June 22, 2007

Wyden, Smith Announce New Federal Funding to Boost Health Care, Education, and Workforce Development in Oregon Communities

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith today announced that they have obtained significant federal funding for various Oregon projects as part of the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill. The legislation approved Thursday by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee includes funding for health care, education and workforce development projects; the bill must now be approved by the full Senate.

"Federal funds can often provide the spark to jump start great community efforts," Wyden said. "These targeted Federal investments in health care, education and workforce development will provide a meaningful boost to Oregon communities."

"The funding advances health care and research projects throughout Oregon," Senator Smith said. "Many of these programs will lead to the next generation of medical cures. Just as important, the funding addresses many of today's health care needs."

Oregon projects included in the appropriations committee's bill are as follows:

  • $400,000 for Portland State University's Science Research and Teaching Center, which will focus on innovative ways to improve science education at the university level, at community colleges, and in K-12 schools. The Center will provide research and teaching space for biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics, and for the Masters degree in the teaching of science.

  • $350,000 to create an Integrated Health Care Facility in Cascade Locks, which currently has no medical, dental or pharmaceutical facilities or providers of health care.

  • $300,000 to establish a University Center in Hermiston to provide access to higher education and workforce training programs for rural communities and disadvantaged populations in west Umatilla and north Morrow counties, the most rapidly growing area in eastern Oregon. The Center will accommodate approx. 600 students, providing courses in business, technology, science, nursing and other allied health professions, education, and the liberal arts.

  • $250,000 to equip a nursing simulation laboratory at Western Oregon University in support of a joint Oregon Health and Sciences University/Western Oregon University Bachelor of Science degree program in nursing.

  • $200,000 to the Cascade AIDS Project in Portland to provide support services for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS and to conduct HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs. More than 6,000 families in the Portland area have a loved one living with HIV.

  • $150,000 to the Working for Independence Program in Clackamas County, which assists people managing mental illness and related conditions with training and finding and keeping productive jobs in the community.

  • $150,000 to expand the physical capacity of the community health center in Springfield. The clinic provides primary and preventive care, mental health, and dental care to over 12,000 low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents of Lane County.

  • $100,000 to support small business workforce development needs through Portland Community College's Center for Business and Industry (CBI). CBI will use the funding to increase workforce training services to small businesses, which comprise 90% of the total businesses in the Portland metropolitan area.

  • $100,000 to the Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center in Portland to implement the Oregon Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Network and Registry Project. The MS Network and Registry will promote rapid information sharing, data collection, analysis and application and will be shared with satellite sites (smaller neurology practices) as well as maintained in the five hubs, which will include Portland, Medford, Bend, and two in eastern Washington.

  • $100,000 to Oregon Partnership for the Preventing Youth Suicide Now! Project, providing suicide prevention training to school counselors, pediatricians, family practitioners, college health center staff, and other professionals who work with youth and to support the statewide 24-hour staffed and certified Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Youth suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10-24 year olds in Oregon; the state's youth suicide rates have risen above the national average in recent years.

  • $100,000 to Jewish Family and Child Services in Portland to support the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) Senior Access Project to improve access and cultural sensitivity to seniors living at this site in southwest Portland. Services will include translation services, transportation assistance, social activities, cultural events and nutritious meals.

  • $100,000 for the Springfield Public Schools Academy of Arts and Academics to further support this rigorous arts-based small high school serving up to 250 9th through 12th grade students.

  • $100,000 for Legacy Health Systems in Portland to provide equipment and training to rural hospitals and connect them to the Oregon Burn Center for consultations.

  • $100,000 for the nursing program at Oregon Coast Community College in Newport to furnish a clinical skills and simulation laboratory, where students will learn and practice nursing skills.