TA Coalition Webinar: Emergency Department Diversion Program: A Successful Example in Oregon

 In 2015, the Oregon Health Authority, found that there was a growing issue with children, youth and young adults being boarded in the Emergency Departments associated with hospital systems.  After looking at the data, and learning about the unique challenges this was presenting for children and families a new program known as the Emergency Department Diversion began.  The data showed that several of Oregon’s communities had that highest number of youth being boarded in emergency rooms per capita across the state. The program began as a pilot in four of these counties in 2015.  Each county mental health program was given funds through the Oregon Health Authority and required to come up with creative ways to address this issue.  The program has been so successful, that it is currently being expanded to a number of new counties across the state.


The Emergency Department Diversion program is made up of partner organizations, which include hospital systems, county mental health programs, non-profit or county based children’s mental health providers, and some have partnerships with family run organizations.


Following is a list of panelists in Oregon who have been significantly involved in the rollout of the Emergency Department Diversion projects.


  •  Lisa Butler, Regional Director – Oregon Family Support Network
  • Ajit Jetmelalni, M.D – Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist – Oregon Health Sciences University, Children’s Mental Health Medical Consultant – State of Oregon, Oregon Health Authority, Health Systems Division

  • Jean Lasater MA, Young Adult Services Coordinator – State of Oregon; Oregon Health Authority, Health Systems Division;

  • Cydney Nestor, MA – Program Manager, Marion County Health Department

  • Frances Purdy, MEd., JD – Family Partnership Specialist with Child and Family Behavioral Health Unit of the Oregon Health Authority


  •  Sandy Bumpus, MSW – Executive Director, Oregon Family Support Network