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Portland, Ore. —In an effort to address health disparities among communities of color and other groups impacted by discrimination, CareOregon announced today that it is investing $455,000 in eight Portland-area organizations that provide culturally specific care and support to area residents. Funds will be used to help cover costs associated with using Traditional Health Workers to support our neighbors on their path to health.
“The data is stark. Communities impacted by racism and other structures of oppression aren’t connected to the mainstream healthcare system to the same degree as those of the dominant culture and it is taking a toll on their health,” said Jonathan Weedman, Vice President of Population Health at CareOregon. “By investing in Traditional Health Workers, we are investing in our overall community health. I look forward to working alongside these organizations to learn from them about what the community needs and how we, as a health plan, can best support their work.”
Traditional Health Workers play a unique role in the healthcare system. They use their lived experience and specialized training to work one-on-one with indviduals and families to remove barriers preventing them from living a healthy life.
“We know that early intervention for families facing houselessness, trauma, and substance misuse is critical for child development,” said Simon Fulford, Executive Director at Parrot Creek Child & Family Services. “Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are necessary to prevent family destabilization. That’s why our team of Traditional Health Workers are such a valuable resource for families needing help to navigate the path to sober living. Our Children & Mother’s program gives our community’s children the opportunity to reach their full potential. CareOregon funding will help us ensure that our Traditional Health Workers have the support they need to best serve our families."
By providing services in a way that is culturally relevant, in a patient’s preferred language, and responsive to thier unique circumstances, Traditional Heath Workers build deep, trusting relationships with the folks the serve.
“Human Solutions knows from experience that trusted relationships with program participants are key to better outcomes,” said Hillary Houck, Chief Program Officer, Human Solutions. “We are thrilled to be partnering with CareOregon to add a family support specialist to our housing team who has the time, expertise and lived experience to help families identify and reach health goals, which, in turn, enhance their overall quality of life.”
The goal of this grant program is to provide fiscal support for community-based organizations working to improve health equity, create opportunities for organizations to learn from each other by sharing best practices, and for CareOregon to learn from these partners about how we can best sustain their work moving forward.
Grants this cycle help fund Traditional Health Worker activities taking place in 2021. CareOregon will announce additional investments to support their activities in 2022 later this year.
"Our partnership with CareOregon will help Familias continue building and supporting Community Health Worker programing and services,” said Izzy Ventura Meda, Executive Director of Familias en Accion. “CareOregon and Familias recognize the crucial role Traditional Health Workers and the individuals behind thesetitles have in community health and health equity."
These grants are part of CareOregon’s Community Giving Program. In the past 10 years, we have invested over $10 million into non-profit organizations serving Oregonians in need. CareOregon is proud to be recognized as a Top Philanthropist in Oregon by the Portland Business Journal for five years in a row. More information about our giving program is available here: https://careoregon.org/about-us/community-giving-grants.For information, contact Elise Burke, 503-416-3736, firstname.lastname@example.org
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