OSBHA May Newsletter: An interview with Laurie Huffman & announcement of an upcoming youth forum!

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In our May newsletter, we interview outgoing Executive Director Laurie Huffman, share highlights from the Student Health Advocates, and announce an upcoming event.
May 2020
An Interview with Outgoing Executive Director Laurie Huffman
After five years with OSBHA, Laurie Huffman's last day as our Executive Director will be June 12. We are so grateful for the time and energy she has devoted to our organization, and we are really going to miss her innovative ideas and collaborative spirit. In this month's newsletter, we asked Laurie (pictured right) a few questions about her time with OSBHA and what's next for her.
What have you found most rewarding about your time leading this organization?
Working with our team to develop innovative approaches to strengthen equitable youth health access. We've changed how we partner with youth and are now much more youth-centered in all of our work. Youth are on our Board of Directors, help plan our policy work, and provide youth-designed programming in schools and health care settings. We've taken big steps toward meeting our goal of actively engaging in practices that redistribute, share and build power to change systems of inequity. It's been very gratifying to work with dedicated people to conceptualize, plan for and make these changes.
Do you have a favorite memory of your time with OSBHA?
Driving home from our School Health Advocacy Day with two of our Student Health Advocates and experiencing their bursting enthusiasm about having met directly with legislators to talk about their school health service priorities. They were inspired and empowered, and during the drive put together an internship concept that we were later able to implement.
You are moving on after a long-planned transition process. Can you explain what that process has looked like and what's next for OSBHA?
Transition planning started in October, and the process has included staff and the board. We've worked to minimize disruption related to the transition and to assure operational stability. We're very fortunate that Maureen Hinman will be serving as our Interim Executive Director. She's worked in a variety of roles at OSBHA over the past nine years and has a deep understanding of our organization and the landscape of school-based health. Over the next six months, OSBHA will examine how COVID has and will continue to influence our mission and where we fit in the healthcare landscape.
What's next for you personally?
The plans I made pre-COVID have changed dramatically! I'm no longer travelling this summer. What hasn't changed is that I'll be stepping back from full-time work as I seek a more balanced way of living. I'll be doing some consulting work in the health and social services sector, writing, and enjoying more time with family and friends.
Thank you, Laurie! If you would like to send Laurie a message before she departs on June 12, you can email her at laurie@osbha.org.
School-Based Health Center Professionals Should be Included in All Phases of School Planning Efforts
An important statement from Maureen Hinman, OSBHA Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, and incoming Interim Executive Director.
Today’s Coronavirus epidemic has made us acutely aware of the crucial role that schools play in communities around our state. And, it is a health crisis that is likely to continue into the next school year. As decisions are being made about schools reopening in the fall, it is critical that medical professionals that already work in schools are included in all phases of planning efforts.
School-based health centers work hand in hand with other members of the school-based health team, including district employees, school nurses, psychologists, social workers, and counselors to provide regular primary and behavioral health care to K-12 students. Low-income families, in particular, have relied on the school-based health team to deliver routine medical services, provide medication management, and provide behavioral therapy. But in the COVID-19 era, all students and staff need enhanced assistance from existing school health resources.
Many students will not have had proper management of chronic conditions or medications, and many will be facing trauma from the loss of friends, family, teachers, or administrators. Additionally, our students may have experienced prolonged periods of isolation that could have included lack of basic necessities such as food. If there is no COVID-19 vaccine, we will need to be vigilant about control of the virus in schools. This will require an even greater commitment to providing school-based physical and mental health services, regardless of how it is provided.
As leaders across the state think about the recovery needs of schools, it is imperative that school health supports are an integral part of all efforts, that school health providers are included in decision-making, and that someone in each district is dedicated to coordinating all school health related activities. School-based health centers and our partner school health providers, leveraged appropriately, will be a critical factor to student success.
Coming Soon: OSBHA Online Youth Forum
How might we reopen schools while prioritizing youth health & relationships?
OSBHA staff and Student Health Advocates are planning for an online youth forum to address this question. This will be an opportunity for youth from across Oregon to come together to provide input on their health & relationship needs. The ideas generated in this youth forum will be shared with decision-makers across the state.
Our online youth forum will be scheduled for sometime in June—details will be sent to our email list and posted here. Stay tuned!
Highlights from the 2019-2020 Student Health Advocates
We would like to thank to the 2019-2020 OSBHA Student Health Advocates for their incredible work this year! In addition to planning powerful events and educational sessions, the Student Health Advocates adapted and moved their work online amidst the COVID pandemic. Highlights from this year's cohort include:
YAC Summit: This year's YAC Summit, "Blossoming into Leadership", brought over 100 students from across the state together to discuss how to improve access to health services in their communities.
HPV Curriculum: Student Health Advocates created and presented an HPV Prevention Curriculum to over 200 juniors at Centennial high school.
YAC Coaching: OSBHA staff and Student Health Advocates provided training and coaching to two School-Based Health Centers on best practices for sharing power with youth.
Advocacy Day: We celebrated our 13th Annual School Health Advocacy Day! Students from across the state facilitated 25 meetings with legislators and Governor Kate Brown joined us as a keynote speaker.
While the school year is ending, many of the Student Health Advocates are working with OSBHA through the summer to plan for programming, provide feedback to state leaders on reopening plans, and continue to advocate for equitable school health services. Our staff is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside this group of young leaders, and we encourage our partners to reach out if you would like to get in touch with the Student Health Advocates.
We would like to thank the following funders for supporting us in 2020:
Roy and Diane Marvin Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
Greater Albany Public Schools
Newberg School District
CareOregon, Gold Level Wellness Partner
Clackamas ESD
EC Brown Foundation
Kaiser Permanente
Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, School-Based Health Center Program
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation
School-Based Health Center Membership Dues
United Way of Columbia Willamette
Event Sponsors
Columbia Bank
Pacific West Bank
Willamette Dental
Individual Donors
Allan M. Siegel
Danni/y Rosen
Jill Daniels
William Thomas
Tracy Dannen-Grace