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The Benton-Linn Health Equity Alliance

The Benton-Linn Health Equity Alliance encompasses two counties in the mid-Willamette Valley: Benton County is home to Oregon State University and has a large immigrant student population and a significant Hispanic/Latino population of farm workers and stable Latino families. Linn County includes a large Latino population and is also an impoverished, timber-dependent county.

The Coalition is bi-lingual and bi-cultural and is a partnership of several community-based organizations, including

  • Casa Latinos Unidos de Benton County
  • Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services
  • Benton County Health Department
  • Corvallis Multicultural Literacy​ Center
  • Heart of the Valley Birth Network
  • Strengthening Rural Families

In their first year of funding, the Coalition conducted culturally and linguistically-specific outreach, engagement and education to shape the development of their five year plan and community priorities that they are now working to implement:

  • Ensure meaningful engagement of populations disproportionately impacted by chronic disease in state and regional Health Care Transformation efforts to ensure system and policies reflect the needs and assets of these communities
  • Reduce health disparities in perinatal health outcomes in Benton and Linn Counties (e.g., postpartum depression, increased parenting self-efficacy, breastfeeding success, etc
  • Increase Linn and Benton county breastfeeding rates beyond the 2 month mark by at least 10%, by engaging and assisting minimum of 30 Linn and Benton county employers to create, update, and support workplace breastfeeding policies, assist area hospitals in developing evidence based processes for recommended care, and working to inform and educate the community about current state employer policy supporting workplace breastfeeding.
  • Ensure Individuals and organizations in the region possess the capacity to participate fully in efforts to improve health equity through strengthening the exchange of and collaboration between programs, services, and resources that address health equity for everyone in the region and increasing the capacity if grassroots organizations and priority populations to identify needs, build leadership capacity, and affect policy change.
  • Improved health equity where people live work, learn, and play resulting from collaborative regional approaches to improving community health by ensuring the engagement of populations most affected by health disparities in the development and implementation of community health improvement plans.
  • Improved transit and built environment in the region.
  • Expand opportunities for low-income residents of Linn and Benton Counties to live in decent, safe, and healthy housing.
  • Promote healthy, safe and vibrant communities for residents, homeowners and nearby neighborhoods.​

For more information, please contact:

Karen Levy Keon, Coordinator - levykeon@gmail.com​​