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Major Coalition Launches Health Care Equality Project, Demands Swift Action to Eliminate Disparities

For immediate release                                                                                                                           Contact: Martine Apodaca (202) 730-7604

March 24, 2009



Major Coalition Launches Health Care Equality Project, Demands Swift Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities Through Healthcare Reform


Leading Labor Groups, Community Organizations, Health Advocates, Civil Rights Groups, Social Justice Advocates, and Faith Networks Join Together to Announce Major New Campaign, Website Launch, Events in 13 States.


 Washington D.C. - More than 20 major labor, community, health, civil rights, social justice, and faith organizations gathered in Washington today to kick off a major coalition campaign, the Healthcare Equality Project, to fight healthcare disparities. Flanked by allies in Congress, physicians, nurses and members of the community, The HealthCare Equality Project demanded that Congress pass healthcare reform that addresses the serious and pervasive inequalities that plague the American health care system.  The Healthcare Equality Project is fighting for healthcare that works for EVERYONE.


This unprecedented platform will serve as a national nexus for partners to organize, mobilize, and coordinate their efforts to include healthcare equality solutions in national healthcare reform.  It’s a single project that combines the forces of the coalition partners to have a greater and strategic impact on the healthcare debate. The coalition is being led by Centers for Community Change, ACORN, Northwest Federation of Community Organizations, SEIU, Gamaliel, LULAC, La Clínica del Pueblo, URU the Right to Be, Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Puerto Rican Coalition, Hispanic Federation, and Latinos for National Health Insurance


We all know that our healthcare system is in crisis; and many of us know from our own experiences that where it is most broken and failed is in communities of color. Minorities, even when they have insurance, struggle disproportionately with serious obstacles to the high quality care we need to stay healthy and live productive lives” said Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, National Campaign Coordinator for the Healthcare Equality Project.


Starting today, coalition partners are launching healthcare equality events in 13 states to create a greater sense of urgency to tackle this preventable injustice. Additionally, the Healthcare Equality Project plans to fight to ensure that Obama’s $634 billion down-payment on health reform gets the support from Congress it deserves and is launching a website and an online petition where activists can sign up at www.healthcarequalityproject.org. Over the next several months, the Healthcare Equality project will be working with members of Congress, coalition partners, and activists on events and actions to pressure Congress to make the right choices on healthcare reform to eliminate healthcare disparities.


“Racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes constitute a crisis, one that requires the attention of health care providers, policymakers, and communities alike,” said Jill Reese, Health Equity Director at the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations. “We are calling on President Obama and Congress to address this issue in health care reform.”


Activists can log on to www.healthcareequalityproject.org to connect with the disparities movement, get information and materials on future actions they can take, and join the fight eliminate healthcare disparities. Joined by allies and other partners, the Healthcare Equality Project will be a much stronger voice for the communities it serves and looks forward to framing and influencing the health care debate.



Coalition Partners

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)

League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

La Clinica del Pueblo

National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC)

Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD)

Hispanic Federation (HF)

National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)

Latinos for National Health Insurance

Idaho Community Action Network

Oregon Action (OA)

The Gamaliel Foundation

Northwest Federation of Community Organizations (NWFCO)

Take Action Minnesota

Center for Community Change (CCC)

URU The Right to Be, Inc.

Colorado Progressive Action

Washington Community Action Network (WCAN)

Montanans for Health Care

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement-AFL-CIO(LCLAA)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance - AFL-CIO (APALA)

National Council for Urban Indian Health (NACUIH)


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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.

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