Newsletter: Save the Date, Events, Looking for Input and Applicants

Can’t Wait for the Day after November 6th?

We wanted to get a couple of things on your calendar – opportunities to learn, connect and engage. We’ve set the date for our conference, which in past years has been in the fall, but this year felt a little frenetic for our style of event, so we’ve bumped it to February and we’re hoping you’ll join us!

Fifth Annual We Can Do Better Conference

Mark your calendar for what will be a forward thinking event: February 7, 2013, all-day conference at the Portland Art Museum. The 2013 Legislative Session will have just begun, and while Oregon has accomplished a lot towards transforming the health system, we have a lot of work to do. It won’t happen without you. We anticipate opening registration on December 1.

Two of our keynote speakers have confirmed so far:

  • Dr. John Santa, Director of the  Director of the Health Ratings Center for Consumer Reports
  • Sue Christoforou, with The Equality Trust for a number of years now, presenting and leading discussion on the effect of income inequality on society, as set out in Wilkinson and Pickett’s, The Spirit Level, in the UK and overseas. Last fall the New York Times published an opinion piece about equality, which really inspired our Community Leadership Council members to think what happens after we’ve adopted the Triple Aim.

As we have done in years past, we are asking you to help us build up our scholarship fund so that those who want to attend, but might not be able to afford the full price of admission, can do so. Donate hereThanks to you, for three years running, we have not had to turn anyone away because of registration costs.

Other Upcoming Events

In addition to our February conference, here are some other meetings that might be of interest.

  • The Oregon Primary Care Association and Community Health Advocates of Oregon are hosting Aiming for Equities: From Promise to Practice, on November 1, 2012. You can register here. Deadline for registration is 10/29/12.
  • Escape FireAlso on November 1st, Escape Fire: the Fight To Rescue American Healthcare will be shown at The NW FilmCenter. Escape Fire is an acclaimed documentary that tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: How can the United States save its badly broken healthcare system?Date: Thursday, Nov 1st
    Location: Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland
    Time: 7:00pm
    Cost: $5 if you RSVP to with your name!
  • Cover Oregon, the new name for the Health Insurance Exchange, is holding its November meeting in Bend. Their board will meet on November 8th from 10-2:30, and will host an open community forum on Wednesday evening November 7th, from 6-8 at St. Charles Hospital in Bend. This will be a great opportunity for folks in Central Oregon to learn what’s being designed, ask questions and share insights.
  • We Can Do Better is a community partner to the Oregon and SW Washington Health Literacy Conference: Toward a Culture of Clarity, being held on March 1, 2013. You can register online here.

Looking for Input

  • There may be an opportunity for you to provide feedback to APD (Aging & People with Disabilities) on Eligibility/Modernization. Jennifer DeJong is interested in having a consumer advocate participate in a short term work group and provide advice for the new portal for online eligibility. The purpose of the workgroup is to gather input for the client portal for the online application for eligibility. This will include fonts, colors, layout and some content. The meetings will begin in late October and probably include 6 two-hour meetings through January. If you are interested you can contact Jennifer directly at
  • The Oregon Health Authority Division of Medical Assistance Programs has released a notice and invitation for public comment on a petition to amend an administrative rule regarding the transition of Dental Care Organizations into Coordinated Care Organizations.  The public comment period is open until November 30th, 2012.  After receiving public comment OHA will decide whether to initiate the rule making process or deny the petition. A public hearing is also scheduled for November 14th, 2012, from 1-3pm. For Additional details, view the OHA Notice (PDF).

Looking for Applicants

  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion is seeking people from across Oregon to participate on its Policy Platform Development Team. From among the applicants forty people will be invited to help determine the policy priorities/policy platforms for the coming year. The deadline is November 2nd to complete the entry survey. If you have questions you can contact
  • Hey, believe it or not, We Can Do Better has a half-time position open! It’s been a long stretch since we’ve had an opportunity to bring on new staff, so we’re excited about this opening for an operations manager. Please check out the job posting.

Speaking of Staff …

Matt Webber and Courtney Dillard

Matt Webber and Courtney Dillard

Some of you may know Matt Webber, our former (but maybe someday soon again) Outreach Coordinator. This summer Matt got married and instead of a honeymoon, he and Courtney embarked on a cross-country venture called Breakfast with Strangers. Just to show that he hasn’t forgotten us, he sent a picture from the road. Great shirt, don’t you think?! They are asking a question for me along the way – my question was “What value(s) do these ‘strangers’ thing they have in common with other people across the country?” Especially at this time of year, I like to learn about what we have in common, rather than focusing only on what makes us differ. Can’t wait to hear what Matt and Courtney have learned on their travels.

Public Discourse and You

Can’t end a newsletter without asking for your support. This has been a year when the topic of public discourse has elevated to front page articles and yet, it is so very challenging to raise money to support good public dialogue and participation. We operate on a shoestring (literally) and yet campaigns can raise millions and millions of dollars. What will it take to find donors who want to invest in the piece that is missiing, even when we publicly acknowledge it’s missing. We’re hoping that you see the value and will find a way to donate to We Can Do Better.
Thank you and be well,
Liz Baxter

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