Oregon Health Policy Board discusses tribal behavioral health

On Tuesday, the Oregon Health Policy Board held a meeting at the Yellowhawk Tribal Clinic in Pendleton to discuss the 2019-2024 Tribal Behavioral Health Strategic Action Plan. The goal of the strategic plan is for all of Oregon’s Native people, families, and communities to be healthy. 


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The Oregon Native American Behavioral Health Collaborative created this strategic action plan and works to improve behavioral health outcomes for Alaska Indians and Alaska Natives in Oregon. The collaborative is made up of people from the nine Oregon tribes, Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA), Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

According to the Oregon Native American Behavioral Health Collaborative, “we envision a shared, continuous alliance between the state, tribal and urban providers that offer a continuum of fully funded, comprehensive, culturally responsive services, grounded in tribal based practices and intertribal collaboration at the administrative and clinical levels.

At a strategic planning meeting held in March, 45 people across 8 Oregon tribes, NARA, NPAIHB, OHA, and Oregon DHS Office of Tribal Affairs created the goals and strategic pillars of the action plan. A written plan was devised by Kauffman & Associates, Inc.

The strategic pillars include: training and credentialing, trial-based practices, efficient data systems, tribal consultation, and governance and finance.

During Tuesday’s meeting, there was an overview of the pillars and what the pillars aim to do within the strategic plan. According to the presentation given, the first pillar, training and credentialing, would create an accredited tribal learning center that would be authorized by the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon

The second pillar is tribal-based practices, which would implement a statute supporting tribal-based practices, ensure state funding for implementing these practices, and create a database of tribal-based practices.

The third pillar, efficient data systems, aims to create an inventory of baseline behavioral health data from state, federal, and local resources to create tribal behavioral health metrics.

The fourth pillar, tribal consultation, would develop information sharing between states and tribes, as well as create in-depth, mandatory annual training for all state employees on how to properly engage with tribes. This pillar would also define the expectations between CCOs, NARA, and tribes. 

The fifth pillar, governance and finance, aims to secure tribal representation on regional governance entities, create funding strictly for tribal and urban programs, and preserve the existing tribal billing structure

Once the timeframe for the implementation of the five-year action plan is finalized, the collaboration will be sharing it with the OHA leadership team. Moving forward, the Oregon Native American Behavioral Health Collaborative plans to meet with the tribes monthly to ensure that implementation stays on track.