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Multnomah County (OR) Health Department


Approximately 115,000 residents in Multnomah County have a disability. The Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) and its community partners conducted a pilot project to promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities funded by the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO).

Project Activities

Assemble a community-based steering committee to guide the project and ensure the relevance of the activities listed below:

  • Identify and survey health department clients with disabilities to support the planning and implementation of health promotion programming for this community;
  • Develop a voluntary registry of people with disabilities to facilitate an effective response in the event of an individual or mass emergency; and
  • Convene a summit for people with disabilities and providers of services for people with disabilities to establish a long-term agenda for health promotion programming.

Technical Assistance Program:

NACCHO is currently offering technical assistance support to local health departments to improve their capacity to develop or enhance health promotion programs for people living with disabilities through coordination of existing health department and community services.

Multnomah County Health Department provided technical assistance to Akron Health Department.  For more information, please visit: Akron Health Department.

For more information on Multnomah, please contact:

Noelle Wiggins, Manager
Community Capacitation Center
Multnomah County Health Department
Tel: (503) 988-6250, Ext. 26646

Pam Ballentine, Community Organizer
Community Capacitation Center
Multnomah County Health Department
Tel: (503) 988-6250, Ext. 25043

Multnomah County Health Department's Health and Disability Demonstration Site Update:

The Multnomah County Health Dept. (MCHD) Community Capacitation Center (CCC) created a Steering Committee that was divided into three subcommittees. With support from the MCHD Assessment and Evaluation Unit, the first subcommittee conducted a convenience sample survey of health department clients with disabilities. The results of the survey were incorporated into the health promotion summit, the product of the second subcommittee. The summit focused on the concept that people with disabilities constitute a community and public health professionals should relate to them as a community. The third subcommittee is working to develop a voluntary emergency registry to alert emergency response workers to community members with disabilities. The success of this project was dependent on approaching health promotion in the disability community in the same way it approaches health promotion in other communities of color and culture. This meant working in partnership with leaders and members of the disability community and focusing on the underlying social determinants of health among people with disabilities.


Credit for the survey should be given to the subcommittee (names are on a slide in the PowerPoint presentation) and Christine Sorvari, MPH. Credit for the VER should be given to the subcommittee and to Michael Hardt, Multnomah County Adult and Disability Services, and Nicole Cheron, City of Portland.