OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center – ¡Salud! Services Program
OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center’s ¡Salud! Services program is a project of the Tuality Healthcare Foundation. Since 1992, the program has been fully funded from the proceeds of the annual ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction and other private donations.
The ¡Salud! Mission
Vineyard stewards often move from crop to crop, and their short-term work status means they’re ineligible for health insurance coverage. For those with insurance, plans may cover basic services but leave patients with high deductibles. Seeking care for minor issues becomes a question of necessity due to affordability. Language barriers make accessing services and navigating the complex medical world challenging. Missing work to prioritize preventative care, or even necessary care, means a significant strain on the family budget. These gaps in the traditional healthcare model can leave vineyard stewards and their families falling through the cracks.
Access: Collaborating with wineries and vineyard managers, we’re able to bring healthcare services directly to the worksite via our mobile medical unit. No need to find a ride to a doctor’s appointment. No need to take time off to seek care or sacrifice hourly wages. We travel approximately 6,000 miles each year to bring services to the community.
Affordability: All services brought to the vineyards are free to vineyard stewards and their families. ¡Salud! Services negotiates with physicians and community clinics on a patient’s behalf to keep medical bills low. In 2021, ¡Salud! paid over $180k to providers on patient’s behalf to help offset medical expenses
Our Unique Collaboration
The relationship between vintners and physician, united in their mission to benefit this essential workforce, is unique to Oregon. No other state in the country has such an effective and far-reaching program to support the vineyard steward population. This progressive approach by the Oregon wine industry has enabled ¡Salud! to access vineyard stewards at the worksite to provide vital healthcare services they might not otherwise receive.
The ¡Salud! Services department is staffed with four full-time bilingual/bicultural employees including two registered nurses, a health educator, and an administrative coordinator. These medical professionals work to assist with access to healthcare services for Oregon vineyard workers and their families by utilizing their patient navigator knowledge to provide guidance, education, and to advocate for families which ultimately helps to avoid costly medical expenses. They interact directly with the workers and their families to assist them with health problems and accessibility issues as they arise. Over the years, the staff has identified numerous high-risk patients who would have otherwise remained untreated. Through their dedication, the ¡Salud! staff have earned the trust of these families who know and appreciate that they will receive quality and compassionate care.
Community based clinics – Existing federally qualified health centers provide the majority of primary care. The ¡Salud! staff has a close working relationship with these clinics which workers and their families feel comfortable using for their medical needs. To help ensure access, grants for care are provided to the clinics for each medical or dental encounter.
Medical Teams International – A stipend is paid for use of the fully equipped dental van staffed with volunteer dentists and hygienists. The ¡Salud! staff schedules the patients and then assists them with accessing additional care when more extensive or specialized treatment is necessary. Clinics are held in varying locations convenient to the workers.
Pacific University’s Dental Health School – Provides assessment and dental cleanings at the worksite with their mobile dental chairs as well as follow-up care in the campus clinics at reduced rates.
Other partners include: Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry, Pacific University Physical Therapy, Pacific University College of Optometry and Project Access NOW, to name a few.
Mobile Wellness Outreach Program
Wellness Clinics offered at the work site provide prevention through health education and screenings. On-site tests results are explained to patients and referrals are arranged if follow-up care is needed. With a focus on promoting wellness, this programs offers: Cholesterol, diabetes, and vision screenings, blood pressure checks, flu and tetanus vaccinations, and occupational health, nutrition, and mental health information.
Funding from more than 100 benefactors enabled the purchase of a new mobile medical unit to be built to exact specifications that provides easier access to the wineries and vineyards served. This alleviated the need and expense to contract a unit from another healthcare provider, which has allowed greater flexibility for clinic days and the ability to serve more people.