Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Community Leaders Discuss Impacts of the Economic Crisis at Forum

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Leaders from throughout Southwest Washington will participate in a forum focused on the health impacts of the economic crisis on low-income people and people of color on Saturday, June 27, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Vancouver Community Library located at 1007 E. Mill Plain Boulevard. This event is free and open to the public.

Initiated and sponsored by Washington State University Vancouver’s Center for Social and Environmental Justice (CSEJ), the forum aims to spur further research into the impacts of the crisis by educating the community about policy initiatives and organize strategies for addressing the crisis.

“The health care crisis has deepened in the wake of severe cuts in federal, state and county funding for health services and other services that have a direct impact on public health,” said Desiree Hellegers, co-director of the CSEJ at WSU Vancouver. “This forum will raise public awareness since clearly cuts in funding will exacerbate existing health disparities and inequalities.”

The forum will include open mike time to ensure the people most affected by the economic crisis have an opportunity to speak about its impacts.

Community leaders participating in the forum include:

Scott Bailey, Regional Economist, Washington State Employment Security Department
Earl W. Ford, Immediate Past President, NAACP Vancouver
Vanessa R. Gaston, Director, Clark County Community Services
Paul Hochfeld, M.D., Physicians for National Health Program
Kathy Kniep, Executive Director, YWCA Clark County
Steve Kutz, R.N., MPH, Manager, Cowlitz Indian Tribal Health Clinic
Craig Lyons, Executive Director, Council for the Homeless
Alan Melnick, M.D., MPH, CPH, Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Wahkiakum Counties
Laurie Mercier, Department of History, WSU Vancouver
Clay Mosher, Department of Sociology, WSU Vancouver
Alex Perez, Chief of Police, City of Longview
George Raiter, Chairman, Cowlitz County Commissioner
Maria Rodriguez-Salazar, President, Washington LULAC

WSU Vancouver is celebrating 20 years of bringing quality education, research and service to the citizens of Southwest Washington. The campus is located at 14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave., east of the 134th Street exit from either I-5 or I-205, or via C-Tran bus service. WSU Vancouver offers 16 bachelor’s degrees, 10 master’s degrees, one doctorate degree and more than 36 fields of study. Learn more at

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