Samaritan physician leader named to state health equity committee
Gov. Kate Brown has named Kevin Ewanchyna, MD, Samaritan Health Plans’ chief medical officer, to the Health Equity Committee of Oregon’s recently formed Racial Justice Council.
Ewanchyna, a family physician, chairs Samaritan’s Equity and Inclusion Council. He also serves as the current president of the Oregon Medical Association.
The 28-member committee, which held its first meeting earlier this month, consists of legislators and other community leaders representing a variety of sectors throughout Oregon.
“We’ve been charged with recommending changes to state and agency health policies, practices, and structures to better align them within a racial justice and health equity framework,” Ewanchyna said. “The ultimate goal is to positively address issues related to racial health disparities in the social determinants of health.”
The committee will meet several times this fall and submit recommendations to the Governor as she develops her recommended 2021-23 budget. The Oregon Legislature will convene in February for its biennial “long session.”
In considering its recommendations, the committee will focus on six areas: behavioral health, health care costs and spending, health care access and inclusion, workforce and health care delivery, data, and public health and prevention.
“I’m pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this important work,” Ewanchyna said. “I believe our discussion and recommendations will help inform the work of our own Equity and Inclusion Council and the implementation of our four-year plan.”
To view Samaritan’s Equity and Inclusion Plan, visit https://www.samhealth.org/equity