Latino Health Equity
Ensuring Access and Eliminating Health Disparities
The Latino population is the fastest growing population in Oregon, yet many Latinos, including children and pregnant women, suffer from lack of access to health care services.
- Oregon’s Hispanic population has an uninsurance rate almost 4 times higher than non-Hispanic whites (41%). When looking at foreign-born Hispanics, the uninsurance rate jumps to 61%.
- In national health care and access ratings Oregon ranks 48th on equity measures and 42nd in racial and ethnic equity.
- In 2009 35% of Latinos reported experiencing a time when they needed to see a doctor but couldn’t because of costs.
- Nationally, more than half of adult undocumented immigrants (59%) had no health insurance during 2007. Among their children, nearly half of those who are unauthorized immigrants (45%) were uninsured.
CAUSA is committed to addressing these health disparities and improving access to care for immigrants and Latinos. That means ensuring that Latinos and immigrant have a voice in the discussion as Oregon develops the insurance exchange, explores ways to improve cultural competency and track minority health. It also means looking at the “upstream” determinants of health, and working to address holes in our state safety net.
CAUSA supports expanding programs that provide prenatal care for ALL women, regardless of documentation status. Barriers such as cost, language, and lack of outreach make Latinas more likely to seek and receive care later. All children regardless of their race or ethnicity should have access to the healthcare they need to be healthy. Our communities are stronger when all babies get the best possible start in life. We need to reach all pregnant women with information, education, and health care. We need to invest in the health of all Oregon children. That begins with providing accessible, quality pre-natal care for all pregnant low income women in both urban and rural areas of Oregon.
- In Oregon, nearly 1/3 of Hispanic mothers don’t receive prenatal care during their first trimester.
CAUSA advocates for programs to train health care professionals in providing care that is culturally and linguistically competent care. Causa supports legislation that would require certain health professional regulatory boards, Oregon Health Authority and licensing boards to define “cultural competency”, develop a list of continuing education opportunities relating to cultural competency approved by OHA, and develop standards for cultural competency training. Causa encourages a collaborative approach between the Oregon Health Authority and the professional licensing boards, professional associations to determine the core required components of cultural competence continuing education, as well as to tailor the continuing education designs to meet the interests and needs of diverse health care professionals.
- In Oregon, only 10% of physicians are racial minorities, and just 2% are Hispanic.
CAUSA supports sustained funding for community clinics which are often the only option for uninsured or underinsured Oregonians. These clinics are integral to maintaining the health of our communities and the sustainability of our healthcare system.
- In 2009 Community Health Centers in Oregon had 1,370,461 visits.
- 37% of those visits were by racial and ethnic minorities, making them disproportionately represented in the CHC population.
Causa supports and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA). OHEA works to improve the well-being and prosperity for all Oregonians through leadership development and policy advocacy that addresses the root causes of health disparities.
Our strategies focus on legislative and administrative campaigns to improve policies, systems and the environment as communities of color, immigrants and refugees with an analysis of the social determinants of health.
Our alliance is directed by a steering committee composed of regional and statewide advocacy organizations with a commitment to community organizing and engaging grassroots voices in the political process.
OHEA Statewide Policy Agenda 2012-2013
- Cultural Competency for Health Professionals
- Improved Racial, Ethnic, Language Data Collection and Analysis
- Driver License Restoration for Oregon Immigrants
- Tuition Equity for All of Oregon’s Students
- Pre-Natal Care for All Women