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Columbia Gorge Region, Oregon and Washington, 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winner

  • Sep 29, 2016

Hearing From Everyone on Health

With Mount Adams in Washington to the north and Mount Hood in Oregon to the south, the windy Columbia River Gorge boasts ideal conditions for kite surfers and sailors. High-tech companies have moved into new waterfront buildings up and down the river, joining tourism and agriculture as the area’s main economic engines.

But the Columbia Gorge—a vast rural area larger than the state of Connecticut with only 75,000 people—is characterized by extremes. Not far from the coffeehouses and boutiques of Hood River, Ore.; White Salmon, Wash.; and The Dalles, Ore., are remote towns where some residents live in poverty and the nearest doctor’s office may be an hour away. Orchards throughout the region produce a bounty of pears, apples and cherries—but 1 out of 5 people reports running out of food on a regular basis.

To bridge those disparities, the people of the Columbia Gorge region turned an ordinary requirement from Oregon lawmakers into an extraordinary opportunity to improve the health and wellness of all residents.

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Read the entire story on RWJF.org: http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/collections/coh-prize-winners/2016-winner....