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Umatilla County Plan4Health Initiative

Umatilla County Plan4Health Coalition aims to build a county-based network of partners responsible for making changes to policy, systems, and environment strategies in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles in a rural Oregon county. We will be bringing together key stakeholders who have a desire to build a healthier community through increased physical activity and access to nutritious food.

Umatilla County was in the capacity building stage of our project so we decided it would benefit us to
wait until the Community Needs and Readiness Assessment was conducted to develop an action plan.
After the CNRA concluded, we were able to set aside a small pot of money for coalition members.
Through an application process, the coalition selected and funded four small PSE projects to increase access to
physical activity and healthy food. The projects are:

  • The Weston-McEwen High School students will construct a chicken coop for the Ag Department
    Land lab in order to improve student involvement for future development of increased egg use in the
    school’s food service as well as in the community at large. The district has begun pursuing a pilot
    project with the Oregon Department of Education to develop USDA-approved egg production to
    create a School to School or School to Community food program. This project will provide educational
    opportunities in business development, marketing, agriculture, and food sciences for students.
  • The Umatilla School District received funding to purchase materials in order to formalize a
    walking/jogging path on school grounds at McNary Elementary. The path will be available to students
    and citizens of Umatilla and will create additional physical activity opportunities. The path will be able
    to host community walking events and be utilized for PE class and other classroom lessons.
  • OSU Extension SNAP-Ed utilized funding to create seven time lapse recipe videos (TLRVs) using
    Food Hero recipes in order to expand their reach and overcome barriers in reaching community
    members (see videos in the Umatilla County Project Folder). Food Hero recipes are tested by OSU
    Extension to meet nutrition criteria, in addition they’re easy to prepare and budget (and kid) friendly.
    The SNAP-Ed Coordinator worked with a local middle school TV club to produce the videos in both
    English and Spanish. The videos will be shared statewide by OSU Extension and countywide by
    Plan4Health and local partners. OSU Extension SNAP-Ed received further funding from another source
    to produce additional TLRVs and pair them with cafeteria tastings for 700 students.
  • Hermiston High School’s Advanced Welding Class, Student Business Club, and the City of Hermiston
    partnered to create signs and marketing for a new disk golf course coming to the city. Welding
    students will create the signs during Winter and Spring terms while the Business Club will create a
    press release and other marketing materials in order to promote the facility and convey a message on
    the importance of health and wellness to fellow peers and the community at large.

Check out the resources below and visit our new website to learn more!

Learn more about our impact:

  • Success story: April 2017
  • Success story: October 2016
  • Fact sheet: April 2016
    umatilla fact sheet pic
  • Community Assessment

How can you get involved?

You are encouraged to join the coalition listserv, stay up to date on Plan4Health activities via Facebook, Twitter, and our website, take a personal pledge to make small changes that can yield huge benefits, get active in your daily life; walk or bike to a destination instead of driving, eat a plant based meal one night a week, plant a garden.

Businesses and Worksites
Assess and evaluate food provided to employees in cafeterias and meetings, incorporate Health in All Policies framework, support micro-breaks to stretch and move every hour, offer and publish walking routes, provide secure bike storage, allow participation in fitness activities during work hours, encourage use of stairwells, offer incentives for bio-metric screenings, provide standing desks and other alternatives to provide flexibility to choose to stand or sit.

Support sustainable agriculture. Expand access to local, healthy foods through local and regional food systems, school food programs and food equity initiatives.

Assess and evaluate food provided to students in cafeteria and classroom settings, enhance the lunchroom environment, establish safe routes to school, prohibit the sale and consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages on campus, integrate physical activity into lesson plans, establish a school garden and incorporate nutrition focused activities and material into curriculum, discontinue using unhealthy foods for fundraisers, establish a health and wellness council that meets regularly.

Adopt a Complete Streets Policy, encourage mixed-use development, assess retail locations offering tobacco, and nutritionally poor choices.

For more information please contact:

Alisha Southwick, RN, BSN                                                                         Tamra Mabbott
School Health and Community Wellness Supervisor                  Director
Umatilla County Public Health                                                                 Umatilla County Land Use Planning
541-278-5432                                                                                                    541-278-6252
alisha.southwick@umatillacounty.net                                                  tamra.mabbott@umatillacounty.net

Stay tuned for more from Umatilla County’s Public Health Department, the Oregon Chapter of APA, and the Oregon Public Health Association!