By Nicole Rideout, Communications Specialist, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare
For more than 40 years, Cascadia has been the community health and housing safety net provider for Oregonians of all ages experiencing mental health and addiction challenges, trauma, poverty, and homelessness. Through the delivery of whole health care—integrated mental health and addiction services, primary care, and housing—Cascadia promotes hope and supports the well-being of the communities they serve.
With over 1,000 employees, 75 locations, and four health centers, Cascadia is the largest community-based behavioral health and substance use treatment services organization in the state of Oregon and is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC). Each year, Cascadia touches the lives of 18,000 Oregonians.
Federally Qualified Health Center Status
This winter, Cascadia was awarded Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike status by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). Cascadia sought the FQHC designation in order to improve the health outcomes of the populations Cascadia serves that are often chronically marginalized by traditional health care settings due to their complex mental health needs. Cascadia has found that the delivery of primary care by trusted clinicians can be transformative to the health and wellbeing of those we serve.
As an FQHC, Cascadia aims to address health disparities among those we serve through the delivery of whole health care at our Garlington and Woodland Park Health Centers. This includes integrating trauma-informed primary care into our existing array of mental health, addiction, wellness, and permanent affordable housing programs.
Cascadia will expand access to primary care by hiring additional providers and serving more patients in these high-need neighborhoods, as well as increase medical outreach to high-risk populations including individuals experiencing homelessness, severe and persistent mental illness, and substance use challenges. Specific offerings may include:
- Extended hours and weekend hours
- Specialty care such as pediatric, gynecology, etc.
- Care for diabetes and other chronic health conditions
- Expanded access to medications
- Expanded distribution for COVID-19 vaccines
- Medical urgent and emergent services
COVID-19 Response in the Community
While the COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges, Cascadia remained committed to keeping our staff, clients, and greater community safe and healthy. Through the creation of Cascadia’s Incident Command Center Team, all residential sites, health centers, urgent walk-in clinic, and mobile crisis teams stayed open to provide crucial healthcare services to those in need.
In addition to keeping existing services in operation, Cascadia also developed new ways to support the community amid this public health crisis. Cascadia launched its Virtual Support Team, which provides additional support for clients who may be at risk, as well as drastically increased the organization’s telehealth capabilities to ensure staff are able to connect with clients when and where they’re comfortable.
More recently, Cascadia has administered nearly 3,600 vaccines to employees, clients and residents, healthcare partners, and community members, and has also done targeted vaccine outreach to marginalized populations including the houseless community.
Whole Healthcare. Whole Lives. Whole Community.
Cascadia envisions a community where everyone benefits from whole health care, experiences well-being, and has a self-directed, connected life. Learn more at www.cascadiabhc.org.