Telling the story of equity

Telling the story of equity

Both Northwest Health Foundation and the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund support Coalition for a Livable Future's Regional Equity Atlas 2.0.

While interactive maps can tell a story about how public policies shape our opportunities for health, there are also stories that can highlight the everyday impact our policies have on the health of our neighbors. Thus the Equity Stories project.

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Board Member Darleen Ortega in the news

Transient

Our board member, Darleen Ortega, was profiled in today's Oregonian. Oregon and Northwest Health Foundation are lucky to have her!

From the story:

As a child, Darleen Ortega loved to read. She devoured books in school and dreamed of one day writing some of her own.

Now as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals, Ortega has, in a way, fulfilled that dream. Appellate decisions -- though dry -- are human stories, she jokes.

Ortega's own story touches on perseverance and the power of diverse perspectives. She is the first Latina and woman of color on the appellate court. Leading by example, she is working to diversify the field of law in Oregon. 

Ortega, 51, was born in California and grew up near Banks from age 10. Her family, a Mexican American mom, Caucasian dad, sister and two adopted African American brothers, was diverse -- an anomaly in the small community of Manning. It was a stark change from life in Los Angeles.

Read the rest here.

Partners Speak about Kaiser Permanente Community Fund

Partners Speak about Kaiser Permanente Community Fund

At the 2012 Kaiser Permanente Community Fund Summit, we asked some of our grantees and partners to tell us about their projects and what the fund means to them. This short video will give you an idea of some of the projects supported by the fund, and the impact it has had on our community.

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When We Count: From Data to Action

This the story of a Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) project funded by Northwest Health Foundation. The Coalition of Communities of Color and Portland State University worked together to generate data about the lived experience of people of color in Portland. The result: “Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile.”

For the first time in the city’s history, diverse communities held a leadership role in such a project. It was also the first time such robust data was generated for many populations, such as the African immigrant community.

Read the reports here.

Adelante Mujeres Nourishes the Community

Adelante Mujeres Nourishes the Community

In Washington County, research shows the health outcomes for Latinos are significantly worse than those of other ethnic backgrounds. The concentrated poverty for immigrant farmers, challenges of adapting to a new culture and poor urban planning have all added to the poor health of Washington County’s Latino population. However, it is also evident that lifestyle choices have also played a large role. For Adelante Mujeres, a Forest Grove, Oregon-based nonprofit, the solution lies in holistic education about health, food, and nutrition to inspire positive lifestyle changes.

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The Dreamer School: Higher Education Begins in First Grade

This is the story of Alder Elementary School, the first “Dreamer School” in the nation as part of an innovative collaboration between Friends of the Children and the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Oregon. The project serves some of the community’s most vulnerable youth and encourages higher education beginning at a young age. Through a $50,000 implementation grant from the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund, the project builds on the success of the “I Have a Dream” foundation, and will expand the number of students served from 300 to 3,000 per year over the next decade.

Listening to Youth

Listening to Youth

It’s becoming increasingly clear that improving population health and reducing inequalities is related to our ability to create more space for leaders from the “millennial” generation.

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Improving Health for Iraqi Refugees

Improving Health for Iraqi Refugees

When calculating the costs of war, we often neglect the health and economic costs of traumatized immigrants coming to the U.S. as refugees from violent, and prolonged, conflicts in places such as Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Despite being tens of thousands of miles from the war zone, Oregon’s Iraqi population is still struggling with the resonating consequences of violence and displacement. Many who sought refuge and asylum in the United States from the first Iraq war continue to deal with lingering trauma - more than twenty years after immigration.

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Urban Oasis: Village Gardens and Village Market

Village Gardens and the Village Market are both examples of what can be accomplished when neighborhood residents, non-profits and government come together in support of people’s health and well-being. The project was funded by the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund, among other organizations.

Highlands Does Better with a Community Coach

Highlands Does Better with a Community Coach

The Highlands neighborhood in Longview, Washington has, for decades, gone without many of the advantages enjoyed by other communities – a strong retail district, an adequate park, thriving social service organizations, etc. It’s also one of the poorest districts in the state and has some of the highest rates of unemployment, drug use, and debilitating medical conditions such as lung cancer and diabetes to be found anywhere. 

Clearly, the people who live there deserve better.

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Healing Decades of Trauma through Oral History

Healing Decades of Trauma through Oral History

Many Cambodians escaped the war, and settled in Oregon and Southwest Washington in the early 1980s as refugees. Even after thirty years, many Cambodians are still traumatized from their experiences, and are still unable to speak about them. As Cal State Long Beach sociology professor Leakhena Nou pointed out in Street Roots Magazine, the long term stress of this trauma can linger for decades, manifesting in diabetes, stroke, drug addiction, alcoholism, and family violence. “When you cut yourself deeply, a scar remains. That’s how I see the state of mind for the Cambodians.”

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Public Health and Zombies

Public Health and Zombies

“You can substitute any unforeseen public health hazard for ‘zombies’ and it would make perfect sense,” said one of the judges of Northwest Health Foundation’s  public health PSA contest. The point being that our public health departments are there to protect us from unforeseen threats.

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Finding Workforce Solutions to a Dental Care Crisis

Finding Workforce Solutions to a Dental Care Crisis

What’s the best way to ensure that everyone gets good dental care? Hint: It’s probably not the system currently in place today.

Northwest Health Foundation is helping explore whether it's time for the first new health profession in 50 years.

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Thomas Cully Park – A Dream Realized

Thomas Cully Park – A Dream Realized

When the sun is out, the children of Portland’s Cully neighborhood transform parking lots into soccer fields. The neighborhood, which shines with cultural flare and ethnic diversity, still has concentrated poverty, and an overall lack of access to nature. In fact, Cully, in outer Northeast Portland, has the lowest income per capita in the City. Many of the streets are without sidewalks and streetlights, and many more aren’t even paved.

While the regional average for residents per acre of public land is about 780 Cully has over 2,780 per acre of public land. Most people in Cully agree that they need – and deserve – a park in their neighborhood.

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