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News Release
OHA gathers subcommittees to address socially focused priorities of State Health Improvement Plan - 08/19/19

August 19, 2019

Members will develop, track strategies aimed at ending health disparities

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority has gathered teams of community partners to begin tackling State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) priorities focused on social factors that affect health, such as childhood trauma, food security, and access to health care and employment.

The PartnerSHIP, a steering committee developing the 2020-2024 SHIP, has formed subcommittees with representatives from state agencies, nonprofits, tribal health, local public health departments, health care, academia, businesses, and people with lived experience.

The subcommittees’ goal is to identify and track strategies aimed at achieving the five SHIP priorities that include:

  • Institutional bias, or systematic distribution of resources, power and opportunity in society to the exclusion of people of color, people with disabilities, people with low income and people who identify as LGBTQ+.
  • Adversity, trauma and toxic stress, which can include abuse and neglect, living in poverty, incarceration, family separation, and exposure to racism and discrimination.
  • Economic drivers of health such as housing, living wage, food insecurity and transportation, since poverty is a strong predictor of poor health.
  • Access to equitable preventive health care, which can be limited by health care provider shortages, transportation barriers, health care costs, or language or other cultural barriers.
  • Behavioral health including poor mental health and substance use, which can lead to lower quality of life, unemployment and increased suicide rates.

"Convening these subcommittees is a significant step toward systematically addressing the 2020-2024 SHIP priorities," said Oregon Public Health Director Lillian Shirley. "This provides an exciting opportunity to work with partners to develop strategies for reducing inequities that can have lifelong health effects."

Subcommittee rosters can be viewed by clicking on the 2020-2024 SHIP Priority Area links on the OHA State Health Improvement Plan webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/ABOUT/Pages/ship-process.aspx.

The subcommittees will align existing assets and strengths and identity new strategies needed to end health disparities, the disproportionate burden of preventable illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by marginalized groups in each priority area. The strategies will be developed using a health equity framework, which aims to eliminate disparities by addressing social, economic and environmental conditions that affect health, and will include policy changes, improvements in daily living conditions, and individual-level interventions.

Strategies will be created with particular attention to the needs of priority populations including people of color, people with disabilities, people who are low-income, people who identify as LGBTQ+, older adults and children. Subcommittees will also identify measures that will be used to monitor progress over the next five years of plan implementation.

The 2020-2024 SHIP is a product of the state’s effort to build a modern public health system. The plan’s focus on social factors affecting health was informed by community partners. Next spring, communities will be asked to weigh in on the proposed strategies to ensure they are culturally relevant to priority populations.

Subcommittees will meet monthly starting in August. All meetings are open to the public. Meeting details for each subcommittee, and additional information about the SHIP, can be found at healthoregon.org/2020ship. For questions or comments, contact at isty.j.hudson@state.or.us">christy.j.hudson@state.or.us.

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