Governor Brown launches new phase of COVID-19 outreach and education campaign that provides health information and resources in 12 languages
PORTLAND — Governor Kate Brown, along with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), today launched a new phase of the state’s public awareness campaign to educate Oregonians about COVID-19. Safe + Strong focuses on community-centered outreach in 12 languages to connect people who are most at-risk of experiencing health disparities with the information, tools and resources they need to stay safe, healthy, and strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While the coronavirus does not discriminate in who it infects, persistent disparities in our society put many Oregonians at more risk than others,” said Governor Brown. “I am committed to ensuring that all Oregonians, especially those from historically-underserved communities, have the information they need to stay safe during these unprecedented times.”
While social distancing measures have slowed the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, many Oregonians face economic and systemic barriers which prevent them from taking steps to keep themselves and their families safe. Staying home to stay safe requires resources or life circumstances that are not a reality for many Oregonians. This includes safe, stable housing, money available to stock up on groceries, a job that allows remote work, the ability to meet daily needs without assistance from a caregiver, chronic medical conditions and access to information about how to protect themselves.
Safe + Strong is a statewide effort to reach communities most impacted by health disparities with culturally relevant, linguistically responsive resources. The target audiences of this campaign, developed by the women-owned firm Brink Communications, include:
- Immigrants and refugees
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities
- Oregonians whose preferred language is not English
- Oregonians with chronic health conditions
- Older Oregonians
- Migrant and seasonal farmworkers
- Hourly wage essential workers
“We know that due to historical inequities, race and income disparities can lead to devastating health impacts,” said OHA director Patrick Allen. “We also know from our ongoing collaboration with community-based organizations that essential health information about how to stay safe has not been reaching many Oregonians. We’re committed to improving the health of all Oregonians by putting resources and tools in the hands of the people who need them.”
The Governor’s Office, along with OHA, will be working directly with community leaders and organizations representing groups most impacted by health disparities. These organizations with direct ties to communities will be provided with tools and technical assistance to leverage their ongoing efforts to respond to needs during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“The support our communities need to stay safe and strong is going to change over time, and we need to be responsive to those changing needs,” said Monica Juarez, Willamette Valley regional outreach coordinator for OHA’s Community Partner Outreach Program. “The information and resources we develop will be informed by community voices and their lived experiences.”
The Safe + Strong campaign includes:
- A website that will serve as a trusted information hub housing culturally relevant tools and resources—including food and rental assistance, unemployment benefits and the Oregon Health Plan—in 12 languages for both individuals and community-based organizations;
- These languages are based on populations in Oregon and include: Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Hmong, Somali, Chuukese, and Marshallese
- A strategically targeted digital, radio, and print campaign to help create awareness and connect Oregonians with the resources on the website; and
- A community engagement and technical assistance effort to support community organizations in reaching and assisting Oregonians across the state.