March 3, 2023

Cascadia’s 2023 Legislative Advocacy

As we move into month three of Oregon’s 2023 legislative session, Cascadia Health is continuing to advocate for behavioral health services that are more equitable, better funded, and effectively prioritized.

Cascadia’s leadership is currently tracking over 200 bills that impact community behavioral health, access to care, workforce, administrative burdens, budget priorities, and more, while actively visiting state legislators, providing testimony and commenting on bills.

Just one example is House Bill 2485, which aims to direct funding to support social work students in pursuit of their master’s degree, thus bolstering the future workforce (you can view the full text of HB2485 here). 

On Feb. 6, 2023, the Oregon House Committee on Behavioral Health and Health Care met to discuss HB 2485. Cascadia’s People and Culture Development Officer Dave Kohler attended the session and provided testimony in favor of the bill, citing the need to encourage more mission-driven students to pursue social work and address the shortage of providers—not just at Cascadia, but across Oregon.

Check Out Dave’s Testimony Here

On March 3, 2023, Cascadia’s Senior Director of Peer Delivered Services Molly Griggs provided testimony on Senate Bill 432 at a meeting of the Oregon Senate Committee on Health Care (view SB432 here). SB432 would establish a community-based, consumer-run technical assistance center to train and inform consumers of public behavioral health services on the technical aspects of service systems and policy. Molly emphasized that a center like this can offer ongoing recruitment, training, and mentoring for those who are interested in sharing their insights from lived experience—an important step toward empowering consumer voice.

Cascadia is grateful for its mission-driven team members, working at every level to champion initiatives to improve workforce development and supports for the clients we serve.