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OHA announces 2015 Dr. Bruce Goldberg Health Equity Champions

October 27, 2015

The Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion announced three Dr. Bruce Goldberg Health Equity Champions for 2015 during its annual meeting Thursday at the Oregon Convention Center. This year's recipients are state Representatives Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland) and Knute Buehler (R-Bend), and the Oregon Health Equity Alliance.

“We are so fortunate to have partners like these championing health equity in Oregon,” says Leann Johnson, director of OHA’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. “They have worked tirelessly to ensure all Oregonians have access to better health, better care and lower costs."

These champion awards are named for Bruce Goldberg, M.D., OHA’s first director, who led health system transformation in Oregon. More information about the recipients is below: 

Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer – As chair of the Oregon House of Representatives Human Services and Housing Committee and with a background in public health, Rep. Keny-Guyer is deeply committed to health equity and prevention strategies with the greatest returns – from prenatal care to suicide prevention, as well as oral, environmental and public health. She focuses on women, foster children and communities that suffer the poorest health. During the 2015 session, Rep. Keny-Guyer sponsored House Bill 2024, highlighting the important role of traditional health workers in providing culturally appropriate oral health prevention education to address oral health inequities. She works hard to develop bipartisan support and listens carefully to voices in the community. 

Oregon Health Equity Alliance – The Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) is a statewide partnership of more than 40 organizations and diverse health equity advocates, public health entities, and organizations that serve constituents experiencing health inequities. OHEA’s five-year strategic plan is designed to bring about the best community-driven results and motivate policy change for social justice. In the 2015 legislative session, OHEA supported numerous bills that address social determinants of health and equity, including bills known as Ban the Box, End Profiling, Paid Sick Time, Comprehensive Women’s Health, and Cover All Kids. 

Rep. Knute Buehler, M.D. – Rep. Buehler’s leadership was instrumental in passing House Bill 2879. This bill, which will become law January 1, 2016, allows pharmacists to prescribe and dispense birth control pills and hormonal contraceptives to women. This law eliminates an obstacle to access and effective use, especially among low-income women. With the passage of House Bill 2879, Oregon now joins California as the only two states that allow women direct access to birth control through a pharmacist prescription.