Health in Housing: Exploring the Intersection Between Housing and Health Care

This study directly explores the link between affordable housing and health care through the lens of several national health reform metrics: better connection to primary care, fewer emergency department visits, improved access to and quality of care, and lower costs.

Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences by Increasing Community Capacity

Community capacity for organization and collaboration has been shown to be a powerful tool for improving the health and well-being of communities. Since 1994 the Washington State Family Policy Council has supported the development of community capacity in 42 community public health and safety networks. Community networks bring local communities together to restructure natural supports and local resources to meet the needs of families and children, and increase cross-system coordination and flexible funding streams to improve local services and policy. In this study, researchers sought to demonstrate the strong impact of the community networks’ capacity to interrupt health and social problems. Findings suggest that community networks reduce health and safety problems for the entire community population. Further, community networks with high community capacity reduced adverse childhood experiences (ACE) in young adults ages 18–34.

Grantmaking to Communities of Color in Oregon

How much giving by Oregon foundations is reaching Oregon’s communities of color? Find out in this report from December 2010, Prepared by the Foundation Center on behalf of Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington (GOSW). 

Download Grantmaking to Communities of Color in Oregon (PDF | 4.6 MB)
Download Grantmaking to Communities of Color at Northwest Health Foundation 2008-2013 (PDF | 169k)

Health Care For All Children

The Oregon Latino Health Coalition and the Oregon Center for Public Policy have released a report recognizing the undocumented immigrant children in Oregon who face many challenges to growing up healthy. Oregon's undocumented children often lack health insurance and are excluded from the Affordable Care Act and Oregon's health reform efforts. This report calls for Oregon to extend health insurance to all children, whether they are undocumented or not.

Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon

Optimal oral health is fundamental to our well-being, happiness, productivity and quality of life. To reduce the social and economic cost of oral disease and related illnesses, it’s essential for all Oregonians to receive timely and equitable dental care at every stage of life, including the prenatal stage.
— Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon

The Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon was the result of a collaborative effort by the Oregon Oral Health Coalition, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oral Health Funders Collaborative of Oregon and SW Washington. It proposes a number of strategies for improving oral health for everyone in Oregon by 2020. 

These strategies include appointing a State Dental Director, integrating oral health education into general health education for all ages, increasing the number of oral health providers in rural Oregon, enabling providers to reach underserved patients and more. 

Poor Health is Linked to Poor Academic Performance

Health issues like hunger, physical and emotional abuse, and chronic illness can lead to poor school performance. Furthermore, health-risk behaviors such as early sexual initiation, violence, unhealthy eating, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades, test scores, and lower education attainment.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has gathered valuable resources about the relationship between health and academics. Learn more here.

Dental Problems Account for a Surprising Number of Oregon Emergency Department Visits

A study funded by the Oral Health Funders Collaborative of Oregon and Southwest Washington and conducted by Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Washington used data from 2010 to examine the connection between emergency department (ED) visits and dental health problems in Oregon state.

The study concludes that ED visits for dental conditions are common, particularly for uninsured Oregonians. (Uninsured Oregonians are eight times more likely to visit emergency departments for dental problems.) ED visits for dental conditions reflect a lack of access to dental care, ED visits for dental care are unlikely to cure the patient's dental problem, and failure to provide access to dental care may add cost to the healthcare system.

Get the full report here.

3rd Grade Reading Success Matters: Growing Healthy Readers

"The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the 140+ communities working with the Campaign are dedicated to narrowing the gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. This video shows why that gap occurs and how we can close it. " - Campaign for Third Grade Reading

From the Anne E Casey Foundation's Campaign for Third Grade Reading:

Growing Healthy Readers: Taking Action to Support the Health Determinants of Early School Success is a full series of resource guides for incorporating Children’s Health and Learning Priorities into action plans for improving school readiness, school attendance and summer learning.

The Growing Healthy Readers series was developed by the Campaign’s Healthy Readers team and will help community- and state-level coalitions determine how to take action on priority issues that affect children’s health and learning. Each guide includes research documenting the effects on learning, strategies for improving outcomes and case studies of effective local programs.

Get the Resource Guides here.

Immigrants in Oregon and Washington: Creating an Inclusive and Dynamic Future for All

Published by Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees:

This 20-page report considers the impacts and opportunities presented by the growing number of immigrants in Oregon and Washington. The report includes overviews of newcomers’ impacts on the two states’ demographics, economics, and educational systems; a review of national policy implications for immigrants in the region; and a set of funding recommendations for local, state, regional, and national funders.

Get the full report here. A powerful tool to analyze & compare data on child wellbeing is a comprehensive information system to monitor the state of wellbeing, diversity, opportunity and equity for U.S. children. You can create your own community profiles, analyze data, compare communities and build a case for investments in early life.

Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Childre

With the release of its latest KIDS COUNT policy report -- Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children -- the Annie E. Casey Foundation hosted a national discussion on kids, race and opportunity.

From The Annie E. Casey Foundation :

In this policy report, the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity. The report features the new Race for Results index, which compares how children are progressing on key milestones across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state level.

The index is based on 12 indicators that measure a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, in the areas of early childhood; education and early work; family supports; and neighborhood context. The report also makes four policy recommendations to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential.

Download the report here.

Early Childhood Investments Substantially Boost Adult Health

As covered in the New York Times and elsewhere, this longitudinal report published in Science, details the long-term effects of early-childhood programs.

Investing in children has been demonstrated to improve their lives, both during the school-age years and afterward, as assessed by outcomes such as employment and income; furthermore, these investments often help those in the most need. Campbell et al. (p. 1478) report that these investments can also lead to improved adult health. Results from a randomized and intensive intervention that involved 122 children in four cohorts recruited in the 1970s suggest that full-day child care for the first 5 years of life has produced adults in their 30s with better metabolic and cardiovascular health measures.

Access the full report here. (Membership or one-time fee required.)

Disparities in Access and Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities in Portland

From the Coalition for a Livable Future's Connections Journal:

This paper by Michael Szporluk of the Portland Commission on Disability, discusses key equity concerns for persons with disabilities, a population that makes up approximately 15-20% of our region’s residents, including more than a third of seniors.  The paper highlights disparities affecting persons with disabilities by examining six issue areas: housing, infrastructure, transit, education, employment, and health outcomes.  It also discusses intersecting issues of race and gender.

Download it here.

Healthcare for whom?

From United for a Fair Economy:

UFE's eleventh annual MLK Day report–Healthcare for Whom?–explores the racial economic implications of one of the most important human rights issues and public policy debates of the day: healthcare. The report looks at both disparate health outcomes–driven largely by racial segregation and concentrated poverty–and the current state-by-state fights over implementing the Affordable Care Act.

The report also includes the latest data on racial disparities in education, employment, income, poverty and wealth that indicate the dream of racial equity, as so clearly articulated by Dr. King, remains unfinished.

For the first time, this MLK Day report includes an "organizers toolbox" with a series of interactive workshops organizers can use at local worker centers, union halls, church groups, and community groups to examine the causes and consequences of the racial wealth divide and move people to action.

Get the report and other tools here.

Teasing in gym class leads to less active kids

From Outside:

Children who are bullied in P.E. class are less likely to pursue and enjoy physical activity, according to a new report published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

The study, spearheaded by BYU psychology professor Chad Jensen, found that children of all weights who were bullied in P.E. classes or other physical activities displayed an aversion to exercise for as long as a year after the incidents.

Prior studies have linked bullying to decreased physical activity when the bullied were obese or overweight, but the new research finds that the correlation extends to children of normal weight.

Researchers polled fourth and fifth grade students from six Midwestern elementary schools about health, emotional well-being, cooperation with others, and academics. A year later, researchers asked students the same questions to track changes.

Scientists suggest that bolstering anti-bullying campaigns could produce tangible results for youth fitness. The study also recommends developing policies to curb peer victimization rooted in physical ability.

Download the report here (fee required)

Facing Race: the 2013 Oregon Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity

Facing Race is a collaborative effort of the Racial Equity Report Working Groups that includes: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon, Causa Oregon, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Partnership for Safety and Justice, Urban League of Portland and Western States Center.

Click here to download the full report

In this report card, each member of the Oregon House and Senate was given an individual grade, based on both their votes and their leadership on 21 bills. Out of 30 Senators, there were 13 A’s, 3 B’s, 3 C’s and 11 Needs Improvement. Out of 60 Representatives, there were 29 A’s, 7 B’s, 3 C’s and 21 Needs Improvement.

A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From The Brink

From the website:

A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink will examine the rates of financial insecurity among American women and the children who depend on them, investigate the impact of it on our nation’s institutions and economic future, and promote modern solutions to help women strengthen their financial status.

Download the report and executive summary here.


The most common shared story in our country today is the financial insecurity of American families. Today, more than one in three Americans—more than 100 million people—live in poverty or on the edge of it. Half of all Americans will spend at least a few months churning into and out of poverty during their lifetimes. This economic immobility and inequality is a systemic and pervasive problem that President Barack Obama recently described as “the defining challenge of our time.”

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink reveals this national crisis through the eyes of women. In an era when women have solidified their position as half of the U.S. workforce and a whopping two-thirds of the primary or co-breadwinners in American families, the reality is that a third of all American women are living at or near a space we call “the brink of poverty.” We define this as less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $47,000 per year for a family of four.

Forty-two million women, and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living one single incident—a doctor’s bill, a late paycheck, or a broken-down car—away from economic ruin. Women make up nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers, the vast majority of whom receive no paid sick days. This is at a time when women earn most of the college and advanced degrees in this country, make most of the consumer spending decisions by far, and are more than half of the nation’s voters.

This report details three major cultural and economic changes over the past 50 years that work against women and our economy:

  • While women represent a majority of college graduates, they are also more likely to work in poorly paid “pink-collar” service and caregiving occupations that leave them financially insecure. That’s because even though this job sector is among the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, there is a shocking lack of wage increases and benefits in it.

  • The American family has permanently changed, and women head up more families on their own. More than half of the babies born to women ages 30 and younger are born to unmarried mothers, most of them white. In our poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans and 85 percent of Millennials believe that government should adapt to the reality of single-parent families and use its resources to help children and mothers succeed, regardless of family status.

  • For women today, a post-high school degree is a ticket into the middle class, but that education is increasingly harder to obtain. In our poll, women living on the brink said they overwhelmingly regret not making education a bigger priority.

Failure to adapt to these real transformations in American culture not only leaves millions of women and their families in jeopardy, it also deprives our economy of a huge spending stimulus from the tens of millions of women eager to have money to spend on their families and in their communities. Closing the wage gap between men and women would cut the poverty rate in half for working women and add nearly half a trillion dollars to the national economy. But it goes even deeper than that. Studies show that for children, the trauma and chronic stress of poverty are toxic and have lifelong health impacts—physical, emotional, and mental.

Today’s challenges require new solutions, so we present a combination of public, private, and personal recommendations that can help reignite the American Dream for women and their families. We have brought together the best and brightest minds and challenged them to collaborate with us to develop fresh thinking around these issues. Taken together, these ideas present a modern social architecture designed to make individuals, businesses, and government stronger, more innovative, and better tailored to the realities of today’s hardworking families.

The report details a set of public policies that, if adopted, would boost women’s potential as breadwinners: a higher minimum wage, improved access to work and income supports, and better opportunities to access medium- and high-paying jobs. Additionally, women need policies that support their breadwinning and caregiving responsibilities. An overwhelming 96 percent of single mothers in our poll say paid leave is the workplace policy that would help them most, and nearly 80 percent of Americans say the government should expand access to high-quality, affordable child care.

Education: It Matters More to Health than Ever Before

From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health

We know with greater certainty than ever before that Americans with fewer years of education have poorer health and shorter lives. In fact, since the 1990s, life expectancy has fallen for people without a high school education, a decrease that is especially pronounced among White women.

Why is the link between education and health more distinct today? In the current knowledge economy, education paves a clear path to good jobs and a steady income. Completing more years of education creates better access to health insurance, medical care, and the resources to live a healthier lifestyle.

This brief and video are products of the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health’s Education and Health Initiative, a program to raise awareness about the links between education and health. This is the first in a series of four briefs that will explain these complex connections, discuss the role of health care reform, and demonstrate why investing in education can cut health care costs.

Download the brief here.