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Oregon's underserved children find a strong advocate in Cascade Health Alliance

Community news | Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Contact: Maria Ramirez

Klamath Falls, OR—Cascade Health Alliance (CHA) and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Klamath County have teamed up to give individual support services for county youth. A donation from CHA allows CASA to provide foster children with a squad of highly trained volunteer advocates to fight on each child's behalf. Whether it's providing self-care backpacks or mentoring kids on how to conquer their circumstances, the CASA support system, with the aid of partners such as CHA, is making a tremendous impact on Klamath County's most vulnerable citizens.

"It has always been a part of the mission at Cascade Health Alliance to provide care for the underprivileged in our community. We understand that there are a multitude of factors that impact a person's physical health," notes CHA CEO Tayo, Akins. "Stress, uncertainty, mental illness and lack of a support system have long-reaching effects that can hold a child back from reaching his or her true potential. At CHA, we have a passion for assisting kids in non-traditional ways to help them heal from past trauma and transition to a stronger life," Akins states. CHA and CASA have a long-standing relationship and mutual dedication to helping children in need. The grant from CHA allowed CASA to create a part-time executive assistant position and produce advertising campaigns that attracted new volunteers.

"We are grateful for Cascade Health Alliance and all they are doing for our vulnerable youth and our community," notes Karri Mirande, Executive Director, CASA for Children of Klamath County. "A child with a CASA volunteer advocate is substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, more likely to be adopted, and half as likely to re-enter the system. They're also more likely to do better in school and form healthy relationships." Mirande adds. CASA volunteers are sometimes the only consistent caring adult in the life of a foster child. The teams work tirelessly to help kids understand their rights and ensure they are placed in safe, healthy, forever homes. CASA will hold its annual fundraiser, "CASABlanca" on March 17, 2018. Themed after the movie, a casino, big band and Hollywood-style atmosphere the event will continue to raise funds and awareness to support Klamath County youth in need.

About Cascade Health Alliance: CHA is a coordinated care organization (CCO) in Klamath County, a CCO that brings together many types of doctors and other health care providers to work together and serve individuals with health insurance from the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).