September 17, 2015

Data Equity Wins in Oregon

Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)

Today I was a guest speaker at the #Voices2015 quadrennial conference of the APIA Health Forum in Washington DC. The health forum, along with Northwest Health Foundation and MRG Foundation, were early investors in the organizing and advocacy work that has come to define APANO today. My topic was APANO’s Data Equity Wins in Oregon. In short, with our partners (namely CIO, the Coalition of Communities of Color and the Oregon Health Equity Alliance), Oregon has become a leader in improving data collection and analysis of race, ethnicity and language, and expanding into gender, disability and sexual orientation in ways that will improve health and lower costs.

In my workshop today I shared a very abbreviated timeline of events that led to some of our biggest wins.

2000 - OR Governor Racial & Ethnic Health Task Force Final Report identies data disparities as one of the top issues to address.

2008 - Oregon Health Authority reorganizes and strengthens Office of Equity & Inclusion under leadership of Tricia Tillman and works closely with community to identify policy needs.

2009 - OR People of Color Health Equity Collaborative forms, a predecessor to the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA). APANO takes a leadership role, focusing on data equity, cultural competency and resourcing and professionalizing bilingual/bicultural community health workers.

2011 - APANO’s Strategic Plan prioritizes data equity.

2012 - APANO’s research identifies the data disparities, impacts and cost to our communities, leading to the legislative concept that would become Oregon House Bill 2134B. This becomes a part of the 2013 OHEA Legislative Agenda along with cultural competency (HB 2611) and community health workers (HB 3407).

2013 - HB 2134 passes Oregon House, Oregon Senate and is signed by Governor Kitzhaber alongside other health equity bills (OHEA wins 5 of 5 legislative priorities including Tuition Equity and Drivers Card Restoration for Immigrants).

2014 - HB 2134 Rule Making Process, with leadership from APANO, finalizes ORS (statutues) OHA/DHS convenes the REAL+D Steering Committee, APANO, CIO and the CCC are appointed as full members. Legislative baseline assessment report completed and submitted.

2015 - Legislature allocates $650,000 to fund the REAL+D implementation plan, a measured step toward OHA and DHS fully integrating HB 2134, further identify and problem solve data management requirements, and build capacity for REAL+D reporting and analysis.

We have contributed to several exciting data equity efforts, and continue to work closely with the APIA Health Forum to sharpen our theory and practice. Check out these important and innovative reports:

Multnomah County Pacific Islander Health Disparity Supplement 2015

OR Medicaid BRFSS with Race Over-sample 2014

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me,

- Joseph

P.S. Check out this great blog post from 2012 from a colleague who also spoke at #Voices2015.

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