Our History

The Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) is a tri-county alliance that has worked to advance health equity policy, practice and advocacy efforts since 2011. We are led by an active steering committee of six organizations whose work with communities of color and other communities who face the greatest health inequities is deep and well defined, including Unite Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Urban League of Portland (ULPDX), Oregon Latino Health Coalition (OLHC), Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) and the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA). Our work is led by a deep commitment to addressing systemic racism, uplifting community wisdom and building capacity in our steering committee organizations to make state, local and regional policy changes that is driven by communities of color. Through our core work areas, Advocacy, and Convener and Knowledge Center, OHEA works with community based organizations, community leaders and key partners to advance models and frameworks for advocacy efforts, community engagement, meaningful outreach and technical assistance that center people most impacted by health inequities.



Community Powered Change Implementation Begins


Mend the Gap Wins
Cover All Kids
Reproductive Health Equity Act
COFA Health Premium Assistance


Community Powered Change
The work of Community Powered Change is rooted in social determinants of health, in health equity and empowerment, and in racial justice. We talk about race and racism in health equity because we absolutely have to.

November 2015

Mend the Gap
After nearly a year of intensive research led by core team of APANO, Data Center, OLHC, NARAL, and OCPP, OHEA released a comprehensive report on access to health insurance as part of OHEA’s regional and state health equity goals. The report looked more deeply at the 383,000 uninsured in Oregon, the impacts on individuals, families and communities, and proposed solutions.


Multnomah County CHIP
OHEA is awarded the Multnomah County Community Health Improvement Plan Bid. OHEA hires Marilou Carrera RN, MPH to lead this initiative.

July 2014

OHEA & HOPE Coalition Merge
After a 6 month process, the two steering committee ratify a new merger to maximize resources and leadership capacity as OHEA. OHEA assumes the regional health equity, state policy advocacy, and community health engagement roles.

June 2014

OHEA Theory of Change
After a series of retreats, a set of values and theory of change were adopted. Structure clarified the primary role of a POC-led Steering Committee with an advisory role of OHEA Member orgs.

June 2013

5 for 5 Wins

  • Tuition Equity for immigrant students
  • Oregon’s Safe Roads Act, with all drivers licensed and insured
  • Improved data collection and analysis in health & human services for race, ethnicity, language and disability status
  • Cultural competency training for licensed health professionals
  • Prenatal care for all women


HOPE Coalition Founded
The HOPE Coalition is a regional partnership of communities of color, health advocates and policy makers working together to create and implement a five-year plan to increase health equity in Clackamas, Marion, Multnomah and Washington Counties.


Legislative Briefings

  • Working for Health Equity in Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Cultural Competency Health Workers Bill
  • How Anti-Immigrant Policies Hurt Community Health
  • Overview of Health Equity Analysis Tools
  • Session Evaluation


OHEA Founded
POCHEC becomes the Oregon Health Equity Alliance. First Steering Committee includes Causa, Oregon Action, the Urban League of Portland APANO and the Center for Intercultural Organizing (now Unite Oregon).


POCHEC Founded
Shared vision between APANO, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Oregon Action, Urban League, Causa and The TREE Institute establishes the People of Color Health Equity Collaborative (POCHEC). Oregon Action serves as fiscal sponsor. Funding secured via NWHF for 2 years of intensive capacity building.