Join us in support of thoughtful, national, comprehensive immigration reform

This OpEd was published in Street Roots on July 8, 2016.

As philanthropic organizations, we work hard every day to support thriving Oregon communities: We seed small businesses and job opportunities. We partner with communities to provide kids and families with quality, affordable care and education. We create safe, welcoming spaces for people of all cultural and religious backgrounds. We invest in affordable housing, clean rivers and healthy neighborhoods for all Oregonians. And most importantly, we support diversity, because inclusive communities are strong communities. Our immigrant ancestors and our immigrant neighbors enrich our understanding of the world, our communities and ourselves. Oregon and the U.S. are stronger with all of us.

The recent 4-4 tie decision by the Supreme Court in Texas v. United States leaves in place a lower-court decision halting the implementation of expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. It puts the lives of millions of immigrants and their families on hold. This deadlock prevents an estimated 5 million immigrants from gaining work authorization and protection from deportation. It also prolongs the worries and fears of their 6.4 million family members, not to mention their friends and neighbors. Our friends and neighbors.

The original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has benefitted nearly 730,000 individuals and their families, allowing young adults to stay in their home — this country — while working and going to school. In the face of last week’s decision, we are more committed than ever to supporting the strength and resiliency of immigrant families and communities.

By welcoming immigrants, we foster thriving communities that benefit us all. We welcome families that have endured incredible hardships to leave bad situations to provide a better future for their kids. We welcome more entrepreneurs and more customers for local businesses. We welcome children who will grow up to be doctors and teachers, business owners and artists. We welcome neighbors, co-workers and friends who share our deepest dreams — the freedom to speak and pray, and the opportunity to raise healthy, happy families.

DACA and DAPA are a critical step in providing immediate stability to our neighbors, but they don’t fix our broken immigration system. We invite both our colleagues in philanthropy and decision-makers at every level to join us in support of thoughtful, national, comprehensive immigration reform. Only by addressing both these immediate needs and long-term challenges can we ensure the health and prosperity of a diverse and thriving Oregon.

- Cynthia Addams, Executive Vice President of The Collins Foundation; Nichole June Maher, President and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation; and Doug Stamm, CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust.

Presenting our Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Collaboratives

We are THRILLED to present our ten Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Collaboratives. These ten Collaboratives will work with each other and Northwest Health Foundation for the next five years to advance a shared agenda for healthier childhoods:

APANO Statewide Network
Lead Organization: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Geography: Oregon

Eastern Oregon Latino Alliance for Children and Families
Lead Organization: EUVALCREE
Geography: Malheur County

Healthy Communities, Healthy Futures
Lead Organization: Healthy Living Collaborative (HLC) of Southwest Washington
Geography: Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Skamania counties

Immigrant and Refugee Engage Project
Lead Organization: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
Geography: Portland metro region, as well as Clark, Marion, Hood River and Yamhill counties

Successful Transitions: Integrated Care for Children, Youth and their Families
Lead Organization: Jefferson Regional Health Alliance
Geography: Jackson and Josephine counties

Let's Talk Diversity Coalition
Lead Organization: Let's Talk Diversity Coalition
Geography: Jefferson County

Voz de la Comunidad
Lead Organization: Lower Columbia Hispanic Council
Geography: Clatsop County

Youth Power & Intersectional Collaboration
Lead Organization: Momentum Alliance
Geography: Clark, Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Marion counties

Stable Families Intergenerational Collaborative
Lead Organization: Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
Geography: Multnomah County

Healthy CAPACES
Lead Organization: Pineros Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
Geography: Marion and Polk counties
 

 

2016 is the first year of Communities Collaborate, one part of NWHF’s Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative (HB+HC). The Collaboratives selected for HB+HC Communities Collaborate partnerships will work together to be a part of a local and regional transformation of institutions, programs and policies to deliver better outcomes in early life, equity and community health. In the first year of Communities Collaborate, Collaboratives will receive a total of $850,000 in support. 

 

How We Lost the Vote But Won the Day, The Story of the 2013 Portland Pro-Fluoride Campaign

 Cartoon teeth holding picket signs.

In 2013, a coalition of funders, community-led nonprofits, advisors and other allies came together to campaign for water fluoridation in Portland, OR. Although the ballot initiative did not pass, the campaign succeeded in helping community-based organizations build capacity for civic engagement. In this article, we share our experiences from the campaign, the obstacles we encountered and our lessons learned.

Oregon Minimum Wage, Boiled Down

Current Minimum Wage

$9.25 an hour

Cost of Living

That depends on who you ask. According to the Economic Policy Institute's 2014 Family Budget Calculator, a living wage for a family of four ranges between $14/hour and $17/hour, depending on the county. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates a "rental wage" between $13/hour and $18/hour in order for a family to afford rent on a two-bedroom home. And the University of Washington's 2014 Self Sufficiency Standard suggests a living wage between $9/hour and $16/hour for a family of four.

There are two coalitions advocating for a higher minimum wage in 2016.

Raise the Wage Oregon proposes a state minimum wage of at least $13.50/hour, implemented by 2019. They specifically require that the legislation include farmworkers and restaurant workers. They also want to change the rules so that Oregon localities can set a higher minimum wage than the state minimum wage. (For instance, the City of Portland could set a $15/hour minimum wage, on top of the state baseline of $13.50/hour.)

15 Now Oregon demands a $15/hour minimum wage throughout the state, implemented by 2019.

Both coalitions hope that the February 2016 legislative session will resolve the issue. If not, though, both coalitions are working on gathering 10,000 signatures each so that they can qualify for the ballot measure titling process for November 2016.

Where does Northwest Health Foundation stand on the issue?

About a third of all jobs in Oregon pay less than $13.00 per hour, which for most Oregon families is not enough to pay for basic needs like housing, transportation, food and child care. We also know that costs to live in Oregon depend on where you live in the state, and that small, rural economies aren't the same as large, urban economies. 

Before we support any one approach to raising the minimum wage, we want to understand the issues better. We joined with North Star Civic Foundation to have conversations with communities throughout Oregon last week, and we're looking at all kinds of data as well. Keep an eye on this blog; we’ll report what we learn here in early November.

 

How to Include People of all Abilities

 Our Learning Together & Connecting Communities cohort Getting to know one another at our first Gathering.

Our Learning Together & Connecting Communities cohort Getting to know one another at our first Gathering.

Our Learning Together & Connecting Communities initiative is all about learning from one another and building relationships. So, on November 9th and 10th we hosted our first gathering with our Learning Together partners in Welches, Oregon. This included staff, clients and board members from nine organizations: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Oregon), Autism Empowerment, Umpqua Valley disAbilities Network (UVdN), David’s Harp, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Disability Art and Culture Project (DACP), OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and ourselves, Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF).

For Northwest Health Foundation, the greatest benefit of this gathering was the opportunity to learn how we can include everyone, regardless of ability, in future conversations and events. As it turns out it, it isn’t as difficult as it seems.

The key to inclusiveness is to ask, in as many ways as possible, as often as possible, what people need to participate. Ask as soon as a relationship is established. Ask a couple of months prior to a conversation or event. Ask again in the weeks leading up to an event. Ask at events. And ask post-conversation/event.

For this particular gathering,  NWHF started working with participants to make accommodations for physical and mental Disabilities in September. Prior to the event, we secured ADA compliant rooms at The Resort at the Mountain. We hired ASL interpreters. We worked extra breaks into the agenda for those who needed sensory breaks, and we planned a variety of activities (one-on-one, small group and large group, as well as visual, verbal, written, and kinetic) for people with diverse learning styles. 

At the event, we went around the room and asked each participant, whether or not they identified as Disabled, to voice how the rest of the group could help them feel included. One participant requested that we show appreciation with silent applause. Many participants asked that we leave pauses in the conversation so that everyone could have the chance to join in without having to talk over one another. Another participant said that dancing helped him participate. We managed to incorporate all of these requests with little extra effort.

Now that the event is over, our next step is to send a follow-up survey to our gathering participants. We will ask them whether they felt included or excluded at the gathering and why, and we will use the answers we receive to improve future events and conversations.

Organizations should be in the habit of asking these questions of everyone, because everyone should be able to participate in every event and conversation regardless of ability. Even people who do not identify as Disabled can benefit from this.

Northwest Health Foundation cannot say that we are experts in this area—not even close. In the past we have not been the best example of these behaviors. However, with the help of our partners, we are learning, and we hope to share that learning with the rest of our Oregon and Southwest Washington community.

In the meantime, check out this awesome music video made by one of our amazing Learning Together partners: Disability Art & Culture Project.

 

Announcing our Learning Together & Connecting Communities Grant Recipients!

Northwest Health Foundation is thrilled to announce the grant recipients of our Learning Together and Connecting Communities Project.

Grants were awarded to eight organizations: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Autism Empowerment, Umpqua Valley disAbilities Network, David’s Harp, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), Disability Art and Culture Project, and OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon.

The Learning Together and Connecting Communities Project aims to strengthen the capacity of communities of people with disabilities to organize, and to build relationships among communities for a broader conversation about disability and race, ethnicity and geography.

HB+HC Organizing Grant Application Period Open!

Northwest Health Foundation is thrilled to announce that our Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Organizing Grant Request for Proposals has been finalized, and the application period for Organizing Grants is now open!

Full application instructions are available in the RFP:

 

Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Initiative will help communities improve health, from birth to high school, by 2020. Organizing Grants will equip 30 communities (self-identified by geography, identity, and/or experience) to organize themselves in preparation for five-year Community-Based Partnerships by providing $20,000-$30,000 funding per community, as well as creating opportunities to build relationships and gain exposure to essential concepts about early life and health, policy, advocacy, leadership development and other objectives to be identified by participants.

After the year-long Organizing Grant period is over, the 30 self-identified communities will have the chance to apply for five-year Community-Based Partnerships, of which ten will be awarded. These ten communities will receive $50,000 to $150,000 per community each year for five years (for a total of $250,000-$750,000) to build the community alliances that will drive Healthy Beginnings+Health Communities objectives. By 2020, we will have achieved measurable results both in building community capacity for improving health and in making positive improvements to physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being from pre-birth to ninth grade. 

 

Thank you to everyone who attended Outreach Sessions and gave us feedback on our draft RFP! The final RFP has been greatly improved by your input.

If you have not yet had the chance to attend an Outreach Session to learn more about Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities, do not fear! There are more coming up. Please check our website for dates and locations. Or, you can watch our recorded webinar here.

OHA wants your feedback on CCO incentive measures

Give your organization a voice and participate in Oregon Health Authority’s survey on coordinated care organization (CCO) incentive measures. This survey solicits feedback on existing incentive measures and suggestions for new measures. Results will inform the Metrics & Scoring Committee’s selection of the CCO incentive measures for 2015, the third measurement year. Act fast! The survey closes tomorrow: June 6, 2014.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015Measures

Organizations can submit multiple responses. If you have any questions about the survey or the feedback process, or would like to submit any additional information, please contact Sarah Bartelmann at sarah.e.bartelmann@state.or.us.

 

 

Tooth pain leads to more ER visits than you may think

A study commissioned by Oregon Health Funders Collaborative, including Northwest Health Foundation, and conducted by OHSU and the University of Washington, found that an average of almost 80 people a day visit emergency departments in Oregon for dental problems.

Why? Too many of our neighbors lack adequate dental care, including insurance and prevention. This means missed days from work, reduced income and, for many of our children, fewer hours in the classroom.

As Oregon Community Foundation—one of our Collaborative partners—put it, "we are focused on raising awareness of dental disease and investing in infrastructure to improve the system for all."

Read the report here.

About the Oral Health Funders Collaborative

The Oral Health Funders Collaborative was formed in 2011 to address one of Oregon’s most pressing public health problems: dental disease. Ten of our region’s top charitable foundations have pooled resources and coordinated efforts to raise awareness of oral disease and invest in research and infrastructure needed to improve oral health for residents of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Members include The Ford Family Foundation, The Dental Foundation of Oregon, Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Kaiser Permanente, Northwest Health Foundation, The Oregon Community Foundation, Providence Health & Services, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Samaritan Health Services, and Cambia Health Foundation. PacificSource Foundation for Health Improvement contributed resources to the study as well.

Closing the Gap: Northwest Health Foundation Joins Clinton & Robert Wood Johnson Foundations

The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Grantmakers In Health (GIH) for a day-long forum on May 8th, focused on addressing access and equity barriers to closing the gaps in childhood obesity in the United States.

NWHF President Nichole Maher joined a panel on Closing the Divide in Children's Health: A Place for Everyone at the Table. (She begins at around 21 minutes in.)

The forum will be livestreamed to help continue the conversation beyond conference walls. Be sure to join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #kidshealthmatters.

To view the entire forum and for more information, visit here.

Kaiser Permanente Community Fund Awards $2.5 Million to Improve Health

The Kaiser Permanente Community Fund (KPCF) has awarded more than $2.5 million in grant funds to 20 organizations that improve health in Oregon and southwest Washington. Awarded annually, these grants address the “upstream” or underlying factors that impact community health.

Within the context of health care reform and improved health, the fund currently focuses on three specific social determinants of health: healthy beginnings and early childhood development, educational attainment and economic opportunity. These focus areas were selected for their ability to build on community momentum and their potential for long-term impact.

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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.

Read More