May 21, 2013

Senate Passes APANO Health Equity Priorities

For immediate release May 21st, 2013

Contact: Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director 971-340-4861

Oregon Senate Pass Key Health Equity Bills

HB 2134 Establishes Uniform Data Collection by Race, Ethnicity, Language, Disability

HB 2611 Improves System of Continuing Education of Health Professionals

Salem, Ore. -- Today the Oregon Senate passed two of APANO’s top health equity priorities. In concert with the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) and the Healthy Oregon Partnerships for Equity (HOPE) Coalition, legislation was passed to:

  • Create a system for cultural competence training for health professionals (HB 2611-A) and;

  • Standardize the data collection of race, ethnicity, language and disability in programs and surveys of the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services (HB 2134-B).

Passing with strong bipartisan support, the final vote for HB 2611-A was 26-2 and now heads to Governor Kitzhaber, and HB 2134-B, which was further amended, passed 28-0 and returns to the House for a concurrence vote before going to the Governor’s desk.

These wins were led by communities of color, immigrants and refugees, who over the last 3 years have developed the infrastructure and capacity to advocate on key policy priorities to address significant and persistent health disparities in Oregon.

Our communities have successfully come together to win important change to make health and human services better for all Oregonians” says Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO). Adding, "we look forward to working with our communities, partners and the State of Oregon to ensure these policies are properly implemented in a timely manner so they improve outcomes for all Oregonians." APANO generated significant community engagement through their Health Equity & Reform Team (HEART) and State of Cultural Competency Community Forum.

APANO was the lead organization advocating for HB 2134-B, a health committee bill carried by Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer D-SE Portland and Sen. Laurie Monnes-Anderson D-Gresham, under the umbrella of the HOPE Coalition and OHEA, and staffed by Victoria Demchak, APANO Policy Coordinator.

The Data Equity Coalition included key contributions from the Center for Intercultural Organizing, Basic Rights Oregon, Oregon Primary Care Association in addition to strong support from Oregon’s three Regional Equity Coalitions.

The Cultural Competency Legislative Action Coalition was led by the Urban League of Portland and Oregon Action, and carried by Rep. Keny-Guyer and Sen. Jackie Winters R-Salem.

Oregon has over 200,000 Asian and Pacific Islanders, and understanding our diverse cultural and linguistic needs is a key to providing proper health care” says Anny Hsiao, APANO Field Organizer, adding, “I want to appreciate the the work has been done by the coalition partners and the relationships we have built throughout the state. I look forward to continue working with our partners in health equity. This is a momentous win for us all.”

APANO’s Health Equity and Reform Team (HEART) organizes and builds leadership to advance strategic health and social justice priorities. To learn more and get involved, please contact APANO Field Organizer Chiao-Yun “Anny” Hsiao (971)340-4861


We hope you will join us May 29th at the Mekong Bistro to celebrate these successes!

Buy your Tickets ($10-$25) Online for Voices of Change: Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

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