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Emergency Ordinance

*Accept and appropriate a grant from CareOregon Inc. to expand the Community Health Assess and Treat program for $2,488,575 and authorize 23 limited term positions for October 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022


The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1.  The Council finds:

  1. Both CareOregon and Portland Fire & Rescue have a vested interest in reducing unnecessary and avoidable Emergency Department (ED) utilization.
  1. Portland Fire & Rescue represents the largest licensed pre-hospital Emergency Medical Service provider in the City of Portland providing upstream interventions before hospitalization is needed.
  1. Portland Fire & Rescue is uniquely positioned to reach members who are housed and houseless with a myriad of mental and physical conditions, with an ability to focus on building trusting relationships and assessing care needs in the community setting.
  1. CHAT was specifically created to reach marginalized and vulnerable community members suffering from chronic health, mental health, and substance use disorders, who are unable to navigate current healthcare systems.
  1. The intent of this Agreement is to address social and behavioral determinants of health barriers which keep these populations from accessing appropriate care.
  1. With CareOregon’s partnership and investment, CHAT will bridge gaps in care with response to 911 calls which include onsite assessment, evaluation, and, where appropriate, treatment for non-emergent medical needs.
  1. This Grant will fund at a minimum of two CHAT teams within downtown Portland and the Southeast quadrant of the City.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. The Portland Fire & Rescue Chief is hereby authorized to negotiate, accept and execute a grant agreement with CareOregon, Inc.
  2. The Portland Fire & Rescue Chief is authorized to negotiate and execute on behalf of the City of Portland any subsequent amendments to the grant agreement, including amendments that increase the funding provided to the city by CareOregon, Inc., provided such amendments do not increase the City’s financial obligation under the grant agreement.
  3. The FY 2021-22 budget is hereby amended as follows:

    Authorize 23.0 Limited FTE
    Fund 217007
    Business Area – FR
    Bureau Program Expenses– $2,488,575
  4. The Office of Management & Finance Grants Office is authorized to perform all administrative matters in relation to the grant application, grant agreement or amendments, requests for reimbursement from the grantor, and to submit required online grant documents on the Bureau’s behalf.

Section 2.  The Council declares that an emergency exists because the program authorized by this ordinance will address an immediate and ongoing public health emergency caused by unnecessary or avoidable emergency department visits; therefore, this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Mary Hull Caballero

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

This ordinance appropriates $2.5 million and authorizes 23 limited term FTE for a proof-of-concept expansion of the CHAT program, funded by CareOregon. The grant represents a unique opportunity to build upon pilot results from the CHAT program staffed by just two FTE showing a reduction in 911 calls from high utilizers, improving health outcomes and increasing connections to other services to more appropriately meet their needs. This partnership recognizes the shared goals between CareOregon and Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) in reducing unnecessary and avoidable Emergency Department utilization. 

The grant includes an initial payment of $546,183 upon execution of the agreement and then requires the City to meet specific project milestones in order to receive the remaining grant funds. This includes deliverables related to staffing, hardware and software implementation and utilization, data capture and reporting, training, and certain outcomes, including responding to 300 low acuity medical calls per quarter. 

The bureau has indicated that it will be closely monitoring PF&R’s progress toward contract milestones in order to limit financial risk to the City. The agreement has a phased approach that allows for mutually agreed-upon changes to project milestones and timelines, and, alternatively, termination by CareOregon or mutual agreement. Depending on the circumstances of termination, the City may be required to identify General Fund resources to cover incurred costs or obligations from this agreement. However, the bureau has stated that they are prepared to absorb any costs that cannot be canceled upon termination, which would be minimal. 

Agenda Items

746 Consent Agenda in October 13, 2021 Council Agenda


  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Prepared by

Trisha Schultz

Date Prepared

Requested Agenda Type