April 28th, but at Rogue Community Health, the collection sites are available every week of the year in Medford and White City during health center pharmacy hours, Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm.  Medications can be dropped off with no questions asked.  It is a safe, secure and environmentally friendly way to help collect unused, unwanted, expired prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and health supplements.

Rogue Community Health provides affordable and comprehensive medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and integrative health services to people of all ages and backgrounds — regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. The organization’s health centers are located in Ashland, Butte Falls, Medford, Prospect and White City.   In 2017, the nonprofit agency provided 10,404 patients with 33,284 visits including 10,617 behavioral health-related/substance abuse patient visits.

Naloxone Prescription Access Expands

By News

(MEDFORD, OR 04/18/18) Rogue Community Health (RCH) is one of just a few pharmacies prescribing naloxone in southern Oregon.  Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.  It is an opioid antagonist — meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of opioids.   It can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.  Opioids are powerful pain medications.  Common opioids are oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol and can be found in brands such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin and Ultram. Heroin is also an opioid drug.

Naloxone is available to Rogue Community Health patients by prescription through pharmacies located within RCH clinics in Medford and White City.  For uninsured RCH patients, naloxone is made available through the grant-funded Medication Assistance Program.  Pharmacists in Oregon can independently prescribe naloxone to patients.

The program at RCH was spearheaded by Director of Pharmacy, Amy Baker, PharmD.  She is a member of the Naloxone Work Group in Southern Oregon and on the Oregon Pain Guidance (OPC) Steering Committee.  Baker states that “Patients can receive naloxone by many means here at RCH. Patients can request it, as can their providers. Additionally, pharmacists at RCH follow CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines and calculate the Morphine Equivalent Daily Dose (MED) of all of a patient’s opioid medications. For any patient ≥50 MED, we provide a naloxone prescription. Additionally, for any patient receiving suboxone for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), we provide a naloxone prescription. The conversation around opioids is changing for the better with the increased access to naloxone.”

Oregon law allows lay people to carry and use naloxone on others, but it is very important to call 911 anytime someone has a drug overdose.  If naloxone is administered, the effects are temporary and the person still needs medical attention.  By calling Police or 911 to get help for someone experiencing a drug overdose, Oregon law protects Good Samaritans from being arrested or prosecuted based on information provided by emergency responders.

So far in 2018, there have been five more deployments of Naloxone according to Medford Police which is more than used during entire year in 2017.  And by mid-March 2018, two overdose death occurred that were heroin-related.    Sometimes overdoses occur when family members gain access to opioid medication that is not prescribed for them.  RCH has received reports from two patients that obtained Naloxone by prescription, and used it to save the life of a friend and/or family member.