Policies & Initiatives
Oregon Council on Health Care Interpreters
ORS 409.615-625 created a 25-member council on health care interpreters advising the state on administrative rules and policy standards. By law, the council is to be representative of the racial, ethnic, cultural, social and economic diversity of the people of the state.
Community Health Workers
Non-Traditional Health Workers Subcommittee
In 2011, the Oregon Legislature passed landmark legislation defining Oregon's approach to health care reform. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), under House Bill 3650, Section 13, established a public process to inform the development of an Oregon Integrated and Coordinated Health Care Delivery System.
Additionally, the legislation mandated the OHA, in consultation with the appropriate health professional regulatory boards and advocacy groups, to develop and establish a plan for integrating community health workers, personal health navigators and peer wellness specialists (referred to collectively as Non Traditional Health Workers) into Oregon's Health System Transformation process.
As such, the Non-Traditional Health Worker subcommittee was convened by the Oregon Health Policy Board to develop recommendations for integrating NTHWs into the CCO model. The Subcommittee, convened in September 2011, met over a five-month period to develop their recommendations. A draft of their report is available.
As trusted community members who also understand health issues and the health care system, NTHWs are uniquely positioned to work with communities to identify and address the underlying causes of health problems. It is hoped that incorporating these NTHWs into Oregon's health systems transformation will assist in resolving persistent health inequities and addressing their underlying causes.
For more information, contact Carol Cheney: Carol.i.Cheney@state.or.us
In November 2012, The Non-Traditional Health Worker Steering Committee, which will develop and implement the Non-Traditional Health Worker program, will begin meeting. Learn more about the committee.
House Bill 3311 Implementation Committee
In 2011, Representative Tina Kotek and the international Center for Traditional Childbearing, an organization committed to improving birth outcomes of African Americans and other communities of color through the training and promotion of doulas, introduced House Bill 3311to the Oregon Legislature. The legislation passed into law, mandating the Oregon Health Authority to explore options for providing or utilizing doulas in the state medical assistance program to improve birth outcomes for women who face a disproportionately greater risk of poor birth outcomes.
As such, the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Family Health established and convened the House Bill 3311 Implementation Committee, a socially, culturally and professionally diverse group that includes community based organizations, health care providers, health systems organizations and practicing doulas. The group convened in September 2011 and was legislatively tasked with delivering a report to the Legislature describing:
- Women who face a disproportionately greater risk of poor birth outcomes
- Promising models for providing or utilizing doulas
- Approaches to integrate doula models into state medical assistance program
The Committee's report is available online. For more information, contact Rachel Gilmer: Rachel.B.Gilmer@state.or.us
Health Equity Policy Review Committee, 2010
The Oregon Health Authority has identified Health Equity as a fundamental value. In implementing health care reform locally, all Oregon Health Policy Board Members, committee members, and Oregon Health Authority staff will strive to avoid creating or maintaining health policies that perpetuate or increase avoidable and unjust health inequities.
To this end, the Office of Multicultural health has assembled the Health Equity Policy Review Committee to evaluate all recommended policy improvements throughout the policy making process to assure they promote the elimination of inequalities and promote health equity.
Review Committee Information
Racial and Ethnic Health Task Force, 2000
The Racial and Ethnic Health Task Force is the result of several years committed work by a group of dedicated people. The motivation for creating the Task Force was the recognition that persistent and significant health problems weaken Oregon's racial and ethnic communities much more than these same problems affect the population as a whole.
The findings of the Task Force will begin to solidify a role for state government in ending health disparities in Oregon. The ultimate goal is for all Oregonians to live in a state where equity in health programs is a basic and important human right that works effectively to end health disparities.
Task Force Report
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces refined survey standards to examine and help eliminate differences in care based on race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, or disability.
Testimony of Risa Lavizzo-Mourey on the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2007
The Foundation's President and CEO testified about the need for H.R. 3014, the Health Equity and Accountability Act.
Allegheny County Health Equity Summit Recommendations
A summary of the results of the Summit breakout sessions on Race & Medicine, Diversity and the Healthcare Workforce, Research, Data, & Evaluation and Community & Business Partnerships.
National Partnership for Action
Ensuring Equity in Oregon's Health Systems Transformation Process
The Office of Equity and Inclusion has been working with socially, culturally and professionally diverse community partners from across the state to develop recommendations for integrating health equity into state health reform.
In September, OEI presented recommendations to the Health Systems Transformation workgroups. The webinar is available online.
For more information, contact Emily Wang: Emily.L.Wang@state.or.us
State of Equity Report
The State of Equity Report is intended to be an online living document regularly updated and expanded through ongoing research and the evaluation of data. Its purpose is to illuminate the effect of Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority practices on the diverse racial and ethnic populations served by the agencies' programs. The information in this report will be used for policy and program development and as a baseline to measure the agencies' progress toward eliminating disparities. For information, please visit State of Equity Report website.
Health Equity Researchers of Oregon
Health Equity Researchers of Oregon is a network of Health Equity researchers across the state, working together to inform policy and community-based efforts to improve health in Oregon for culturally diverse communities, while ensuring that policy agendas and community members inform Oregon's research agenda.
For more information contact, Rachel Gilmer, Communications and Policy Coordinator, via email: Rachel.B.Gilmer@state.or.us or phone: 503-688-0362
Cultural Competency Continuing Education Committee
Last Spring, The Oregon Health Authority has established the Cultural Competence Continuing Education Committee to explore opportunities to promote cultural competence continuing education for health care professionals. During and since the 2011 legislative session, discussions with stakeholders have reinforced that cultural competence in health care is an important issue that should be taken up during the interim. The Committee will convened in April and continue through December 2012. In February 2013, the Committee released its final report and recommendations. For more information see the Cultural Competency Continuing Education Committee page.