Building health together is theme of Road Show

02/25/2019

By Sue Cody

Feb. 19, 2019

People need to be heard. That’s what more than 1,200 people told  the Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization in a health assessment survey last fall.

Residents of Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties provided a wealth of insight and data to help guide the CCO’s next Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

“The survey provides a community view of what builds health and well-being that we will learn from and work with as we focus our efforts for the next five years,” says Nancy Knopf, who manages the CCO’s community health partnerships.

Ari Wagner, supporting CPCCO to present health indicator data and survey results to the community gave a fascinating and colorful presentation of data from the survey at Seaside Library on Jan. 30.

Image of Ari Wagner

Wagner said 13 percent of users account for 54 percent of health care costs.  

“From childhood to adulthood, the environment plays an important role in wellness,” Wagner said. Health and wellness are inter-related. So, the best approach is to integrate social determinants of health, such as education, housing, economy, transportation and safety.

There is a need to work with people where they are, meaning understanding the context of where people live and the factors that affect their choices. If you can change the trajectory, you can change the costs, Wagner said.

Creating wellness involves improving the health system, improving health outcomes and lowering costs.

The Survey

CPCCO staff and community partners in Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties asked people to tell their own stories about their health care experiences, instead of asking everyone the same set of questions.

Big takeaways from story collection:

  • People need to be heard
  • It can be hard to get needs met
  • People helping each other and the community can have a positive impact on health
  • People want to be treated as equals, and it affects health when they aren’t
  • Transportation is difficult
  • Health insurance and rules are hard to navigate
  • Housing is a major issue
  • Food, mental, spiritual and emotional supports are needed
  • Flexibility and predictability are needed

Priorities

Representatives from The Way to Wellville, mental health organizations, the CCO, Oregon Health Authority, Lower Columbia Hispanic Council, Oregon State University Snap-Ed, Helping Hands, public health, religious leaders and concerned citizens attended the interactive event in Seaside.

Attendees were asked to vote on priorities for CHIP to focus on. Five focus areas, identified in the surveys, were presented to the crowd, and attendees voted on the most important places to focus improvements of health.

Their results:

  1. Implementing trauma-informed care – all sectors of society
  2. Increasing nutrition and food access
  3. Preventing alcohol abuse and tobacco use
  4. Suicide prevention
  5. Increasing access to healthy activities

Trauma-informed care

Knopf said she was surprised and pleased that so many were aware of trauma-informed care.

Trauma-informed care means asking, “What happened to you?” instead of “What’s the matter with you?” It puts the focus on the person’s experience, instead of judging them.

It means to engage without shaming, Wagner said.

Kids carry trauma with them into adulthood and it increases the likelihood of an individual experiencing a chronic health condition such as diabetes or alcoholism.  Wagner said. Studies show those who suffer trauma are more likely to develop a substance use disorder related to food, tobacco, alcohol or opioids; act out sexually, develop chronic illnesses, drop out of school and be incarcerated.

Implementing trauma-informed care can change the trajectory of illness, Wagner said.

“We are all striving toward balance,” Wagner said. “It is us, it is not them. We are a team and we can become torchbearers.”

Next presentations:

  • Astoria, 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 25, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Duncan Law Building, Coho Room, second floor, 2021 Marine Drive
  • Seaside, 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 27, Providence Seaside Hospital Education Center Conference Room A, 725 S. Wahanna Road (enter by pharmacy).