Oregon Health Authority recently released the 2013 County Tobacco Factsheets, and Columbia County shows improvement compared to the 2011 Factsheet.
The percentage of teens who smoke is down, especially for 8th graders. In Columbia County 5 percent of 8th graders smoke (state rate is 6 percent) and 17 percent of 11th graders (state rate is 12 percent). This is a decrease of 6 percent among 8th graders and a 3 percent decrease among 11th graders from 2011.
The number of babies born to smoking mothers has also decreased from 20 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2013. “In Oregon four out of five smokers want to quit, but struggle to break the addiction” said Ashley Baggett, Tobacco Prevention & Education Coordinator. In Columbia County the quit attempts are up from 37 percent to 41 percent.
There is still a long way to go as the number of adults who smoke has risen from 6,318 in 2011 to 6,930 in 2013. However the trend is still lower when compared to the 7,143 people who smoked in 2009. Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of death. Read More
The way Oregonians choose and receive their health care coverage is about to change in 2014. More changes are also on the horizon for Oregon Health Plan patients in Columbia County.
Sherrie Ford and Ashley Baggett from the Public Health Foundation of Columbia County were in Vernonia on August 27th to give a presentation on Cover Oregon, the new insurance marketplace where Oregonians can compare and enroll in insurance healthcare programs. Ford and Baggett also explained how Columbia Pacific CCO works. Columbia Pacific CCO is the new Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) that serves Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members in Clatsop, Columbia, western Douglas, and Tillamook Counties.
The presentation was organized by the Columbia Health Coalition, (CHC) a group of community stakeholders and citizens. Founded in 2007, the CHC partners with local organizations and agencies to improve health “where we live, work, learn and play.” The presentation introduced the basics of health care transformation efforts in Columbia County and Oregon and explained where consumers can go for more information.
Enrollment in Cover Oregon begins in October with coverage starting in January 2014. Small businesses, individuals and families, and tribal communities will all be able to use the interactive webpage at www.coveroregon.com to calculate insurance premium costs and shop for the insurance plan that best fits their needs. Cover Oregon is designed to provide access to one-stop shopping for health insurance, financial savings for customers, and support for consumers. “The idea is that you will have more choices, more control and more access to health insurance coverage than ever before,” said Ford. Read More