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CareOregon ranks among top corporate philanthropists

May 2, 2018, 07:00 AM

Portland, Ore. — CareOregon has been ranked in the top Oregon-based charitable givers by the Portland Business Journal, which today presented its 2017 Corporate Philanthropy Awards. CareOregon was ranked No. 6 among companies with greater than $100 million in annual revenue.

“CareOregon was created to provide health care to Oregon’s most vulnerable populations—people living in poverty, with disabilities and those dealing with life’s greatest challenges,” said Mindy Stadtlander, CareOregon Executive Director, Medicaid and Network Services. “We have had the opportunity to learn how many of our members manage to deal with these challenges with courage and grace. They have also helped us learn how many factors affect health—whether it is lack of housing, food insecurity, multigenerational poverty or any of the many social determinants that make up one’s total well-being. It is on their behalf we accept this honor.

CareOregon serves approximately 120,000 Medicaid members (Oregon Health Plan) in the Portland metro area through its affiliation with Health Share of Oregon, and another 55,000 through OHP Coordinated Care Organizations in Jackson County and the North Coast. Increasingly, CareOregon has been looking beyond doctors’ offices and hospitals to address the social and economic barriers to health and health care, which include nutrition, social isolation, poverty and inadequate housing. CareOregon’s giving and staff outreach work addresses all these factors.

Over the last few years, CareOregon's giving has focused on programs and organizations that address two specific areas: Housing and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). A growing body of research shows that children who have had traumatic experiences, such as abuse, parental incarceration, etc., have have an impact on health throughout their lifetime. And lack of housing is a basic need that prevents many from obtaining adequate health care and following health treatment plans.

CareOregon has given $387,000 in grants to community groups supporting housing  in Portland, Jackson County and on the north Oregon Coast to help keep families in their homes and make it easier for them to access health care. CareOregon has added staff to help members find the assistance they need when they are in housing crisis.

Also in 2016, CareOregon committed an additional $4 million toward a Central City Concern project to improve health by addressing the housing and health crisis in Porland. In partnership five other health organizations (Adventist Health-Portland, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Science University and Providence Health & Services-Portland), the “Housing is Health” network investment will address affordable housing, homelessness and health care in Portland by adding 382 new housing units at three Central City Concern-managed locations, including one with an integrated health center in Southeast Portland.

For that partnership, the Housing is Health group received a special Innovation in Philanthropy award.

“Our support is an investment in preventive health care and our members’ future,” said Eric C. Hunter, CareOregon’s chief executive officer. “People who don’t have stable housing and have health issues just can’t make the changes they need, whether they’re recovering from hospitalization, managing chronic health conditions or overcoming addiction. Housing not only improves health outcomes, but helps reduce the overall costs of health care.”

For more about CareOregon’s community giving program, see http://ow.ly/eC0P30fOsa9.

For information, contact Jeanie Lunsford, 503-416-3626, lunsfordj@careoregon.org.