State Senator Jeff Kruse meets with Community Conversations’ host Connie Hunter during his time off from the State Legislature to urge Curry County stakeholders to work together with the Roseburg Veterans Administration (VA) Healthcare System to build community partnerships for the benefit of Curry County veterans and their families in the areas of medical and mental healthcare. Senator Kruse praises VA Roseburg Healthcare System’s Director for his leadership implementing the VA’s new direction to fill gaps in care for our rural veterans.

Senator Jeff Kruse

Senator Jeff Kruse

Listeners will learn more about the VA’s new push to eliminate gaps in care. The strategy consists of building community partnerships with local service providers in order to better serve our local veterans’ health and mental healthcare needs. Senator Jeff Kruse endorses the efforts of KCIW Outreach and Community Conversations for providing the necessary call to action and coordination of the January 15, 2016, VA Roseburg’s Healthcare System and community stakeholders’ meeting. Senator Kruse praises Community Conversations’ vision and acknowledges the importance of growing KCIW to be a vital and community-building tool.

As the interview progresses, Hunter and Senator Kruse spotlight the issue of the State of Oregon’s unwillingness to provide sufficient mental health funding for its citizens. With the State of Oregon being ranked in the lowest position for mental health care funding (number 51!) – below all others states – Kruse makes “no bones about” acknowledging that there is a mental healthcare crisis in Oregon. Curry Community Health (CCH) has done much in a short period of time to build new programming, but funding shortages systemically create a shortage of resources and gaps in care. Hunter acknowledges CCH’s efforts and that more needs to be done.

During this in-depth interview, Senator Kruse crafts a high-level means to create the much needed funding solution. Senator Kruse reveals plans to initiate a state top level work group. The mission of the group will be to develop new resources and funding for the State of Oregon to build a mental healthcare system that supports its citizens’ needs and has an interoperable relationship with law enforcement to benefit public safety. Senator Kruse invites and Hunter agrees to participate in this newly conceived work group.


A very heart-felt thank you to Jim Newman and Skip Hunter for their efforts to make this interview successful when a technical glitch caused communication problems. In addition, I’d like to acknowledge that Senator Kruse spent over four hours exchanging ideas and strategies about healthcare and mental healthcare solutions, with this recorded interview as the concluding portion of this in-depth discussion.

This episode of Community Conversations is truly breaking news! – Connie Hunter

Host: Connie Hunter; Producer: Connie Hunter; Assisting Producers: Jim Newman, Skip Hunter; Recording tech: Jim Newman

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual participants. Curry Coast Community Radio takes no position on issues discussed in this program.

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