Oregon Health Equity Task Force

In the summer of 2020, OPHA began convening a group of leaders which came to call itself the Oregon Health Equity Task Force. The Oregon Health Equity Task Force is composed of leaders and community-based organizations representing BIPOC, Tribal, Mixed Race, Urban dwelling Indians/Urban Indians, Immigrant and Refugee, and white communities.

The "Task Force" came together to ask the state of Oregon to declare racism a public health crisis, develop short and long term strategies to address the issue, and seek state funds to implement the strategies.


The Task Force developed HB 2337 for the 2021 legislative session with chief sponsor, Representative Andrea Salinas.  Racism causes harm, trauma, illness, and death to Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) Oregonians. HB 2337 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 perpetuating and damaging impact of these and other racist policies continue to exist within our present-day policies and systems. Further, this bill signals the need for accelerated, intentional actions to heal these injustices and articulates strategies and investments to address health inequities.

While HB 2337 passed out of the House Healthcare Committee with bipartisan support, it did not make it out of the Ways and Means Committee, thus not making it to the floor for a vote by the full House.  However, the Task Force, with the leadership of Representative Salinas, did succeed in passing HR 6, which declares racism a public health crisis.

Task Force Members 2020-2021


In the short 2022 legislative session, the Task Force again worked with Representative Salinas to develop a new bill, HB 4052 which would take strategic actions to support the declaration made with HR 6. HB 4052 called for accelerated, intentional actions to heal these injustices and articulates strategies and investments to address health inequities.

HB 4052 passed and was signed into law in 2022.  This was an exciting win and Task Force members are working closely with state agency staff on implementation.  

Learn more about HB 4052: Racism is a Public Health Crisis


In 2023, the Task Force is reconvening to create and advocate for Racism is a Public Health Crisis Round 3.  HB 2918 and HB 2925 have been introduced to secure the funds and time needed to fully implement the Task Force's vision for HB 4052. HB 2925 extends the timeline for affinity group task forces convened by The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office and community-based organizations to meet, discuss, research and make policy recommendations that improve health outcomes of communities of color across the state.

To honor the time and lived experiences of community members contributing to the implementation of HB 4052, the work of the affinity group task forces will be extended to June 2026 instead of ending in June 2023.

HB 2918 provides the additional $4 million necessary to fund the mobile health pilot program providing anti-racist and culturally and linguistically responsive health care to improve outcomes of Oregonians impacted by racism.