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HEALTHY  GORGE  INITIATIVE

HOTLINES
WA Gorge Action Programs
509-493-3945
The Next Connection 
541-308-7099
The Healthy Gorge Initiative creates 
collaborations between nonprofits, residents with lived experience, community-based organizations,
public health, healthcare partners, schools, government agencies, Community Health Workers, and local, state, and regional funders.
Our vision is to make individuals and the overall community healthier by addressing community-identified needs through community-identified solutions.
 

For us, ‘health’ means having enough healthy food to eat everyday AND living in safe, stable, affordable housing AND equitable access to opportunities and equitable access to resources AND jobs that pay a living wage AND mental/ physical health AND a sense of community. Addressing just one of these is not enough, we need them ALL, and more, to be healthy. Since 2014...

WHAT WE'VE DONE SO FAR...

135
Applications
Submitted

118
Grants Awarded

$17,878,000
Funds Secured...
so far!

Grants
by the numbers

food
10
Programs
40
Partners
+
Veggie Rx (70)
Food Coalition (35)


24
Funders

$493,900
Secured
housing
8
Programs

45
Partners


8
Funders

$4,757,616

Secured
 

64
Collaboratives 
launched


58 
FTE Jobs created/
supported

100+ 
Community Health 
Workers trained

Programs
by the numbers

76
Program Partners

45
Funding Partners

6
Evaluation 
Partners

 

Collaborations
by the numbers

economic
impact
7
Programs

32
Partners
+

Promoting Prosperity (50+)

11
Funders

$950,650

Secured
equity
5
Programs

23
Partners
+
Coalition (40+)


7
Funders
+
National Academy of Medicine T/A

$970,000

Secured
sense of community
10
Programs

80
Partners


24
Funders
+
Robert Wood Johnson Fdn

$1,763,870

Secured
 
 

HOW WE DO IT
SECRET SAUCE

We knew we needed to change if we wanted a different result, so, we just decided to do it differently. 

The Healthy Gorge Initiative began on the premise that collectively, what we had done over the past decades was not 

enough… we were not getting much healthier. Every year we were facing the same issues. If we expected a different result, we knew we would need to do something different. So we did. 

 

The first step was to change the paradigm around how community issues are identified and then, how those issues are addressed. 

Paradigm change #1: Authentic Community Engagement 

We shifted the question from 'HOW do we identify community issues' to 'WHO identifies community issues?' We believe that every person is an expert in their own lived experience. We also believe that the best way to create health is to ask people most impacted what they need.  We ask, we listen, and then we respond. In practical terms, this enables us to understand what people who live and work in this community actually need and want to be healthy. We call this authentic community engagement.

Paradigm change #2: Collaboration

With a better understanding of the issues we needed to address, we began to identify existing resources, align those resources to maximize their effectiveness, and then leverage all of that to create programs and secure funds to fill the gaps. In short, we design community-identified solutions that address community-identified needs.

Paradigm change#3: Collective Impact Health Specialist

The CIHS is a community-based role funded by Providence Hood River Hospital through United Way-Columbia Gorge. The CIHS focuses on identifying community needs, convening & facilitating collaborations to design programs to address those needs, and securing funding to support those programs.

STORYTELLING

For us, stories can shape a broader narrative that contribute to a deeper understanding about what a healthy, equitable community is and how one is (or isn’t) created. This understanding in turn shapes ideas and actions. Currently, the dominant narrative—from the stories in the media to ways decision-makers describe solutions—emphasizes that opportunities for health are defined by individual choices or chance, not the structural conditions and policies that create those opportunities. We strive to address both immediate individual needs and system change through our collective work. We call it serving people in line today, while working to shorten the line for tomorrow. 

We also like to share our experiences. Below are some stories about the work and the people doing the work.
 
 

ROBERT WOOD
JOHNSON FDN CULTURE OF HEALTH PRIZE

In 2016, the Columbia Gorge was one of seven communities selected across the country to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize. (We were selected from a pool of more than 220 applicants). The Prize honors and elevates communities making great strides in their journey toward better health.

Columbia Gorge, 2016 Culture of Health Prize 

 

LATEST

NEWS

Healthy Gorge Initiative Blog

Check-in for semi-regular updates, ides, and musings about creating a healthy community.

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These partners have funded the various projects we have undertaken in our Gorge community through our Collective Impact efforts.  For more information on each partner, click on the logo/link below.  For more information on which funding partners supported which projects, visit our Community Identified Solutions page for the specific details/funders of each project.

THE  FUNDERS

 
 

GET IN TOUCH

Hood River, OR

plindberg65@gmail.com

541.490.2340

Thank you kindly!

GET IN TOUCH

Hood River, OR

plindberg65@gmail.com

541.490.2340

Thank you kindly!