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Behavioral Health Equity and Community Partnership

About Us

The Behavioral Health Equity and Community Partnerships team supports Oregon Health Authority's strategic goal of eliminating health inequities for Oregonians by 2030. Their focus is reducing or eliminating inequities in behavioral health across populations. Pursuing health equity means:

  • Striving for the highest possible standard of health for all people and 
  • Giving special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk of poor health, based on social conditions. 

Behavioral Health Equity and Community Partnerships team members

About Our Work

The team partners with diverse community members, providers, and staff to help:

  • Inform the Oregon Health Authority about the diverse circumstances, barriers and strengths that people experience with regard to behavioral health. and 
  • Ensure all community members have the right access to quality health care regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location. This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders.
The team does this through:
  • Deep, trusting relationships in the community where it independently represents OHA.
  • Extensive skill in community partnership building. 
  • Leading and participating in appropriate multi-agency task forces, committees, workgroups, and advisory panels related to behavioral health policy and program development and implementation. 
  • Proposing new legislation, policy and system improvements to eliminate health disparities, informed by the shared experiences of communities and agency partners. The enhanced Oregon Medicaid fee-for-service rates for Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services (CLSS) are one example of this work.

Our Team Framework

  • Mission Driven
  • Integrity and Transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability (with grace)
  • Outcomes Oriented​

​To elevate the voices of communities most harmed by health inequities and to build and sustain partnerships that allow everyone to achieve behavioral health and wellness. ​

Our mission is to advance behavioral health equity in alignment with the agency's strategic goal of eliminating health inequities for Oregonians by 2030.

OHA's Health Equity De​finition:

Oregon will have established a health system that creates health equity when all people can reach their full health potential and well-being and are not disadvantaged by their race, ethnicity, language, disability, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, intersections among these communities or identities, or other socially determined circumstances.

Achieving health equity requires the ongoing collaboration of all regions and sectors of the state, including tribal governments, to address the equitable distribution or redistribution of resources and power; and recognizing, reconciling, and rectifying historical and contemporary injustices.​

​We honor deep, trusting, and dynamic relationships with communities through:

  • ​Listening to understand the experiences and perspectives of our community members and other partners.
  • Creating spaces for collective conversations that provide opportunities for validating emotions with empathy, broadening of perspective, learning, and healing.
  • Co-designing systems with communities.
We strengthen relationships between OHA and the community through:
  • ​Honoring our commitment to support what communities say they need.  
  • Engaging in self-reflection and examination of biases, perceptions, and conditioned beliefs.
  • Increasing understanding of systemic and structural behavioral health inequity. 
  • Co-developing common practices to elevate community voice and increase partnership. 
  • Humanizing our systems to foster mutual trust and support, caring, and creativity. 

  • Data Strategy – Share and promote data that highlights systemic behavioral health inequities experienced in minoritized communities and informs community-identified best practices that help communities thrive.
  • Policy Strategy – Promote policy initiatives that have been advocated for and supported by communities most impacted by health inequities.
  • Workforce Development Strategy – Support the development of a healthy and thriving behavioral health workforce skilled to meet the needs of diverse and dynamic communities in a healing-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive manner.
  • Technical Assistance – Improve capacity to achieve behavioral health equity with internal staff and community partners through collective dialogue, consultation, training, and education.
  • Communication Strategy – Increase community awareness and access to information about behavioral health inequities and strategies to promote behavioral health equity.​