Track 4 - Health Equity

Sharing Session - 60 Minutes

C6 - Community Powered Change: The Intersection of Equity and Community Health Improvement

Wednesday, July 11
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Location: Balcony K

Learn how the Multnomah County Health Department (OR) has applied the findings of an equity-oriented Community Health Improvement Plan that centers the knowledge and experience of communities of color to inform collaborative processes with key organizational partners and inform infrastructure changes within and beyond the county health department. Through a shared partnership with a regional health equity coalition, Multnomah County leveraged resources to support the equity work of key organizational partners and prioritized the impact on communities of color.


Health Equity, Partnerships & Collaborations, Social Determinants of Health

Marilou Carrera, RN, MPH

Community Health Equity Manager
Oregon Health Equity Alliance

Marilou manages the community health equity efforts of the Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) in Portland, OR. Since beginning this work as manager in Fall 2015, Marilou engages primarily with communities of color, organizations representing communities of color, and key stakeholder partners such as government institutions, coordinated care organizations, health systems, and non-profit organizations. She values community experience and expertise, transparency, love, communication, and lately, theory of change models. Marilou's work is informed by many experiences and identities: socially situated as a queer woman / organizer / creative of color who immigrated to the United States at a very young age; academically situated in public health and nursing; professional experiences with health equity, quality management, and clinical care; personal experiences with writing, performance, and craft. She received a BS in Biological Sciences from DePaul University in Chicago, IL and a Masters of Public Health from Portland State University. She also obtained her nursing education in Chicago, IL and has a current, active Oregon nursing license. She's a mom to Orion, a domestic tuxedo cat with chronic disease and the vocals to make sure she doesn't forget. This is her first time visiting New Orleans!


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Rachael Banks, Public Health Director

Public Health Director
Multnomah County Health Department

In her professional role(s), she works with fabulous colleagues to convene partners to advance policy and systemic strategies to eliminate health inequities and support a community health improvement plan (CHIP) designed specifically to achieve health equity. She leads the Public Health Division’s 300-plus employees in the core areas of environmental health, communicable disease prevention, chronic disease prevention and health promotion. The Public Health Division utilizes research and assessment, health policy, community engagement, culturally specific strategies and community-level education as core strategies to promote/protect the public's health.

During her past 15 years in Public Health, she has led the Multnomah County Health Department’s Healthy Birth Initiative (HBI), Healthy Families, and REACH programs. She has managed the tobacco policy program while it implemented Oregon’s smokefree workplace law to over 80,000 businesses. She has also led some of the County’s obesity prevention efforts, including the CDC’s Healthy Communities ACHIEVE Initiative and components of Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which increased healthy food access for over 60,000 people in faith-based settings, among numerous other outcomes.


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C6 - Community Powered Change: The Intersection of Equity and Community Health Improvement

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