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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

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Novick backs needle exchange as path to new Medicaid patients

March 8, 2013 | Portland Business Journal-- When Steve Novick walked across downtown Portland the other day to meet with the leaders of Outside In about their free needle exchange program for IV drug users, he wasn’t just showing his liberal support for a hot-button issue.
As usual, the newest addition to Portland’s city council had bigger ideas on the subject.

Dressed in a pinstriped navy shirt with an extra-wide, orange tie, Novick listened closely and nodded his head often as Outside In Director Kathy Oliver explained the importance of the needle exchange program: a half a million needles each year to 3,676 IV drug-users (60.5 percent of whom are homeless), with an exchange rate of over 100 percent, meaning more dirty needles coming in for safe disposal than there are clean needles handed out in exchange.

Oliver explained that the program gets $126,000 per year from Multnomah County. The additional $65,000 it gets from the city is in danger because of Portland’s $25 million budget shortfall.

Novick made it clear that he would support the program. Then he asked READ FULL ARTICLE