Local Chapters

HCAO is organizing chapters with geographical and constituency representation distributed throughout Oregon for maximum effectiveness in promoting its mission, goals and campaigns.  Chapters are forming to promote such representation at the request of local residents or may be initiated by HCAO organizers.

Chapters are asked to perform the following functions as their capacity allows:

  1. Recruit new members.
  2. Support and participate in HCAO national and state campaigns and legislative action.

  3. Conduct educational initiatives and trainings.

  4. Obtain endorsements from groups and individuals.

  5. Foster effective relationships with other groups and encourage them to join HCAO.

  6. Raise funds for HCAO.

  7. Publicize HCAO’s mission, goals and work.

Chapters may perform other functions that support or promote HCAO in their areas.

To find out how you can become involved, or start a chapter of your own, please Contact us.


Baker County
     HCAO - Baker City

Benton County
     MidValley Health Care Advocates - Corvallis: contact Roberta Hall

Coos County
     HCAO - Bandon: contact Robert Fischer
    HCAO-Coos Bay

Crook County
     Human DignityAdvocates - Crook Co.

Curry County
     HCAO - Brookings: contact Linda Bozack

Deschutes County
     HCAO - Central Oregon Group: contact David Stranahan

     Douglas County
          HCAO - Douglas County: contact Joe Yetter or Bob Bickers

Hood River/Wasco Counties
     HCAO - Gorge

Jackson/Josephine Counties
     HCAO - Rogue Valley: contact Mark Kellenbeck

Josephine County
     HCAO - Grants Pass: contact Jerry Reed

Lane County
     HCAO - Eugene: contact Lou Sinniger
      HCAO - Florence: contact Stuart Henderson

Lincoln County
     HCAO - Lincoln City: contact Paco Maribona
     HCAO - Newport: contact Jerry Robbins

Linn County
     HCAO - Albany: contact Edie Omer

Marion/Polk Counties
      HCAO - Marion/Polk: contact Anita Owen

Metro area:

In the Tr-County area, the Metropolitan Regional Coordinating Council meets monthly with representatives of the local action groups. New members are welcome to attend.  Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30 pm at Holladay Park Plaza, 1300 NE 16th Ave.  For more information, contact Nancy Sullivan.
     HCAO - Clackamas Co.: contact Karen Baker
     HCAO - Sellwood/Milwaukie
     HCAO - Inner SE Portland (HD42):
     HCAO - Inner SE Portland (HD 43)
     HCAO - Inner SE Portland (HD46): contact Mary Post
     HCAO - North Portland: contact Taizz Medalia
     HCAO - SE Portland (HD41) contact Katherine Showalter
     HCAO - NW Portland (HD33)
     HCAO - SW Portland
     HCAO - Inner N/NE Portland (HD43)
     HCAO - Inner N/NE Portland (HD45), Portland Health Care Action Group:
             contact Nancy Sullivan
      HCAO Washington County: contact Yuriko Lee
      HCAO - East Portland: contact Jordan Lewis
      HCAO- West Side-Downtown, Inner NW and SE Portland (HD36)
      OHSU Students
      Portland Jobs with Justice

Tillamook County
     HCAO - 3 Villages: contact Brian Johnstone
     HCAO - Tillamook

Umatilla County
     HCAO - Pendleton: 

Union County
     Oregon Rural Action Health Care Reform - Action Team: contact Jim Kreider

Yamhill County
      HCAO-McMinnville: contact Jan DeWith


See also: HCAO Members



Developing A Successful HCAO Group or Chapter

  1.  Organizational Home - Creating Synergy
  • Determine if there is a Health Care For All Oregon (HCAO) member organization in your region or community.  This might be a “member” of a member organization such as one of the local members of ROP – Rural Organizing Project. Or consider reaching out to the local Democrats as increasing numbers of local Dems are joining HCAO.
  • Meet with one of the Organization representatives to see if they would be interested in supporting the development of a local HCAO group.  This could be anything from providing space for meetings, sending communication alerts to their members or dedicated staff time. This type of “partnership” brings many benefits, but may also require adapting to the norms of the Organization. Flexibility is important for building a successful relationship.
  • Hold a meeting through the Organization inviting their members as well as others that you have identified and those on an HCAO data list for your area. Use your local newspaper to announce the meeting at least one week in advance. Consider inviting someone from an established HCAO group to share highlights about their group during this meeting. Have material, consider using the short version of The Health Care Movie, recruit health care providers to participate on a panel, and be creative.

[Our group—organized through a member of HCAO – Oregon Rural Action. We are the ORA HCAO Health Care Reform (HCR) Action Team. Space, communication assistance and inclusion in programming opportunities are available, but no staff time. We are currently seeking grant funds for a dedicated staff person for health care reform. This new “Social Justice” programming area is a definite win-win for ORA and our HCR Action Team as we are drawing the biggest groups to our events and there is public interest beyond Union County in the 5-County target area of ORA.]

2. Motivated Core Group

  • Using information you solicited from HCAO, the local member organization, and attendees at your first meeting, identify 4 – 6 people who are willing to devote a significant amount of time to the development of your local group.  This could be up to 10 hours a week (or more) depending on your initial action plan.
  • If you have identified fewer that 4 people for your core group, still hold a meeting and explore what you are able to accomplish with a small group. A house party may produce a more people willing to help launch a local group.  Engaging in photo petitions is fun, not complicated and provides another way to meet people that support health care for all.  Whatever you do, remember to identify your desired outcomes for all events so that everyone can see the progress that is being made in growing your group.
  • Be flexible and creative so that there are a variety of opportunities for people to participate in—some people will be information driven, others want action and involvement with the public.
  • Ensure that meeting times, activities, projects, etc. reflect the interests and energy of your Core Group since they will be contributing a major amount of the volunteer time to growing your group.

[Eastern Oregon HCAO core group is comprised of 6-8 people.  Four people have contributed up to 20 hours a week each to develop the group and work with other volunteers.  Three volunteers have recently been recruited in addition to the core group.  They are working specifically with dbase and photo petitions.]

3. HCAO Tools, Techniques, Training, Information and Organization

  • Become familiar with resources and information on HCAO.org and HCAOEF.org; these websites provide a snapshot of the movement to bring healthcare to all people in Oregon as well as many resources for building local groups.
  • Consider which of the “HCAO and HCAOEF tools” will work best in your community: house party, photo petition campaign, surveys, meeting on current legislation, movie and panel, etc. Check the websites routinely for newly posted information and resources such as the HB 3260 Small Business Endorsement Form.
  • Model your emerging committee structure on the state structure and recruit people who will liaison with state committees.  Select the area that brings the most energy and enthusiasm to your group for your first involvement.
  • Offer Health Care Reform 101 workshop.  The 4-hour version is about the right amount of time and will allow interested people to find out if this is something they want to support.  Speaker/s are available from HCAO.

[Eastern Oregon HCAO sponsored a general Health Care for All Workshop September 2012.  The majority of our current key players attended the workshop.  Only 2 of the 12 have not continued active participation. We are holding another workshop in May – Health Care Reform 201—Building the Movement, which will focus on various forms of communication from informal tabling to formal community presentations.]

4. Capturing Data, Data, Data

  • Clipboards and sign-in sheets at all events.
  • Find a volunteer to maintain an excel file with contact and interest information for everyone that engages in one of your events, has a photo petition taken, completes a survey, signs a petitions, etc.
  • Ask HCAO for their list of contacts in your area and use that as a base for your file.  Include a column for the source of the information.
  • Share information with HCAO—they can import from an excel file.
  • HCAO or our HCR Action Team Data Docs can provide the excel file format that will make it possible to capture all relevant information.

[What we know about our efforts in Eastern Oregon:

  • 360+ people are in our data-base and receive action alerts and scheduled updates

  • 54 people are on the Action Team mailing list because they want access to meeting notes and other more in-depth information

  • 20 people may attend a monthly Action Team meeting from time to time

  • 8-10 people will volunteer as tablers at community events, go to rallies in Salem, write letters and call legislators, show up wearing a red shirt, but rarely attend a regular meeting

  • 9 people are on a weekly schedule and can be depended on to write letters to the editor. 5 more people said they would but don't

  • 20 people have indicated interest in our PAG – Political Action Group

  • 10 people almost always attend monthly Action Team meetings if they are in town

  • 4 people comprise the core group with an additional 2 depending on the subject.

  • 4 people are our Data Docs and provide support for data management and photo petitions]

5. Community Events, Parades, Higher Ed Partnerships

  • Never underestimate the power of a table of “red shirts” at a community event.  Be bold and wear your HCAO shirts, provide a table of information, take photo petitions, engage in discussion, have fun!
  • Community parades offer a way to publicize the state movement for health care for all in Oregon.
  • University/College/Junior College: Nursing, Health, Diversity, Student Clubs, Social Work, Business departments, etc. may be willing partners for showing films, hosting panels, providing student volunteer support, campus tabling and photo petitions and other activities.

[Community Events - We are having a 4 x 6 vinyl sign made to use at events and in parades: Health Care for All – Every Body In—No Body Out. 10 people from our group wore red shirts and walked in a local fund-raiser carrying ORA signs: Health Care For All and Health Care is a Human Right. We also tabled, took photo petitions and sold t-shirts.

Tabling - Key to movement building.  We have a display board with photo petitions and someone to take photos, information to share, petitions, etc.  Two people at the table are important so one is free for taking photo petitions.  We use a small piece of luggage on rollers that is set up with everything needed for a table display in addition to the photo petition tri-fold display.

Higher Education Partnerships - We are most successful in getting the folks out to a film when we partner with Eastern Oregon University, or become involved in something like the Eastern Oregon Film Festival. This allows us to "borrow" the credibility of the partnering organization plus reach an audience we might not be able to attract on our own. A faculty member in the EOU Business Department is part of our core group.  We partnered with the University Multi-Cultural Center for the showing of The Health Care Film at the university.  110 people attended – about 50% community and 50% campus.

One faculty person (a member of our core group) assigned her students a research project on various forms of health financing system. The outcome?  All but 2 of the students determined that single payer was the best option even though EOU students reflect Eastern Oregon and often take a conservative position on many issues.  Additionally, 100 surveys were completed with student interviewers.]

  6. Challenges

  • Maintaining energy and engagement
  • Working with limited resources
  • Setting realistic targets that can be achieved
  • Understanding personal dynamics
  • ... 

[One of the biggest challenges for us in Eastern Oregon is volunteer time to expand to other communities outside of La Grande and Union. Pendleton has just formed a chapter and Hermiston is organizing so we are renaming our efforts to reflect the presence of multiple HCAO groups. Additionally, finding opportunities for increasing numbers of people to become engaged requires dedicated time by a volunteer-volunteer coordinator.]

Requested reflection – Cheryl Simpson-Whitaker, Co-Chair, HCR Action Team,
Eastern Oregon 541-663-1358  April 12, 2013