The 2016 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report ranked Umatilla County, Oregon 25th out of 36 counties in Oregon in health outcomes and health factors. Residents and local leaders were determined to take a proactive approach, identifying health and wellness as a community priority.
Umatilla County was selected to participate in Cohort Two of the Plan4Health project as a capacity building grantee. In Umatilla County, building capacity to increase access to healthy food and to increase opportunities for physical activity meant fostering a coalition of diverse partners and conducting an assessment to better understand the perceptions and barriers facing residents.
Launching a coalition is no easy feat. The leadership team included local planners and public health professionals — supported by APA Oregon and the Oregon Public Health Association — and worked to engage a range of sectors, striving to make the case.