News and Updates



July 2018 


Ninety-one leaders in all levels of education, health care, mental health care, human services, public safety and workforce development in Jackson and Josephine counties convened last month for the Southern Oregon Success June 2018 Key Leaders event.

The meeting, held at the Inn at the Commons in Medford, kicked off our Regional Strategy Map process, developed in partnership with ACE Interfacewith support from AllCare and Jackson Care Connect. Ace Interface, a national leader in building high capacity communities capable of resilience, has served as consultants to our region since 2015. Through our partnership, Southern Oregon Success has been able to help develop and administer the Southern Oregon ACEs Training Team and present the ACE Interface NEAR curriculum (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, ACEs and Resilience) across sectors in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

The goal of the June 2018 Key Leaders event was to build off of the momentum of now having trauma-informed practices in our region at all levels of education, and within health care, mental health care, human services and public safety by developing a Regional Strategy Map for organizations and individuals in all sectors and communities to most effectively coordinate our work.

A “data walk” was held with rotating groups of audience members given presentations on what is happening here in early childhood education from Rene Brandon of Southern Oregon Early Learning Services (SOELS), in suicide prevention from KristenParrish from Jackson County Mental Health and Angela Watton and Donna Lipparelli from Options for Southern Oregon. Debbie Vought of College & Career for All provided program information and data on the dual credit and pathway programs in our local K12 districts, and the comprehensive, team-based approaches now in place in public safety programs in our region were covered by Eric Guyer, Jackson County Community Justice and C.B. Mooney from Options for Southern Oregon.

In addition, the event highlighted major initiatives taking place in our region in human services, health care and housing, as well as the impact of flexible Measure 98 funding for increasing high school graduation success.

Belle Shepherd of the Oregon Health Authority provided information on the CC02.0process (redesigning the contracts with our Coordinated Care Organizations). Connie Wilkerson of the Jackson County Continuum of Carepresented on the Continuum’s “Housing First” approach to issues of homelessness, and their “no wrong door” referral system.

Angela Warren of Jefferson Regional Health Alliance gave an overview of the current Community Health Assessment(being accomplished through a collaboration between Addictions Recovery Center, AllCare Health, Asante, Jackson Care Connect, Jackson County Health & Human Services – Public Health and Mental Health Divisions, Josephine County Public Health, La Clinica, OnTrack Rogue Valley, Options for Southern Oregon, Oregon Health Authority, OSU Extension Services, PrimaryHealth of Josephine County, Providence Health & Services, Rogue Community Health and  Siskiyou Community Health Center) which will lead to next year’s work on a new Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

A goal of the Southern Oregon Success/ACE Interface Regional Strategy Map is to help inform and support the CHIP with our focus on self-regulation and resilience.

Southern Oregon Success Program Manager Peter Buckley presented information on the comprehensive Unified Child & Youth Safety Plan being developed by the Oregon Department of Human Services, with the potential of significant progress for children and families in our state.

Buckley also facilitated the major focus of the event, the guided discussions designed by ACE Interface to begin the development of the Regional Strategy Map. Participants engaged in small group discussions on challenges faced by different age groups and different populations in our region, as well as a wide variety of strategies being employed, could possibly be employed, to address those challenges.

The discussions at each table were documented in a variety of ways, with all collected information now in the hands of ACE Interface to use in the development of the next step of the strategy map process, a survey based on obstacles and ideas identified to dig deeper into possible strategies to prioritize. Southern Oregon Success will be distributing this survey later this summer, with responses then going to help create the visual strategy map proposal to be unveiled at the October 2018 Key Leaders event.

Laura Porter and Kathy Adams of ACE Interface will facilitate the October 2019 Key Leaders event, and a “Save the Date” invite will be sent out soon.

For more information on the Key Leaders events, the Regional Strategy Map or any of the initiatives or organizations mentioned above, please email



 Kaleidoscope is a “play and learn” program with a proven ability to help children thrive, and the Southern Oregon Early Learning Services (SOELS) Hub is experiencing rapid growth in the program for our region. SOELS has been able to train facilitators and get 12 programs up and running over the past two years and is now on track to add 16 new programs throughout the region this fall, including a program dedicated to families in recovery programs.

The premise of Kaleidoscope couldn’t be simpler. Parents and other caregivers with young children gather in a comfortable place and play with their kids, hosted and guided by a facilitator trained in games and routines that kids love to play with adults.

The program is based on widely recognized and accepted theories and best practices in the fields of child development; early learning; parent education; Family, Friend and Neighbor care; community development; and cultural competence. It was designated as a Promising Practice by the University of Washington’s Evidence- Based Practice Institute in 2013.

Child Care Resources conducts ongoing evaluation measuring the outcomes caregivers experience as a result of participating in Kaleidoscope Play & Learn. Highlights from their evaluation include:

  • 70.6% of caregivers and parents reported increasing their knowledge “a lot more” about their role in helping children be ready for school, what to expect of children of different ages, or how children learn through play
  • 82% reported changing what they do with the children in their care “a lot more”. This includes spending time talking and doing activities with the children, reading or looking at books, and helping children talk about and understand their feelings.

“We are so excited to see the families having fun in the playgroups, but what is even more exciting is watching them thrive with their children,” said SOELS’ Teresa Slater, coordinator of the Kaleidoscope program. “The playgroups are such a great way to meet other parents and create lasting friendships, for both the adults and children alike. Many of the groups meet in schools or neighborhood spaces, so the families you meet will likely be the same families you will see the first day of school. It’s so powerful to create those social connections early, as it really does ‘take a village’.”

To find a playgroup near you please go to the SOELS website at find SOELS on Facebook, Southern Oregon Early Learning Services Hub.

Hope to see you at a playgroup soon!



(Note: Southern Oregon Success intern Ellie Hough is interviewing a number of people in our region who are part of our collaboration. Additional interviews will be included in future Updates)

Fallon Stewart is the Program Supervisor at Maslow Project who has been implementing the Resilience work at the Maslow Project

 Ellie Hough: What have been the challenges?

Fallon Stewart:“The ACEs work points out really well that adverse childhood events lead to potentially negative health outcomes as an adult. It gives a snapshot and a framework, but what we also know in working with a diverse populations is that the adverse childhood experiences looked at in the ACEs study are not the only contributing factors to trauma, they are an example of a few common experiences that many people share.  What we also know is that just because you have a high ACE score, does not mean you are going to have a chronic illness, and because you have a chronic illness does not necessarily mean you have a high ACE score. The benefit of the research is it gives us a springboard to jump from. It shows the NEED for action.

You have to look at that data through the correct lens. Yes, it is important educate well-meaning professionals about trauma, but then you have to equip them with how to handle it appropriately. That brings about a challenge. [In reference to the trainings] we have had a good response to ACE’s trainings, but the result is a group of highly educated professionals under a lot of workplace demands without a lot of support and coaching on how to manage students in a trauma informed way. It’s also important to not assume that everybody who is acting out has a trauma history. So you have to be careful with that kind of research so that you are not over-assuming and under-serving.

Another challenge is having time and buy in for training for coaching. For example, school district personnel are under a contract of a maximum hours per year for training. So you have staff that can only use “X” numbers of hours for professional development, it’s tough to afford time for resiliency training and something that will directly support implementation of curriculum. Getting the leadership on board with implementing continued education around resiliency is crucial because then people will invest the time into really implementing strategies, rather than just treating it like checking off a box on a list of required trainings for the year.

What’s good about the Ginsburg resilience training curriculum is that it is an approach that works well for all kids, and all people–, not just people who have experienced trauma. So if you are going to look at things through an equity and diversity lens, you know that you are doing it in a way that is intentionally treating all people well as a whole, and providing context for serving those with trauma or who are chronically underserved.

This models the idea of Southern Oregon Success’ vision of working from cradle to career. We’re not just raising this eight year old, we are raising the next 35 year old who is going to be our neighbor, our employee.”

Ellie Hough: Where do you think your relationship with Southern Oregon Success should go?

Fallon Stewart:“The idea behind it has been that we have many service providers in our area who interact with our young people and their families providing critical resources. In order to address the big issues that are underlying deficits in our community, we are trying to adopt a common language and train direct service staff so that we are all coming at it with the same philosophy and approach of resiliency. We are encouraging community leaders to be champions of various topic areas in the Ginsburg curriculum, and offer peer trainings. We are able to identify where our strengths are, where we have room to improve, and ultimately it is going to change how we treat people.”

Note from Ellie Hough:Fallon concluded with a piece of advice that reframed my golden rule thinking. Instead of the trite ‘treat others how you want to be treated’ expression, we need to start thinking in the way of, ‘treat others how they want to be treated.’”



Join the conversation, build bridges

This fall, Oregon Humanities invites Southern Oregonians to take part in Bridging Oregon, a series of four half-day gatherings guided by one local and one guest facilitator, where participants will explore how to build community despite differences. Come and share how we are divided and connected by our experiences and circumstances, and learn how we can work together to create stronger communities.

Where: Grants Pass Main Branch Library and United Way of Jackson County

When: Four Sundays from September to November.

Participants will learn how to facilitate reflective conversations and will receive $400 for their participation. You can visit for more information including exact dates.

If you are interested in participating in Bridging Oregon or learning more, please contact Maya Muñoz-Tobón at (503) 241-0543, ext. 116, or



Our affiliate organization, College & Career for All, is running on all cylinders this summer with innovative summer camp offerings for students and a new “Externship” program for teachers. The Externship program features a partnership with the Willamette ESD, Rogue Workforce Partnership and Associated General Contractors.

The program gives teachers a chance to explore possible careers for their students in a variety of different settings. Some of the teachers taking part this summer are pictured above and featured in a recent article on the program in the Medford Mail Tribune:

College & Career for All also concluded a three day training in Project Based Learning (PBL) in June with a cohort of 26 teachers and out of school time partners who teach camps.  These teachers will receive quarterly support visits in 2018-19 with an expert PBL trainer from the Buck Institute to coach them as they implement in their classrooms this fall what they learned over the summer.

For students, College & Career for All is wrapping up most of their summer camps but still have two more to go (an Aviation camp at the Grants Pass airport the week of August 6 and a camp called iInvent at OIT the week of August 13).  Both are for middle school youth.  For more information, please contact

In collaboration with partners such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Talent Maker City, OSU, OIT, Inventers Hall of Fame and numerous schools across our region, College & Career for All has delivered engaging, project-based STEAM camps to nearly 400 students in grades K-8 this year.

To give you an idea of some of the fun camps: Aviation Camp, Rocketry Camp, Drone Mapping, CSI Forensics, Health Innovations (kids made artificial limbs), and Camp Invention, where children use their creativity, imagination, and inventive thinking skills to solve problems. They could be challenged to rebuild a rocket ship, cross a river of hot lava, rescue sea creatures or assume another mission. Through hands-on fun, students get excited about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) while working together as a team.



The Southern Oregon Success Metrics Work Group, with great support from the tech team at Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD), has developed data displays to track our region’s progress on children’s issues, education and resilience.

We are in discussions with Southern Oregon University on possible ways SOU students can help expand and maintain the displays and assist in analyzing the data we are collecting.

For 2018-19, Southern Oregon Success is prioritizing three areas for our work: to increase self-regulation on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for children entering our schools, to decrease suspensions and expulsions in the early elementary school years, and to reduce teen suicide attempts.

The data—and what we are hearing from local educators, health care professionals and others—is showing that there is a crisis in self-regulation in our country, and that self-regulation is foundational to educational, health and life outcomes. This increased focus on self-regulation builds off of all the work in our region in ACEs and Resilience over the past few years.


For a detailed list of regional resources in health care, mental health care, human services, workforce development and other sectors, please visit the community resources pagesatSOUTHERN OREGON SUCCESS.