If you don’t see a single person representing the group most affected by a certain policy, you'll never get to equity. And that should alarm you." - Nichole Maher, NWHF board member
In the United States, and in Oregon, the individuals most affected by the shortcomings of our health care system tend to be from our minority communities and communities of color.
Leading up to the Oregon's 2011 legislative session, Northwest Health Foundation funded sixteen community-based organizations representing people of color, immigrants, and refugees from other countries.
These organizations created a coalition whose vision is “an Oregon where all residents have equal health outcomes regardless of color, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation or immigration status.” This collaborative includes a steering committee led by such respected Oregon-based organizations as Oregon Action, TREE Institute, the Urban League of Portland and the Asian-Pacific Network of Oregon (APANO).
The coalition carefully followed, and lobbied for, a variety of legislative issues which would have a positive impact on equity. Among these was the effort (SB 97) to provide relevant and appropriate continuing education in cultural competency for Oregon's medical providers.
Although that specific bill failed in the legislature, as you hear in the video, "it's not the last time we'll have this conversation."