OHA Community Policy Change Leadership Institutes

Case Study

In 2020, Oregon Health Authority Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention (HPCDP) hired Coraggio Group to plan, convene, and facilitate institutes for Regional Health Equity Coalition (RHECs) leaders, culturally specific Community Based Organizations (CBOs) leaders, tribal and county Alcohol Drug Prevention and Education Programs (ADPEP) grantees and tribal and county Tobacco Prevention and Education Programs (TPEP) grantees. The goal of the project is to co-create local tobacco and alcohol policy that ensures statewide strategic alignment and addresses equity considerations and risk factors for chronic disease. 

A large piece of this work included developing an equity-centered policy change model for communities to use in their policy change efforts. Together with RHECs and HPCDP, we are implementing a health equity focused process to ensure that historically marginalized communities are included in the decision making and planning processes, facilitating group discussions about power sharing and systemic racism, surfacing potential biases, systematically integrating equity considerations into all planning and implementation of work, and looking for ways to make continuous improvements to work process and products. 

Through this process, we co-created a new model that includes the following 15 key elements to consider at each step of the policy making process: 

  • Use an equity & racial justice lens 
  • Ensure adequate time for building strong relationships 
  • Authentically include community members, including people of color 
  • Define decision making process that is transparent, equitable & community driven 
  • Clarify roles, responsibilities and process 
  • Think about who else needs to be involved 
  • Identify barriers and incentives for community participation 
  • Adapt process & tools to make it relevant & accessible for different groups (i.e. plain language, translation, interpretation)  
  • Consider how to support transformative justice in the process
  • Ensure transparency
  • Value life experience
  • Create consistent messages
  • Address conflict, harm or failures, and unintended consequences
  • Surface, discuss & address power imbalances
  • If community is not onboard, go back to the beginning

We are excited to be partners in solution with HPCDP, the RHEC’s, CBO’s and grantees as they build a new model and platform to drive equity centered policy changes within their communities.