Today, U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) was pleased to welcome U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to Oregon’s 5th Congressional District during Mental Health Awareness Month to discuss initiatives to tackle the nation’s youth mental health crisis and strengthen the health care worker pipeline.
Secretary Becerra joined Congressman Schrader (OR-05), Governor Brown (D-OR), Congressman Blumenauer (OR-03), and Congresswoman Bonamici (OR-01) at Lines for Life for a roundtable discussion on youth mental health. At the conclusion of the roundtable, Becerra, Schrader, Brown, Blumenauer, and Bonamici participated in a walkthrough of the Lines for Life facility and crisis call center with YouthLine volunteers.
Secretary Becerra also joined Congressman Schrader and Governor Brown at Portland Community College for a separate roundtable discussion on models for innovation and best practices to strengthen the health care workforce pipeline. At the conclusion of the roundtable, Becerra and Schrader participated in a student-led tour of the medical imaging lab located on the Portland Community College Sylvania campus.
"We applaud Secretary Becerra, Congressman Schrader, Governor Brown for their leadership in working to address the healthcare workforce pipeline," PCC President Mark Mitsui said. "Oregon, like so many states, is facing staff shortages, and we look forward to building further upon our partnerships through the college's healthcare programs, which provide our students with pathways to in-demand careers with living wages. These include Nursing, Medical Imaging, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting, Health Information Management, EMT, Paramedic, Ophthalmic Medical Tech, Phlebotomy, Patient Access Specialist, Surgical Tech, Vet Tech among other interprofessional healthcare professions."
“It was an honor to bring Secretary Becerra and Oregon’s state and community leaders together for these two critically important discussions.” Rep. Schrader said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on many facets of our lives and has taken a significant toll on Oregon’s youth and health care workforce. While we have turned the corner on this pandemic, we would not be here without the strength and resiliency of our young folks, doctors, medical providers, nurses, technicians, and the rest of our health care workforce. The past two years or so have shown that we need bold new investments, innovative ideas, and expanded opportunities to address these issues head on. I appreciate today's productive conversations and look forward to working with the Administration, my colleagues in Congress, and state and local leaders to deliver results and build on the progress we have made here in Oregon.”