Oregon: Health Insurance Exchange Hires Tribal Analyst

According to the “The Lund Report: Unlocking Oregon’s Health System”, Oregon Health Insurance Exchange  in efforts to increase collaboration between tribal members and coordinated care organizations, hired Sonciray Bonnell. Bonnell is a tribal community program analyst, who was a health resource coordinator on Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board for ten years.

Jim Roberts, policy analyst with the Indian Health Board, is hopeful that Bonnell will be able to make the policy decisions that will benefit the community:

“Now the question is whether she’ll be making the hard policy calls or will become just a public relations person,” he said. “She’s too new and it’s too early to tell so we’ll have to wait and see how much policy guidance ability she’ll have to make some decisions, which is what we need.”

Roberts also mentioned that Oregon is the only state out of ten tribal states in the US that made a step forward by hiring an analyst regarding tribal health: “This is a model that should be replicated elsewhere.”

Bonnell commented:

“I’m here to make sure we’re at the table and that our communities are addressed as the exchange is built,” she said. “Having someone in house working with the staff every day provides a little more confidence to the tribes, that they’re being heard and are part of the process. We have an amazing mission in front of us.”