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The Collective Impact Specialist (CIHS) is full-time position funded through a grant from Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital to the United Way of the Columbia Gorge.  The Collective Impact Health Specialist position is designed to identify community health needs utilizing a very broad definition of health, support the development of initiatives to address those needs, and secure funding to support those developing programs. 

Beyond that, the CIHS has helped explain, demonstrate, and develop the model with, and for, community partners. This role provides a level of neutrality, which often helps move discussions beyond entrenched ideas and individual agendas. For example, after securing funds, the Specialist served as Project Manager to develop the first School-Based Health Center in the region – an idea that had been pursued and abandoned for a variety of reasons for many years. 

This position has become invaluable to the overall efforts of creating a healthy community. We are now beginning to expand this position’s role and capacity through more financial and in-kind support, and by including more organizations in the support role such as the United Way of the Columbia Gorge.

Further, as of 8/1/16, the Collective Impact Health Specialist has helped secure more than $2,9 million to support these health initiatives.