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Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference Will Focus On Collaborations, Problem Solving

   Portland, Ore.


The 23rd Annual Oregon Rural Health Conference will be held Friday, Nov. 3, and Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport, Ore. This year's conference will focus on strategies and successful collaborations to address a variety of challenges facing Oregon's rural health care environment.

Conference sessions include presentations on medication safety for rural elders, mental and dental health care, legislative agenda strategies, coordination with local health departments and the quality of health care through information technology.

Back by popular demand is "Hot Topics," an opportunity for the public to speak on a topic of their choice. Peter Kohler, M.D., president emeritus of Oregon Health & Science University, will introduce new OHSU President Joseph Robertson, M.D. David Meyers, M.D., a representative from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will discuss national initiatives focused on improving the quality and safety of health care.

In addition to regular conference activities, there will be pre-conference sessions on Thursday, Nov. 2, addressing important issues. They include a Rural Health Clinic Workshop with staff from the Oregon Division of Medical Programs updating participants, reviewing survey and certification rules and issues, and learning more about billing practices and cost reports. The Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Advisory Committee Meeting (open only to FLEX program participants) will focus on issues particular to CAH and other FLEX activities. The federal Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program enables certain rural hospitals to be classified as critical access hospitals. A critical access hospital is able to improve its financial stability through enhanced Medicare reimbursement and reduced operating costs.

The Oregon Rural Healthcare Quality Network meeting features strategic planning and performance measurements.

There also will be exhibits, including one from the OHSU Breast Health Education Program, which will provide information about the new, evidence-based, vertical strip three-pressure method comprehensive breast exam, and the importance of clinicians understanding this new technique in order to catch breast cancer early.

The conference is jointly sponsored by the Oregon Office of Rural Health (ORH), the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN), the Oregon Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) and the Oregon Rural Health Association (ORHA).

For a complete listing of conference activities, please visit:


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