February 11, 2003                                                                                                   Hearing Room B

1:00 PM                                                                                                                       Tapes 16 – 17


MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Bill Morrisette, Chair

Sen. Bill Fisher, Vice-Chair

Sen. John Minnis

Sen. Frank Shields

Sen. Charles Starr

Sen. Vicki Walker


STAFF PRESENT:                 Marjorie Taylor, Administrator

Saranelle Allen, Committee Assistant



MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:             Informational Meeting    

                                      Tele-Health Demonstration

                                      Rural Health 101                                                                                                                      Review of Rural Health Care Workforce Issues                                                                            Review of Rural Emergency Medical Services 



These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.





Tape 16, A



Chair Morrisette

Opens meeting at 1:40 pm. 

Tele-Health Demonstration


Kathy Britton

Oregon Tele-Health Alliance.  Introduces teleconference personnel on line in Bend and Burns, OR.



On video from St. Charles Hospital in Bend, OR, is. Dr. Darren Kolwalski, and Ruth Giesking, Telemedicine Director, reviewing a medical exam of a patient in Burns, OR, done by Dr. Solitz, a primary care doctor.  Demonstration shows capabilities of a teleconference between two doctors in two different locations, in analyzing a patient case.



Gives demonstration of additional capabilities in equipment to diagnose patients.


Chair Morrisette

Asks about the types of transmission and the role St. Charles Hospital plays in interacting with other rural hospitals in the eastern portion of the state.



Reviews other networks in place in Oregon now.


Chair Morrisette

Asks for any available information in writing, as well as recommendations for the future.

Rural Health 101


Karen Whitaker

Director, OHSU Center for Rural Health.  Gives definition of rural health care, and reviews slide presentation (EXHIBIT A).


Chair Morrisette

Expresses concern for a need to refocus resources on rural Oregon, with children and families.


Sen. Walker

Asks if there is any government incentive for doctors to go to rural areas.



States there is a $5,000 tax credit that physicians, nurse practitioners, and other medical staff, can receive for working in a rural area.



Gives further testimony on occupancy in rural hospitals and current rural demographics

Tape 17, A


John Saultz

Director, Oregon AHEC Program.  Reviews workforce issues in the Rural Health Care program.


Chair Morrisette

Asks where future is heading if we keep the structures we have now.


Sen. Shields

Asks how medical care changed so drastically from large city to smaller rural care. 



Explains that the economy and job base has changed, which drastically alters the population from being rural to urban.  Further relates that new techniques in medical procedures along with staff shortages today are impacting rural health care.

Tape 16, B

Tele-Health Demonstration


Kathy Britton

Oregon Tele-Health Alliance.  Introduces 2nd demonstration.


Darlene Starr

Teacher, Fossil School, North Central Education Service District. Explains her volunteer role as an EMT, and reviews rural emergency medical services.  Testifies about the declining capability for emergency service in her rural area.


Scott Ekblad

Deputy Director, Oregon Office of Rural Health.  Gives written testimony regarding emergency medical services in rural Oregon (EXHIBIT B).


Sen. Walker

Asks if there are any funds for these services in the Governor’s budget.


Karen Whitaker

Director, OHSU Center for Rural Health.  Replies that there are none in the current budget.


Sandy Ryman

Northeast Oregon Area Health Education.  Gives written testimony on rural emergency services, from 1991 to today, and notes there has been little change, and that funding shortages in education is still prevalent (EXHIBIT C).


Chair Morrisette

Asks how these funding shortages are handled.



States that shortages are usually covered by students and the public.

Tape 17, B


Chair Morrisette

Adjourns meeting at 3:04 p.m.






A – Rural Health 101, Karen Whitaker, 6 pp.

B – Emergency Medical Services in Rural Oregon, written testimony, Scott Ekblad, 2 pp.

C – Rural Emergency Services Enhancement Fund, written testimony, Sandy Ryman, 1 p.