Health care is one of the largest industries in the country and is projected to continue to expand. Advances in technology and greater emphasis on cost-effectiveness have led to changes in the structure, organization and delivery of health care services. For example, while hospitals traditionally were the primary providers of acute care, advances in technology, along with cost controls, have shifted much care from inpatient settings to ambulatory or community based settings, nursing facilities and home health care settings. Three key health care industry trends are apparent in Oregon: (1) Technological advances and innovative practices will improve delivery of health care services and the high demand for health care workers will remain. (2) The shift from inpatient, institutionalized care to outpatient services and preventive care continues to move along the continuum as alternative, holistic approaches to health care develop. Unlike other states, Oregon spends more Medicaid dollars on home and community based services than on institutional care provided in nursing homes. (3) The greatest challenge to U.S. health care in the 21st century is the aging population of Baby Boomers who will require increased medical care and services. Oregonís peak years for this population explosion will be from 2015 to 2020 when the population growth for the 65-plus age group is expected to increase 22%.
The Employment Department expects private health care employment to continue to grow 30% by 2020, adding 68,000 jobs. Job opportunities within the health care industry are not limited to just traditional health care occupations. Health care institutions will need many accountants, personnel specialists, file clerks, secretaries, food service staff, housekeepers and others. The number of Oregonians age 65 and older who will require direct care is now over 438,000 and is expected to increase by over 100% by 2025. This is coupled with a potential decrease in employment numbers from retirees leaving the workforce. Demand for workers not only depends on the needs of the population but also on how providers, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, home health and others decide to use health workers in delivering care. Demographic pressures associated with an aging population are expected to both increase demand for health care services as well as the number of job openings from workers retiring.
Ashland has attracted a wide variety of alternative and complementary health care practitioners as well as a large percentage of residents who value them. Not only are there the allopathic health care facilities mentioned in this section, there is also an abundance of Chiropractic and Naturopathic Physicians, Acupuncturists, Homeopaths, and Massage Therapists. Many find Ashland to be a safe and healthy community to raise their families by virtue of the options regarding complementary and
alternative medicine in conjunction with their allopathic medical care choices. With massage therapists who practice everything from Reiki to Rolfing, pediatric to orthopedic chiropractic care, acupuncturists specialized from fertility to sports medicine, and naturopathic physicians in private practices, hospitals, and community health centers, Ashland invites people interested in proactive prevention and comprehensive healthcare.
Rogue Community Health (formerly Community Health Center) was founded in 1972 as the result of concerned community residents in Ashland, Oregon, coming together to solve a problem. Today, the nonprofit organization provides affordable primary and preventive health care services for people of all ages and backgrounds through clinics in Ashland, Butte Falls, Medford, Prospect and White City. The mission remains to promote the health of low-income, working uninsured, and other vulnerable adults and children in Jackson County, Oregon.
Rogue Community Health best serves lower income uninsured or underinsured individuals and families. Their vision is to be a leader in reducing barriers to achieving optimal health and to support workforce development. They offer an integrated health model of care that considers all medical and social aspects to patientsí lives to achieve wellness. A generous sliding-fee scale is available to assist those qualified.
For information, (541) 773-3863 or www.roguecommunityhealth.org
Find them on FaceBook at: www.facebook.com/chcoregon