Creating a healthier Columbia Gorge community.
In the Columbia Gorge, we have changed the paradigm for identifying some of our most historically entrenched issues. To this end, community partners come together every three years to conduct
a collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment. The CHA includes input from individual consumer
surveys, in English and Spanish, that we combine with local agency and secondary data sources.
Then, in an effort change WHO actually prioritizes the region's most important needs, the CHA is
presented to community members with lived experience in health disparities, advocacy groups,
and local agency partners. The results of this process is the Community Health Improvement Plan.
The most recent CHIP (2020-2023) included input from 189 community members representing
37 community-based organizations and a dozen advocacy groups. The CHIP team then spoke with
residents from a wide-variety of backgrounds including Latinx, Native Americans, LGBTQ+, elders,
low-income residents, as well as staff from clinics, hospitals, and public health, as well as
Community Health Workers. Significantly, this input included responses to the question of why
these issues were important to them. Below are the health issues priorities through this process:
PRIORITY: Improved Social Connection and Communication
Sense of Community:
~ People feel a sense of connection, security, belonging, and trust in their community.
~ People receive social support from family, friends, and other community members.
~ People feel a sense of community through access to parks, nature and recreation.
~People and groups get support in growing as leaders. They feel they have a voice and
can contribute to their community.
Collaboration and Information Sharing:
~ People get the language appropriate information they need or want on paper, online,
or video to be able to access the services they need.
~ Organizations coordinate intake and exchange information for shared patients or clients.
~ Referrals are coordinated and people get their needs met in a timely manner.
~ People can gain access and afford safe housing.
~ People do not worry about losing their housing.
~ People spend less than 30% income on housing.
~ All people can access and afford healthy food.
~ People do not worry about running out of food
for themselves or the people they live with.
PRIORITY: Transportation and Mobility
~ Public and private transportation is available and convenient for all activities that
support and encourage health, daily living, physical activity and wellbeing.
~ Public and private transportation is safe and meets the needs of each person.
~ Communities have safe transportation and infrastructure that supports walking, biking
and wheelchair or walker rolling.
PRIORITY: Improved access to equitable health care services
~ People get the dental services they need when they need them.
~ Dental care is equitable, affordable and inclusive and is offered in
respectful and trauma informed manner.
~ People get the primary care they need when they need it.
~ Primary care is equitable and inclusive and is offered in respectful
and trauma informed manner.
~ Health care is offered in diverse settings which supports health and
wellness at every stage of life
Behavioral Health Care:
~ People get the behavioral services and supports they need when they need them, including:
• Mental health
• Substance abuse services
• Crisis intervention
• Inpatient treatment
• Outpatient treatment
• Behavioral health care is equitable and inclusive. It is offered in
respectful and trauma informed manner.
• Behavioral health is offered in diverse settings which supports mental
health and wellness at every stage of life.
~ People have stable insurance they can afford and when they use it, it does not cause financial distress.
~ Insurance covers the services people need, which include physical, dental and behavioral health.
~ People who are not documented can get insurance that covers physical, behavioral, dental healthcare.
Prevention and Promotion:
~ The information that people need to support healthy choices is available to all.
~ Information and education on wellness, health promotion and disease prevention
are available and offered in an equitable and trauma informed way.
~ Prevention and control of current and emerging health care issues are addressed in community.
~ Prevention of interpersonal violence is addressed through the promoting health, safety,
communication, equity, and respect.
PRIORITY: Improved Access to Equitable Physical Activity and the Outdoors
~ All people have opportunities for physical activity that supports their health and well-being.
This is regardless of their race, ethnicity, physical limitation or where they live.
~ It is easy for people to access parks, trails and natural areas for both exercise and social activities.
PRIORITY: Children and Youth
Youth (ages 0 to 18) feel respected, safe and supported:
~ In their homes
~ Getting to and from school
~ In school
~ In community activities
~ Youth have equitable access to activities to play, learn and grow outside of school
that their families can afford.
~ There is infrastructure and there are opportunities so that youth of all ages, abilities and interests have a variety of physical and other activity options that are offered in an equitable way.
~ Youth who experience bullying or suffer violence, whether in person or online, are supported
and have access to the help they need.
Early Childhood Development and Child Care:
~ People can access cultural and language appropriate, high-quality, affordable childcare
when and where they need it.
~ People can access and afford early childhood development supports and opportunities,
such as early intervention, home visiting, group socialization, preschool and activities.