Sharing stories helps guide community health investments


In coffee shops and hospitals, residents of Clatsop, Tillamook and Columbia counties are being invited to share ideas of what their communities could do to promote health.

Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization staff at many social service and health care sites are asking its members to do surveys. Volunteers are also bringing laptops to gathering places to survey more people.

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It’s all part of Columbia Pacific’s Community Health Assessment to get input from residents, health care providers, local leaders and more. That input shapes Columbia Pacific’s five-year Community Health Improvement Plan.

“We want to get the community voice at the table for decisions about how we invest in health,” says Nancy Knopf, Columbia Pacific’s Community Health Partnership manager.

The stories put human faces on data from agencies like the Oregon Office of Rural Health and Greater Oregon Behavioral Health.

“We will save and use these stories over next five years,” says Knopf, “as we are talking with local partners about programs for tobacco cessation, food and nutrition access or other social issues that affect health.”

All residents invited

More than 350 residents have taken the survey so far. Knopf hopes to reach 1,000 people before the Nov. 17 deadline. Any resident is invited to take the survey online. Go to and click on the bright orange banner to take the survey.

The survey takes about 10 minutes, Knopf said. It asks people to share a health-based experience, and how it was affected by support, barriers, attitudes, cost, location, safety and education.

CCO narrative 1 FB

The public will learn survey results at a series of events in early 2019.

Columbia Memorial Hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital and county public health departments are sharing the process of data collection.

“Our goals are already fairly well aligned,” Knopf says. “My vision for the survey is that larger groups can come together to prioritize and leverage how we invest in community health improvement.”

The current Community Health Improvement Plan has funded a range of programs:

  • - Trauma-informed care seminars for local social services, public services and teachers
  • - Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)-based seminars on reducing childhood trauma
  • - Healthy Hearts program in Clatsop County
  • - YMCA project in Tillamook County

The plan and annual updates are online at the Columbia Pacific CCO website.