HB 4052: Racism is a Public Health Crisis

In 2022, HB 4052: Racism is a Public Health Crisis passed in both chambers. The Oregon Health Equity Task Force developed this bill and lead its advocacy. 

Racism causes harm, trauma, illness, and death to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Oregonians. While HR 6, which Declared Racism a Public Health Crisis, passed during the 2021 legislative session we must take strategic actions to support this declaration. HB 4052, like HR 6, acknowledges that Oregon’s very founding as a state was rooted in racist ideals, and while the Black exclusionary laws are no longer on the books, the damaging impact of these and other racist policies continue to exist within our present-day policies and systems perpetuating health disparities. HB 4052 calls for accelerated, intentional actions to heal these injustices and articulates strategies and investments to address health inequities.

Initial strategies to address this crisis:

Remove barriers to increase access and quality of care in BIPOC communities. A pilot mobile health program will create a sustainable, culturally responsive model to increase access to care, informing a collaboratively-developed statewide feasibility study.

Meaningfully invest in community engagement to identify future strategies. Ensure BIPOC community voice informs and directs institutional racism and healthy equity strategies. Racial affinity groups will be part of the Oregon Advocacy Commissions.

Develop recommendations to fund culturally specific programs. Establish a funding strategy to support intervention programs designed to prevent health conditions that result in inequitable outcomes for BIPOC communities.

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