‘Health Care for All’ workshop is today

A local coalition of doctors, nurses, other health care providers and community members are banding together to create a new vision for health care in the Gorge and across Oregon.

According to Dr. Bonnie New, two upcoming workshops, sponsored by Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO), are being offered: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 12 in Hood River and Dec. 13 in The Dalles.

The two events will focus on teaching regular community members how to become activists in the goal of creating universal health care legislation in Oregon.

New, a retired E.R. physician, is co-coordinating the effort in the mid-Columbia area through the nonprofit, Gorge Health Care for All.

“Our goal is to bring, to residents and businesses of the Gorge an understanding of the current health care crisis, the moral and business need to ensure affordable health care for all, and how this can be done for the same money we are already putting into health care,” said New.

According to GHCFA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — sometimes referred to as “Obamacare“ — is a compromise that will bring some significant improvements but which failed to achieve the main reform objectives of affordability and coverage for all people. After full implementation of the act in 2019, it is estimated that 24 million U.S. citizens will still remain uninsured.

“We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide health care for all its citizens,” said New.

The goal for the training, she said, “is to give people specific ways to get the word out about the changes that are needed and the legislation that will be introduced this session related to health care in Oregon.”

She added, “Universal health care legislation has been submitted before but didn’t get traction. This time we are trying to develop a much more concentrated grass-roots action.”

HCAO will focus on simple action steps individuals may take to affect change including: hosting house parties, telling individual health care stories and relating those to what is happening at the state level, generating petitions for legislators and completing surveys documenting existing issues or problems with the health care system as it is.

For those with limited existing information on universal health care concepts or legislation, New encouraged attendance as well. “Absolutely come with questions.”

Ross Lampert, an organizer from HCFAO, will be Dec. 12 in the featured presenter. The Hood River meeting will be held at the Hood River Library in the Jeanne Marie Gaulke meeting room.

The Dalles meeting will be held at the Next Door Inc.’s offices, 318 W. Second St., near Montira’s.

For more information visit gorgehcfa.org or HCAO.org.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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