Jackson Care Connect members and programs recognized in governor’s inaugural

A Medford family was singled out for recognition and praise by Gov. Kate Brown as she was sworn in January 9 for her first elected term.

Kelleni Camacho and her son, Carlos, a 16 year-old South Medford High student, are among the 1,500 Jackson Care Connect members who have made positive, life-altering changes through the Coordinated Care Organization's partnership with the Rogue Valley and Ashland YMCAs.


According to Jackson Care Connect CEO Jennifer Lind, "Offering YMCA scholarships to members is part of Jackson Care Connect’s investment in preventive care and wellness programs to help members overcome health challenges and to stay healthy. We are happy Governor Brown supports our families and their efforts."


The Camacho's attended the inauguration and were special guests of the Governor following the ceremonies. Governor Brown hopes to advance her vision for full health insurance coverage for all of Oregon's children and noted the impact of improved health on academic achievement that Carlos' story demonstrates.


Here are Gov. Brown’s remarks:


Let me turn now from economic health to the physical health of Oregonians.   We all know that good health is fundamental to the well-being and self sufficiency of every Oregonian.  


"I am so proud to report that we have made great progress in the equitable delivery of health care.  Over the past several years, Oregon has expanded health care to 95 percent of adults and 98 percent of children.


"These are numbers worth repeating!  Here in Oregon, 95 percent of adults, and 98 percent of children now have access to healthcare.


"We should not and cannot stop until every Oregonian is covered. Health care is about more than just seeing a doctor. Every child in this state deserves the opportunity to be healthy and successful.


"One of the families who now has health care is the Camacho family in Medford.    Kelleni Camacho grew up in a family that struggled with abuse and addiction, which influenced her to make lifestyle choices she knew were detrimental.  She was referred to Jackson Care Connect, a Coordinated Care Organization. In their 12 week "Healthier New You" program, she was able to transform not just her life, but the lives of her husband and son.


"Before starting the program, Kelleni was overweight and facing a host of related health problems. Her entire family, including her husband and her son also struggled with obesity.


"Once she had access to care, Kelleni took what she learned and taught her family to read nutrition labels, chose foods that were good for them, and begin to exercise more. They all each lost a significant amount of weight.


"Carlos, her son, was the self-described "chubby kid" who would think nothing of eating a bag of chips in one sitting.  He began to exercise with his mom, and they even grew fresh vegetables in their apartment.  Carlos gained strength, and eventually became a successful athlete, which, in turn, made him want to be a successful student.  He says his wrestling coach is strict about grades, and won't let them practice if they have behavior issues or miss class.  


"Carlos sums it up by saying that the program makes him want to, "do good."


"As impressive as Carlos' story is, we still have more work to do.


"We still have children and families in our state who do not have health insurance. And they don't have access to the services that transformed Carlos and his family's lives.


"As their story demonstrates, health care coverage is foundational to health and well-being.


"This is why I have proposed investing additional funds to expand health insurance coverage to all children in Oregon. With this, we can provide the opportunity for good health to every single Oregon child, and ensure every child is able to reach their full potential."


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