225059 Building a multicultural movement for health care reform

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Cary Sanders, MPP , California Pan-Ethnic Health Network/Having Our Say, Oakland, CA
In 2007, California's Governor declared it the year of health care reform. The Having Our Say coalition was formed to ensure that communities of color, who comprise over 73% of California's uninsured, had a voice in the state's health care reform debate. Now in its fourth year, the coalition has grown to over 40 organizations. The coalition provides technical assistance and a platform where advocates can form a unified agenda on local, state, and national health policy. In 2009, the Having Our Say coalition continued its work, shifting its attention to national reform. Coalition members developed their capacity to speak about critical provisions related to health access and equity including the importance of immigrant inclusion, adequate funds for prevention and California's safety-net, standardized data on race and ethnicity and stronger cultural and linguistic requirements on health insurers. The existence of a community of color led health policy coalition was instrumental in helping our members to become more actively engaged in the struggle for health care reform at the grassroots level. Coalition members organized legislative visits, made phone calls, and participated in rallies, media events and town halls on health disparities. In this session we will discuss the origins of the Having Our Say coalition and the unique niche it fills in promoting local, state, and national health policy solutions that address the needs of communities of color. We will also discuss the strengths and weakness of the Having Our Say coalition as a model for other states.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1)Discuss the value and importance of creating separate platforms for underrepresented voices to formulate positions on the policy solutions that will impact them. 2)Explore the strengths and weaknesses of the Having Our Say coalition, a community-based model, in increasing underrepresented voices at the local, state and national levels. 3)Identify the Having Our Say coalition as a promising model for other states seeking to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities through a participatory, community-based approach.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present on this topic as I am the Director of the Having Our Say coalition a project of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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