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Cambia Health Foundation Helps Transform Health of Local Communities with Additional Funding to Oregon Healthiest State Initiative

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Portland, May 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the goal of empowering local communities and improving health across the state of Oregon, the Cambia Health Foundation has contributed an additional $3.8 million to Oregon Healthiest State, a statewide initiative designed to assist Oregon communities in achieving better health outcomes. The Foundation invites other funders to join this exciting movement. 

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The leadership funding from Cambia Health Foundation supports Oregon Healthiest State in expanding the next wave of Blue Zones Project demonstration communities in The Dalles, Grants Pass, and the Umpqua region, including Roseburg. After a rigorous application process led by Oregon Healthiest State, these communities were selected to implement locally driven, cross-sector health and well-being efforts to improve health indicators identified as most important by the community. 

The first community to benefit from working with Oregon Healthiest State is Klamath Falls where the Blue Zones Project is the implementation partner for the program. Since the initiative began in Klamath Falls in 2015:

  • Over 30 organizations have become Blue Zones Project Approved, committing to and implementing strategies to make health and well-being a priority;
  • Nearly 3,000 individuals have signed the Blue Zones Project personal pledge, indicating they will make specific, personal changes to live happier, healthier lives; and
  • The Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank distributed 205,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables in 2015, raised that amount to 600,000 pounds in 2016, and has a goal of distributing one million pounds in 2017.

"We want Oregon to be among the healthiest states in the country, which is why Cambia Health Foundation is committed to this important work to transform the health of our communities," said Peggy Maguire, president and board chair, Cambia Health Foundation. "Klamath Falls is the first community in Oregon to reap the benefits of working on this initiative and we see enormous potential for improvements in The Dalles, Grants Pass, and the Umpqua region, including Roseburg. Based on the initial positive results, we ask other organizations in Oregon to join us in funding the initiative which directly improves the health, happiness, and longevity of everyone in our communities." 

"In order to create healthier communities throughout Oregon, we must provide community leaders with the tools necessary to enact sustainable change," said Sarah Foster, executive director, Oregon Healthiest State. "The initial investment made by Cambia Health Foundation helped us launch the initiative in Klamath Falls and we encourage other organizations to build on this enthusiasm by funding continued efforts that will help expand the work to other communities. Oregon has moved from 31st to 24th in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® in the last year and our work aims to build on this momentum."  

With a vision that all Oregonians deserve to access to healthy options, Oregon Healthiest State was launched in 2014 and is a cross-sector partnership that engages and inspires Oregonians to create and sustain healthy environments and support healthy lifestyles. Oregon Healthiest State, which is part of the Oregon Business Council Charitable Institute, is the umbrella initiative leading the community transformation strategy across the state. Blue Zones Project Oregon is the implementation partner and manages a nationally recognized well-being improvement model bringing community transformation to life in Oregon. Oregon Healthiest State fundraises for and finances the Blue Zones Project as part of the Oregon Business Council Charitable Institute. In addition to this funding, the local community must also contribute funds toward the total cost of their local initiative. Communities that are interested in learning more about the program should contact Oregon Healthiest State. 

About Oregon Healthiest State

Oregon Healthiest State is a privately led, publicly supported partnership to assist Oregon communities in achieving better health outcomes.  More than 70 percent of our health is influenced by our behaviors and surroundings, while just 30 percent is influenced by genetics and access to health care. That 70 percent is where Oregon Healthiest State focuses its attention. This cross-sector, statewide movement addresses health and well-being on all levels—physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, and sense of purpose. Oregon Healthiest State will work statewide through initiatives that align allies and resources to take on the state's most pressing health issues; and at the local level through programs to help communities make healthy options abundant for everyone. Oregon Healthiest State's goal is that by 2020, Oregonians are healthy, health equity increases, and Oregon is the healthiest state. For more information, visit ORhealthieststate.org. 

About Cambia Health Foundation

Based in Portland, Ore., Cambia Health Foundation is the corporate Foundation of Cambia Health Solutions, a total health solutions company dedicated to transforming the way people experience health care. Founded in 2007, Cambia Health Foundation awards grants in three program areas: Sojourns (Palliative Care Quality, Access and Awareness), Transforming Health Care and Children's Behavioral Health. The Foundation has funded $30 million in grants to support these causes. Cambia Health Foundation's investments in Sojourns advance patient- and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life for people with serious illness by anticipating, preventing and treating suffering. Learn more at www.cambiahealthfoundation.org, and follow us on Twitter: @CambiaHealthFdn.

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7e23d398-dd6c-43fc-a963-8de37e64677a

Rob Goodman
Cambia Health Foundation
5035531467
rob.goodman@cambiahealth.com
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