“Health Homes” funding from Providence, Kaiser, Oregon Community Foundation

The effects of substance abuse on individuals and our community are many and well-chronicled. What is less widely known is that the people in medical treatment for drug addiction are often still without care for chronic health conditions.

“When talking about ‘recovery’ for opioid addicts, it is natural that healthcare providers focus on addressing the addiction that brought the patient to us,” said Tim Hartnett, CODA’s executive director. “Yet we also now know that these patients have higher prevalence rates of diabetes, liver, heart and respiratory disease than the general population.”  Often these patients are without primary care providers or they worry about being judged for their addiction, so are less likely to seek help and articulately describe their symptoms, Hartnett added.

A partnership between Providence Health, Kaiser Permanente and the Oregon Community Fund is changing this dynamic at CODA and elsewhere, raising awareness and putting resources into projects that “advance the goals of healthcare reform by reducing the impact of mental health and/or substance abuse on individuals, the health system and the community.”

In the case of CODA, the $299,350 grant supports creation of “health homes” for such patients, and among other services will teach self-management strategies to individuals with chronic health conditions—such as hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, nicotine dependence. This will take place in the same Portland clinic where they undergo methadone maintenance treatment for opioid addiction. This is an environment in which trust and patient accountability are already present or much more easily developed than a separate primary-care setting. It is also a cost-effective, time-efficient model that can reduce the strain on hospital emergency rooms in the area.

Among other services, the grant will:

  • Strengthen the relationships betweenCODA patients and their current primary care providers. For those without care providers, CODA will work to help them establish treatment relationships in the community.
  • Provide assistance to patients seeking medical care via appointment reminders, transportation assistance and by advocating on the patient’s behalf.

The grant awarded to CODA is part of a $1.2 million fund. Three other local projects received funds along with CODA:  Lifeworks NW (Washington County); Oregon Primary Care (multiple counties); and Volunteers of America (Multnomah County).

As the Oregon Community Fund’s Winter 2013 newsletter puts it: “As health care continues to transform, health systems and safety net providers face daunting challenges. Responding to these challenges requires innovative solutions, partnerships and processes.”

Recognition for quality and safety in behavioral healthcare.

CODA’s Portland Recovery Center  is the only medication-assisted treatment program in Portland to have earned the The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®.

This accreditation recognizes our dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety in behavioral health care.

(Note: The Joint Commission was formerly referred to as JCAHO, for The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. People in healthcare settings often still use that nickname, pronounced “Jay-co.”)Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval

CODA underwent a rigorous on-site survey earlier this year during which a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated the Portland Recovery Center for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of individuals served and families, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, CODA, Inc., has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for the people they serve,” says Mary Cesare-Murphy, Ph.D., executive director, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation, The Joint Commission. “Behavioral Health accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend CODA for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

The Joint Commission’s behavioral health care standards address important functions relating to the care of individuals served and the management of behavioral health care organizations. The standards are developed in consultation with behavioral health care experts, providers, measurement experts, individuals served and their families.

Stepping Stones gets a second home

CODA’s Stepping Stones supported housing has a second home!

Stepping Stones serves women with alcohol and drug problems who have been living separately from their children, and who are now able to reunite.

Since its founding in 2007, Stepping Stones has offered new lives to 56 women and their children. With a second debt-free house, more will be served, and funds previously spent on leasing will help sustain the program. Fifteen women and 25 children are expected to live in the adjacent houses by the end of this calendar year.

In 2011 and 2012 the Addictions and Mental Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority presented CODA with two Community Housing Development Awards that provided the crucial foundation for acquiring the two houses.

Generous gifts from Meyer Memorial Trust and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund provided vital early momentum. Support from The Collins Foundation, Portland Women’s Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, and The Swigert Foundation ensured the expansion would go forward.

Grants needed to support the purchase of the first house came from The Autzen Foundation and the Banks High School Community 101 Class, a program of the Oregon Community Foundation with major funding from the PGE Foundation.

New furnishings, from refrigerators to sheets, dishes to children’s books, have been provided  through grants, individual gifts and in-kind donations. Those generous supporters include:

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette

Costco Wholesale

Home Depot

The Mattress Lot

Oregon Decorative Rock

Rick’s Custom Fencing & Design


Washington County Commission on Children & Families