Jackson Care Connect celebrates local partnerships that are transforming health care

MEDFORD, Ore. — Healthy people and healthy communities take nurturing and partnering, from clinics to schools and beyond. Jackson Care Connect, one of the Coordinated Care Organizations providing care for Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) members in Jackson County, has taken a leading role in fostering such partnerships. Jackson Care Connect’s second annual Spring Innovation Conference celebrated this approach to health care last week, with its partners in “Building Resilience, Embracing Value,” the conference theme.

“In the five years since our inception, we have collectively learned a great deal about how to help our members build resilience and become actively engaged in creating healthy lives,” says Jennifer Lind, CEO of Jackson Care Connect. “Together we’ve been able to envision and sustain transformation of an entire health system.”

In 2016, Jackson Care Connect shared $11.6 million with local providers and organizations for work that fosters healthier communities for its members and all residents. Those grants and incentives helped fund several types of projects:

Community Health Improvement Projects – Partnerships with local organizations that address underlying conditions that affect health, from nutrition to poverty to homelessness. Jackson Care Connect’s local Community Advisory Council, made up of health plan members and local health supporters, helps decide which projects get funded.

Health Care Innovation Projects – Recipients are investing in models that use innovative approaches to improve coordination between health service providers.

Primary Care Payment Model – Participating group practices chose five performance measures that reflected the needs of their patient population. These measures are proven to correlate with improved patient health, such as managing blood sugar and blood pressure.

Speakers at the conference included Laura Porter, co-founder of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Interface; Ed O’Neil from O’Neil & Associates, who focuses on change and renewal in the health care system; and Peter Buckley, program manager for Southern Oregon Success. Conference attendees also heard updates from organizations that are providing integrated services to the community. Those included The Maslow Project, which has supported a bilingual, bicultural case manager to provide better support to Hispanic/Latino homeless youth, who are among the most vulnerable population experiencing homelessness in Jackson County.

Jackson Care Connect also presented awards to people in recognition for their contributions to community health:

-Maria Underwood, from La Clinica, for her work in advancing health equity.

-Amy Martinez and Billy Hymas, from the Rogue Valley YMCA, for their volunteer work in support of promoting the health and wellness of others.

Conference attendees also learned about each other’s projects, through tabletop display posters that demonstrated how the Jackson Care Connect support was used.

For information about Jackson Care Connect, contact Jeanie Lunsford, 503-416-3626,

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