After several years of work the Oregon Cultural Competency Legislative Action Coalition finally prevailed with a legislative victory to advance cultural competency training statewide to health professionals. “We can’t deliver patient-delivered care if it does not respond to the individual culture of the patient,” Sen. Winters told her Senate colleagues, who approved HB 2611 on a 26-2 vote.
Many advocates were jumping for joy when the final vote count came through. “It was a surprise to see such unprecedented support,” said Urban League of Portland’s Health Equity Coordinator Ty Schwoeffermann “The same bill died on the House floor and barely passed out of the senate two years prior. I’m grateful to have worked with such a strong coalition of advocates.”
The coalition included many community based organizations, health professional associations, and mainstream organizations like Health Share Oregon and Providence Health Systems. To see a comprehensive list of coalition partners, click here.
“The evidence shows clear health disparities in minority communities,” said Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland), a chief sponsor of HB 2611A. “We can work to close these gaps by adequately preparing health care providers to identify and address cultural barriers to quality care.”