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Race, Ethnicity and Language Data Collection

In 2000, The Governor's Racial and Ethnic Health Task Force​ advocated for standardized race, ethnicity and language data policies to improve the State's ability to identify and address health disparities. This recommendation was reiterated by community groups, including the Urban League of Portland and the Coalition of Communities of Color, as they launched several community-based reports that used data to demonstrate the disparities experienced by communities of color in Oregon. On a national level, standardized race, ethnicity and language data collection policies have been recommended by the National Public Health and Hospital Institute,  the National Association of Public Health and Health Systems and the National Partnership for Action to Eliminate Health Disparities. 

In 2010, the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services adopted the REAL Data Policy, standardizing race, ethnicity and language data collection for all agency programs. At the same time, OHA also developed requirements for Coordinated Care Organizations to implement the REAL Data Policy.

To advance this work and ensure that the policy meets the needs and perspectives of diverse communities in Oregon, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), as part of the HOPE Coalition and Oregon Health Equity Alliance, introduced HB2134 in the 2013 legislative session, which would require the state to  develop standards for data collection in conjunction with community.

The bill passed unanimously out of the House and the Senate. The collection and analysis of more detailed data is a vital step to understanding the needs of the various communities in Oregon and in particular, immigrant and refugee populations. The Office of Equity and Inclusion looks forward to continuing to work with community groups to improve the agency's approach to collecting and analyzing data on communities of color and others experiencing health disparities in Oregon.

HB 2134 Rules Finalized

The rules that govern how the Oregon Health Authority and DHS collect race, ethnicity, language and disability data were finalized on March 10, 2014. Many thanks to the Rules Advisory Committee and invested stakeholders.

HB 2134 Race, Ethnicity, Language and Disability Data Collection Standards

For more information, please contact:

Emily Wang, Health Equity Policy Analyst - Emily.L.Wang@state.or.us​ Ph. 971.673.2960​​​​​​