News release: Multnomah County, Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative release report examining regional community needs

September 15, 2022

Multnomah County and its partners in the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative are releasing the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment. The report describes a community’s perception of its

well-being and typically involves insight from community members about strengths, resources, gaps, and health needs across the Portland-metro area, including Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington.

The Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative is a public-private partnership of four local public health agencies, 15 hospitals and two coordinated care organizations. The collaborative, in partnership with the Oregon Health Equity Alliance and Health Management Associates, examined population health data and incorporated community input to produce the 2022 regional assessment. 

The assessment focused on four areas of community health:

  • Access to affordable and safe housing
  • Social and economic opportunity
  • Access to culturally-responsive healthcare
  • Creating strong social networks

Among the findings: 

  • People of color, the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities were less likely than White respondents to report feeling safe in their communities.
  • Lack of access to internet limited educational and social engagement
  • People expressed a challenge finding employment where the salary compensates for the subsequent loss of government benefits.
  • Nearly a third of queer respondents, and about one-in-five respondents who identified as LGBTQ or living with a disabiltiy reported being discriminated against in healthcare
  • The LGBTQ community and people with disabilities are twice as likely as respondents overall to report delaying health care due to fear or discomfort.

The Collaborative is celebrating the release of the 2022 report with a virtual event where community members can learn more about the assessment and the identified priority areas. Advance registration is not required. 

The Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative will work to address the regional priority issues identified in the 2022 report. Organizations within the collaborative also incorporate the regional assessments, which are produced every three years, into their respective community health needs assessments and community health improvement plans.