Health Awareness Months

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual violence is a serious concern for our society and our community. 

From the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime
  • 91% of victims of sexual assault are female and 9% are male
  • Half of female victims of sexual assault report being assaulted by an intimate partner or acquaintance
  • Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime.  Statistics show 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police


What if you or someone you know experiences sex or gender discrimination or harassment?

Many services and caring staff are available at OHSU to support you.  Please reach out for help.  You can:

Several hotlines are available:

Other off-campus resources include:

  • Sexual Assault Resource Center of Oregon
    Serving survivors living in Washington County, including with counseling, case management, and prevention/education efforts
  • Proyecto UNICA:
    24-hour hotline for Spanish speaking survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Megan’s Law Hotline
    Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center (PFML/CVC) provides national Helpline community support and assistance on issues related to Megan’s Law, sex offender management and sexual assault prevention. You can contact PFML/CVC trained staff who are available to support you and your community.


SunMay is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it's found and treated early. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on. This May, spread the word about strategies for preventing skin cancer and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

Take these simple steps today to protect your skin:

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m.and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher every day.  Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a hat to protect skin, sunglasses to protect eyes.
  • Check your skin once a month for changes.

ABCDEs of Melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: One half unlike the other
  • Border: Irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border
  • Color: Varied from one area to another;shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white red or blue
  • Diameter: Melanomas are usually greater than 6 mm (the size of a pencil eraser) but can be smaller
  • Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that looks different form the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color

For more information on skin cancer facts and statistics, prevention, and screening:

June is LGBTQ2 Pride Month

Content written by Lisa Schimmel, PhD

Each May at Portland's Hollywood Theatre there is a multi-day screening of 11 new LGBTQ2 documentaries presented by Portland's own Queer Documentary Film Festival (QDoc Film Fest). While other LGBTQ2 film fests show a couple of documentaries at most, QDoc is unique in that it is the only film festival in the world solely devoted to documentaries of Queer life/issues. This festival affords a chance for all to learn about LGBTQ2 history, past and current.

Here are a few takeaways gleaned from the 2017 QDoc festival:

wFilm: The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

While many folks are aware that the LGBTQ Pride Celebrations arose out of the uprising at Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, they may not know about the stories of two very important trans persons, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who were pivotal in the Gay Liberation movement and fought against police raids at the Stonewall Inn. Also depicted in the film is the notion that Queer people at the time did not understand or appreciate the contributions that Marsha and Sylvia made for the Gay Liberation movement.

wFilm: Bayard &Me

Bayard Rustin was the driving and organizing force behind MLK's address at the March on Washington and King's use of non-violent protest (which Rustin learned about directly from Ghandi) in the 1960's. A lesser known fact shared in this film is that in order to make certain his life partner, Walter Naegle received death benefits from his estate, Bayard Rustin decided to adopt Walter, as there was no gay marriage at the time and no rights for the survivors of deceased gay partners. 

wFilm: The Lavender Scare

It was during the 1950's when President Dwight D. Eisenhower "cleansed" all governmental offices of gays and lesbians in as part of the McCarthy Era witch hunt which targeted so-called "subversives." Frank Kameny was one of thousands who lost his job because he was gay, and subsequently, protested this discrimination wholeheartedly. He had been a Harvard Graduate and an astronomer serving in U.S. Army's Army Map Service. The ban on gays and lesbians from governmental positions remained in force for four decades until 1995 when Bill Clinton signed an executive order to halt this discriminatory practice, making it possible for lesbians and gays to resume working in our government. Frank Kameny, a pivotal gay right's figure, died in October 2011 after a lifetime of activism toward securing many of the LGBTQ2 rights celebrated today.  

During this Pride Month and perhaps any month, we can choose to learn about LGBTQ2 history, a history that many LGBTQ2 persons themselves know very little about as this dynamic is often not known, nor passed down from families, nor is it found in our own history books. There is always an opportunity to educate ourselves (e.g., read/watch documentaries, visit Q Center, attend a PFLAG meeting), make simple strides in our work to welcome and honor our patients(e.g., use LGBTQ2 inclusive intake forms, become culturally competent in this arena) and support social justice efforts that expand rights for LGBTQ2 persons. Happy Pride Everyone! 


OHSU Pride webpage


Immunization picture   August is National Immunization Awareness Month

All adults should get vaccines to protect their own health as well as the health of others. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person's age, occupation or health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease).

Flu - It is recommended that all adults including pregnant women receive an annual flu vaccine to protect against the seasonal flu virus.

TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) or TD (tetanus, diphtheria) - Every adult should have one dose of TDaP vaccine if they did not get TDaP at age 11 years or older followed by a TD booster vaccine every 10 years. Pregnant women should receive a TDAP vaccine every time they are pregnant to be given during the 3rd trimester.

Hepatitis B vaccine - Recommended for anyone who works in healthcare or has an immunocompromising condition.  It is given as a series of 3 vaccines completed in 6 months. 

HPV vaccine - Recommended for women through age 26 and for men through age 21. It is also recommended for the following people (through age 26): men who have sex with men, young adults who are transgender, and young adults who are immunocompromised. It is a series of 3 vaccines completed in 6 months.

Pneumococcal vaccine - There are two different types of pneumococcal vaccines with varying recommendations for who would benefit from vaccination. Pneumococcal 23, the most common pneumococcal vaccine given to adults is recommended for people who are immunocompromised and individuals with asthma or chronic lung disease.

Travel vaccinations are recommended based on area of travel. A complete travel assessment including counseling and vaccinations can be provided at JBT. The travel visit is free, and the cost of travel vaccinations depends on the specific vaccine and your insurance coverage.

Check out more information about vaccines and their
indications at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

September is Suicide Prevention Month

September is designated as suicide prevention month in an effort to remind us about the importance of supporting mental health care for ourselves and for others. In the midst of our very busy lives it is not unusual to push aside and minimize ourselves, our feelings and struggles, and instead, focus heavily on the tasks and expectations at hand. So many of us pride ourselves in being high achievers and some of us feel embarrassed when we have trouble coping with it all on our own. As a result we may avoid reaching out for help during times of great duress.

Demanding lives require a greater awareness and responsibility for management of internal pain be it in the form of considerable stress, depression, anxiety and/or substance problems. When our stressors exceed our ability to cope, and we avoid reaching out for support to address these issues, either because we feel stressed for time, feel shame or weak around needing help, or just don't have the energy to find support, the risk for suicide may be increased.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( outlines several useful guidelines related to suicide awareness and prevention:  

  • Take note of changes in behavior or emergence of new behaviors, especially if the changes are related to a painful situations, losses or life challenges.
  • Many people who end their lives exhibit one or more of the following warning signs:
    • They may think of themselves as being burdensome, describe their emotional pain as unbearable, feel trapped in life, do not see a reason to live and may talk about killing themselves.
    • They may start reading about ways to end their lives, increase alcohol or drug usage, isolate from others, act in reckless ways, giveaway their beloved possessions, sleep too much or too little, and/or contact people in their lives to say goodbye.
    • They may feel a significant loss of interest, depression, feelings of rage, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety and irritability.
  • Health factors (e.g., mental health conditions/chronic health conditions), environmental factors (e.g., bullying, harassment, relationship problems, access to lethal means, exposure to others' suicide), and historical factors (e.g., previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide attempts), are risk factors that increase the possibility that one may be at risk for suicidal thinking or action.


Always feel free to contact JBT at 503.494.8665 and/or

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Want more info about how you can help prevent suicide?

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month graphic that says

Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors–which may include physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.

Signs you are in an abusive relationship include:

1.   Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.

2.   Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don't do what they say.

3.   Your partner is jealous. A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy, however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.

4.   Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.

5.   Your partner threatens you or your family.

6.   Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push,shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don't want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn't happen all the time.)

If you are concerned about your safety in your relationship, there are support services to help.

National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day: 1-800-799-7233

Call to Safety 24 hour crisis line: 503-235-5333

Domestic Violence Resource Center 24-hour crisis line: 503-469-8620