The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced the establishment of 4 new Regional Health Equity Coalitions (RHECs), a program operated by OHA’s Equity and Inclusion division.
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RHECs are autonomous, community-led groups that are non-governmental in nature. Community members identify the most pressing health equity issues in their local communities and develop solutions through policy and systems changes. These efforts focus on issues impacting priority populations which are communities of color; Tribal communities, including the 9 federally recognized Tribes of Oregon, and other American Indian and Alaska Native people; immigrants; refugees; migrant and seasonal farmworkers; low-income individuals and families; people with disabilities; and LGBTQIA2S+ communities, with communities of color as the leading priority.
RHECs form a vital link between communities and health systems—increasing authentic community engagement, providing support and leadership to health equity efforts across Oregon and mobilizing systemic and policy changes.
“Expansion of the Regional Health Equity Coalition program is an important opportunity to continue developing and resourcing statewide capacity among community partners to address health inequities,” said Leann Johnson, Director of the Equity and Inclusion division. “These are key partnerships that are working to advance OHA’s strategic goal of eliminating health inequities by 2030.”
The 4 new RHECs and regions they represent include:
- Eastern Oregon Health Equity Alliance (Morrow and Union counties)
- Mid-Willamette Valley Health Equity Coalition (Marion and Polk counties)
- South Coast Equity Coalition (Coos and Curry counties)
- Transponder (Lane and Douglas counties)
Existing RHECs and regions they represent include:
- Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
- Eastern Oregon Health Equity Alliance (Malheur and Umatilla counties)
- Linn Benton Health Equity Alliance (Linn and Benton counties)
- Mid-Columbia Health Equity Advocates (Hood River and Wasco counties)
- Oregon Health Equity Alliance (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties)
- SO Health-E (Jackson and Josephine counties)
OHA is working to secure additional resources for another 5 RHECs in the 2023–2025 biennium which, if successful, would result in a total of 15 RHECs.
This press release was provided by the Oregon Health Authority.