The Oregon Doula Association (ODA) is a leading, inclusive, statewide representative doula organization in Oregon.
In 2011 the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 3311 in order to investigate the use of doula support within the state medical assistance program as a way to address health disparities and improve birth outcomes. In 2012 The Doula Report was released and stated, "Based on research reviews, doulas are likely to be a strategy to decrease health inequities in Oregon's birth outcomes. Additionally the committee found doulas would be an overall strategy to improve birth outcomes funded by both Medicaid and private insurance."
In 2013, doula leaders Deb Catlin, Courtney Everson, Heather Meyer, Shafia Monroe, Raeben Nolan, and Jesse Remer (some of whom had been consultants on HB3311) met with the State officials regarding HB3311 and next steps. It became apparent that a statewide doula-led organization was an essential, in order to address the unique needs of Oregon doulas, and so the Oregon Doula Association was conceived.
The ODA has an ongoing relationship with key statewide organizations such as the Oregon Health Authority Office of Equity and Inclusion (OHA/OEI) and the Division of Medicaid Assistance Programs (DMAP), and is continually working beside these organizations to advise and create policy and practice for Oregon doulas in order to receive Medicaid reimbursement for their services.
Though the ODA sprung from the seeds of the innovative Medicaid Reimbursement bill, the formation of the organization was a natural progression in doula history, and the doula leaders all agreed that the ODA's vision was not limited to policy work. The key word in our vision and mission is inclusion.
The mission of the Oregon Doula Association is to serve as a unifying, inclusive, statewide professional organization for all doulas, providing support and resources for doulas as well as promoting public education and advocacy on the benefits of doula care.
Please join us in making history and helping us to continue to create the Oregon Doula Association. We are thrilled to announce that in 2016 we will be offering ODA membership. Stay tuned for membership benefits and release date!