Protecting and monitoring community health, Sheriff's Office announcements, updates on major County priorities and more in the latest newsletter from Benton County.

February 2018
Volume 10, Issue 1

Protecting and monitoring community health

One of the major functions of public health is to monitor the health status of a community and protect against health hazards. 

Communicable disease investigation is a cornerstone of protecting our community against health hazards. A five step process is used for most communicable disease investigations.

This article uses the meningococcal disease outbreak to illustrate this process.

Sharing the road in Benton County

Approximately 98 percent of the collector and arterial roadways in the city of Corvallis have bike lanes and there are 18 miles of multi-use paths. A network of paved roads stretches out from Corvallis and from US 20 and Oregon Highways 99W and 34.

Whether you're a longtime cyclist, or want to try out bike commuting, it's a good idea to remind yourself of laws and best practices.

From the Sheriff's Office
L to R: Deputy Brian Horn, Deputy Josh Gordon, Health Department Director Mitch Anderson, Sergeant David Iverson.

Deputy Brian Horn, Deputy Josh Gordon, and Sergeant David Iverson of the Benton County Sheriff's Office took part in an intensive 40-hour Critical Intervention Training.

The training is designed to help resolve law enforcement encounters with people who have mental illnesses safely, and when appropriate, link them to local mental health supports and services that reduce the chances for further interactions with the criminal justice system.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) is a program of the US Citizen Corps which is managed nationally by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The program trains community volunteers in basic disaster response skills so family, neighbors, or community can be effectively and efficiently helped during an emergency. 

The Basic CERT Training is free and consists of nine separate units presented over a course of days. Classes are scheduled as certified volunteer trainers are available. 

In Brief
Benton County Public Works is hosting its first series of Community Workshops for the update of the County's Transportation System Plan (TSP).   The TSP evaluates the current transportation system and outlines policies and projects that are important to protecting and enhancing the quality of life in Benton County.

County launches non-lethal predator and animal damage control program

The Agricultural and Wildlife Protection Program (AWPP) is a new program being piloted by Benton County during the 2017-2019 biennium.

Agricultural operations in Benton County that wish to prevent conflicts with wildlife may qualify for up to $5,000 in reimbursement grant funds for the purchase of proactive non-lethal wildlife deterrents to protect livestock and crops.

Bring your friends, your family, or your group, and join in to reduce the impacts of invasive plants! Meet Benton Soil and Water Conservation District (BSWCD) at any one of their Let's Pull Together locations on Saturday, May 19, 2018 to remove weeds. 

2040 Community Core Values finalized
The 2040 Thriving Communities Initiative-a community-driven effort led by local leaders-culminated more than a year of extensive public outreach and engagement by finalizing the community's Core Values in early February 2018.
  • Equity for Everyone
  • Health in all Actions
  • Vibrant, Livable Communities
  • Supportive People & Resources
  • High Quality Environment and Access
  • Diverse Economy that Fits
  • Community Resilience
Criminal justice system assessment project launch and community meeting

Around 50 community members attended the criminal justice system assessment project launch and community meeting on February, 20, 2018 at the Courtyard by Marriott Corvallis.

Entry to Avery Complex temporarily relocated
Construction of Phase I of the addition to the Avery Complex is anticipated to be completed at the end of March 2018. The construction includes the addition of approximately 5,000 square feet of space to the County's Avery Complex.  To accommodate the remodel of the existing reception area, the entry and reception area have been temporarily relocated from the north side to the east side of the building where the temporary visitor parking is located.  This entry and reception area will be used until April 2, 2018.

Anderson elected President of National Board

Mitch Anderson, Director of the Benton County Health Department, was recently elected President of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) Board of Directors. An affiliate of the National Association of Counties, NACBHDD provides policy analysis and advocacy to Congress and the Executive Branch and promotes national policies that recognize and support the critical role counties play in caring for people affected by mental illness, addiction, and developmental disabilities.

Community Health Centers achieve 5 star Patient Centered Primary Care Home Accreditation

A Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH) is a health care clinic that has been recognized for their commitment to patient-centered care. It's part of Oregon's strategy for health system transformation, and fulfilling a vision for better health, better care and lower costs in primary care.

In 2017 the East Linn, Monroe, Lincoln and Benton Health Centers achieved the new, five-star accreditation. Further, the Monroe and Lincoln Health Centers are the first school-based health centers to achieve five-star accreditation in the state of Oregon.

DA Office expands Victim Services

The Benton County District Attorney's Office sought a grant opportunity to expand the level of services the office is able to provide to victims. In late 2017, the District Attorney's Office was awarded $103,666 to establish a Post-Conviction Crime Victim advocate (PCVA) position. This position will provide post-conviction victim services for all person and property convictions in Benton County. 

Overlin awarded First Citizen honor

Trudy Overlin, longtime member of the Benton County Fair Board, was awarded the First Citizen honor at Celebrate Corvallis in January 2018 for her charitable and nonprofit work. Overlin is an export compliance manager at NuScale Power and has helped raise money for the Arts Center, Heartland Humane Society and Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV).

The Benton County Health Navigators assisted OSU undergraduate students with Oregon Health Plan (OHP) enrollment and information, plus provided any social resource information and navigation needed. The eight Health Navigators completed a total of 151 OHP applications in the January vaccine clinics, which covered 165 students. 

The Northwest Connector Network, a partnership of transit districts in Benton, Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln and Tillamook counties, surpassed 1.1 million bus miles in 2017, carrying over 188,000 passengers. Additionally passengers riding the NW Connector in 2017 are estimated to have saved over 5 million in vehicle miles traveled, which translates into estimated 1.3 tons of CO2 or greenhouse gas emissions avoided.