Ashlander chosen for state panel

Joanne Noone, the associate dean of the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing in Ashland, has been appointed to the Oregon Public Health Advisory Board by Gov. John Kitzhaber. Her tenure will last until 2017.

Noone said she hopes to provide solid representation of Southern Oregon on the board. "The board deals with public health issues that impact the entire state," she said. "Being down here in Southern Oregon is important. The board needs representation from all areas of the state."

Noone has practiced nursing in rural communities, and her research interests include women's reproductive issues.

She said one of the major issues facing the board in the coming years will be the major overhaul of the state's medical system.

Oregon is in the vanguard of a push to lower health costs by forming coordinated care communities that seek to lower hospital readmittance rates and revamp the way Medicaid is structured in the state.

"It really is a time of change in Oregon," Noone said. "We don't really know the full impact of the reform, but we do lead the country in these reforms."

The board serves as an advisory body to the Oregon Health Authority on policy matters related to public health programs. It also provides a review of statewide health issues and helps shape health policy, according to the group's website.

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