Bringing oral health to residents of care facilities, new fiscal transparency tool, home safety tips and more in the latest newsletter.
May 2018
Volume 10, Issue 2
County launches new online Transparency Portal
Transparency Portal

Earlier this month Benton County launched an online tool that displays expenditures, 
revenues, accounts payable and 
payroll data in real time.

"This online tool honors our goal of transparency and accountability to the public, and really is an industry best practice for showing our financial data," 

Program brings oral health to residents of care facilities

Veterans, seniors and people with disabilities receive dental services where they live

Krystle Carruthers   was in the National Guard and had recently returned to Oregon from a deployment in Kuwait when she was injured in May 2015. Krystle was struck by a car, causing a severe brain injury. 

Krystle's catastrophic injury has required extensive medical care. It also prevents her from receiving regular oral care. In Krystle's current condition, she can't brush her own teeth, and she can't be seen in a dental office.

Krystle and other people who are unable to receive regular dental care are being served through a unique program of the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties. Since the program began in August 2017, more than a hundred people have received dental services or screenings in 9 assisted living facilities in Benton and Linn counties.

From the Sheriff's Office

Corvallis and Benton County have seen a surge in burglaries this year, with 60 occurrences so far in 2018.

Whether you leave for the weekend or for several months, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of becoming a victim of burglary and theft. The objective is to leave your home secure and looking as though you have never left.

The Sheriff's Office is currently accepting applications for its fall "Citizens' Academy." This free program is a great way for Benton County residents to learn about their Sheriff's Office. 

Taught by sworn Deputies, class members learn about all aspects of the Sheriff's responsibilities including law enforcement, emergency management, search and rescue, parole and probation, jail operations, and support services.

In Brief
The Benton County Criminal Justice Assessment is wrapping up the first and second phase data collection at the end of this month.

The Data Report-out and Community meeting will be held on Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Benton County Historical Museum (second floor auditorium), 1101 Main Street, Philomath, OR 97370. Parking is available on-site. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., and light snacks will be provided.

County facilities upgrade enters final phase

Two of three facility improvement projects complete

In fall 2016 the Benton County Board of Commissioners approved a proposal to begin the remodel process on three county facilities: Public Service Building on 27th Street; Avery Building on Avery Avenue; and, the Sunset Building on Research Way.

The final phase of the facilities upgrade is renovating the Public Services Building to be used solely for the Benton Health Center and mental health services. Renovation of the Public Services Building will expand the Benton Health Center to the complete building footprint, move the lobby area to a central location and improve environmental conditions within the building.

Apply now for upcoming advisory board and committees  

Participation on county boards and commissions involves residents directly in local govern ment in an impactful way and provides the Board of Commissioners  with timely input on important issues. Benton County has 24 advisory boards, commissions, and committees and seeks enthusiastic and diverse members interested in becoming more involved with their local community on a variety of issues.

New advisory committee recruiting members

HB 2017 is the first major piece of funding and legislation to address public transit in the State of Oregon for at least 20 years. By fiscal year 2019-20, the  Department of Revenue is conservatively projecting the tax will bring in about $75 million statewide, with Benton  County's share of that at about $1.5 million annually.

The Benton County Board of Commissioners will have a substantial policy role in the local distribution of these funds. The Commissioners will establish and appoint a local State Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Advisory Committee to help develop a local STIF Plan for expenditure of the funds; review project proposals from County transportation providers; and advise the Board on the allocation of funds for transit projects.

The Board of Commissioners is soliciting membership applications for the soon-to-be created local STIF advisory committee. 

Fleet Services Division rated 65th in national ranking

The 100 Best Fleets program recognizes and rewards the top 100 peak performing fleet operations in North America. This was the first year that Benton County Fleet Services submitted an application for consideration.

The rankings were announced at the annual NAFA Fleet Management Association conference, the vehicle fleet industry's largest trade association, in late April Benton County's Fleet Services debuted at 65. It's an impressive feat, and the division outranked many larger organizations across the country.

Additionally, in March six members of the Benton County Fleet Services Division completed various trainings and certifications applicable to the training hosted by the Oregon Fire Apparatus & Equipment Mechanics Association (OFAEMA). OFAEMA is a non-profit educational organization that provides complete and comprehensive education and certification on the service and maintenance of emergency apparatus.

"This is a great opportunity to enhance their skills," said Keith Nicolson, Fleet Services Manager. "While the trainings are put on by the Oregon Fire Apparatus and Equipment Mechanics School, a lot of what they learn is transferable to other customer equipment."

OFAEMA works with the Emergency Vehicle Technician Certification Program (EVT) to assure that the training mechanics receive at the local level is consistent with the training recognized by other states.
Kruger appointed to serve on the Oregon Environmental Health Registration Board

In early 2018 Benton County Environmental Health Specialist Scott Kruger was appointed to the State of Oregon Environmental Health Registration Board. Kruger has worked in the County's Environmental Health Division for just over 13 years, coming to Benton County from Lane County Environmental Health. In his current position as an Environmental Health Specialist, he especially loves working with restaurant operators on ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness occurring in their operation and keeping their customers safe.

The Oregon Environmental Health Registration Board oversees the practices of environmental health specialists and waste water specialists and consists of seven members appointed by the governor.
Parsons achieves Public Finance Office certification 

Debbie Parsons, Benton County Assistant Finance Director, recently received certificatio n as a Certified Public Finance Officer. This certification program is   sponsored by the  Governmental Finance Officers Association and is designed to verify knowledge in the disciplines of government finance. To earn the designation of Certified Public Finance Officer, a candidate must pass a se ries of five
examinations covering the following major disciplines of public finance:
  • Governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting
  • Treasury and Investment Management
  • Debt Management
  • Operating and Capital Budgeting
  • Retirement & Benefits, Risk Management and Procurement
Candidates have up to seven years to complete the testing; however Debbie completed the program in two years while also working on the County's new financial software implementation. 
Dahl receives Innovation and Leadership in Transformation award

Sherlyn Dahl, Director of the Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties, received the Innovation and Leadership in Transformation awarded by the Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA) in late April.

This honor is awarded to individuals leading the effort to establish Community Health Centers (CHC) as centers of excellence through innovative community partnerships, clinical, operational and administrative practices.

Nine years ago, before community health worker and health navigation were common in the primary care setting, Sherlyn Dahl believed in the possibilities of using community health workers as health navigators embedded in the care team. With continued vision, support, and management, the health navigation program has grown from one part-time, grant-funded navigator working with one clinical team to a navigation team that has 28 full-time navigators working in six CHC clinics, four Samaritan clinics, three Corvallis schools, and throughout Benton and Linn Counties. Sherlyn Dahl is also involved in the local CCO, serves on the OPCA Board, and passionately advocates for Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Anderson presents awards at national conference

Mitch Anderson, Health Department Director, attended the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) Legislative and Policy Conference held in Washington D.C. in early March.

In his role as President of the NACBHDD Board of Directors, Anderson presented awards to state representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), John Katko (R-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), all of whom have supported behavioral health and developmental disability issues as policy makers.