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Friday, September 24, 2010

Healthcare Advocates Commit to Helping Oregon's Uninsured Latino Families

Healthcare Advocates Commit to Helping Oregon's Uninsured Latino Families

Portland, Ore.-- Last night, CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, and the Oregon Latino Health Coalition (OLHC) hosted a Latino Health Policy Assembly at the First Unitarian Church in Downtown Portland. The purpose of the assembly was to bring together policy makers, healthcare advocates and legislators to discuss strategies to deal with uninsured Latino Families in Oregon. Over 100 people attended.
Included in the issues discussed was potential legislation and administrative remedies that would:

- Expand access for all uninsured Latino children to the Healthy Kids Program for the first time in Oregon;

- Maintain the state funding for safety net and community clinics that allow uninsured Latino families to gain health care access

- Increase state funding for safety net and community clinics, amplifying their ability to serve more uninsured Latino families across Oregon.

State Rep. Mitch Greenlick
Oregon State Representative Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland District 33) was one of several healthcare advocates that made commitments during the assembly to work towards a plan to make healthcare available to uninsured Latino families in Oregon.

Representative Mitch Greenlick, the chair of the Health Care Committee, said it is shameful that undocumented immigrant children weren't covered under Healthy Kids. Greenlick said the reason is due to a "level of racism in our society". Greenlick went on to say that "we need to turn the hearts of the people in this state" and that he would keep working on it as long as he "has a breath in his body".

Healthy Kids is an Oregon program that provides free or low-cost health care coverage for Oregon children who don't have health insurance.

James Mason, PhD
Among the many people making commitments included Kat Ferguson-Mahan, Outreach & Community Services Coordinator with Oregon Primary Care Association (OPCA), James Mason, PhD, Executive Director, Culturally Competent Caregiving with Providence Heath & Service, Sarah McDowell, Community Investment Manager, Health & Wellness with United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and Liz Baxter, Executive Director, Archimedes Movement

CAUSA and the Oregon Latino Health Coalition will continue to work towards building alliances and securing commitments in preparation for the 2011 Oregon State Legislative Session. For more information on how you can help in this effort, please contact Norma Sanchez at 971-218-2684

To see the entire video of the assembly in it's entirety, please link here:

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