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Asian grandmother and little child girl making heart shape with hands together with love

Columbia Pacific CCO awards projects within Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties that improve the health of the community, drawing upon best practices and other innovations. The Community Wellness Investment Fund (CWIF) supports innovative, local and sustainable solutions that address health equity and social determinants of health, in one or more of the eight improvement priorities identified in the Regional Health Improvement Plan (RHIP).

“We have awarded some great projects that support efforts focused on improving health and well-being, which are sustainable and aligned with the RHIP,” said Nancy Knopf, community health partnership manager for Columbia Pacific CCO.

“Our updated RHIP advances health and well-being and will be used in our planning process for the next five years. Within the plan, we have identified eight priority areas for improving health in the region.” Knopf said.

The eight priority areas include:

• Community resilience and trauma informed care

• Access to care: primary care

• Access to care: behavioral health

• Access to care: oral health and dental care

• Access to care: social safety net

• Chronic disease prevention

• Suicide prevention

• Housing

The following projects were funded in Columbia County:

• Community Action Team – Parenting Education and Support, $25k

This project will support Child and Family Development Parenting Education to continue to offer “Nurturing Parenting” programming at low or no cost to participants. This evidence-based parenting education series is designed for families in crisis, families in transition, families with young children and the general public. Being a part of a 15- to 17-week parenting education class builds community accountability and a sense of belonging. Child care and a meal is provided for each session.

• CASA for Children, Inc. – Building Resiliency in Foster Youth, $25k

Child welfare cases in Columbia County are complex, and the courts and DHS are overwhelmed. CASA supports and to serves every foster child with a court-appointed special advocate. This grant will be used to recruit volunteers, train and supervise volunteers as well as maintaining strategic engagement with the Childhood Trauma Informed Network.

• Columbia Community Mental Health (CCMH) – The Jordan Center, $25k

The Jordan Center was founded in 2012 to serve the needs of clients of CCMH and community members seeking support and or alternatives to traditional mental health services. This grant will be used to expand the center to include drop-in services for adults with behavioral health issues. CCMH intends to partner with the Community Action Team and St. Helens Recreation department to make the difference of those living on the streets, re-entering the community, or seeking healthy socialization alternatives from often dangerous living environments.

• Oregon State University Extension -- Food Hero Foster Families Project, $25k

This project is aimed at expanding current Food Hero project to include the newly developed “Nourished and Thriving” tool kit developed by the Spoon Foundation. The trauma informed tool kit specifically addresses the nutritional and feeding challenges that many foster youth experiences. This project will implement and evaluate the program for use in other areas of the state.

• Columbia Pacific Food Bank – Fresh Produce Distribution, $15k

This project will be used to increase the amount of fresh produce that is available to low-income residents of Columbia County. The agency delivers fresh produce to community partners and agencies throughout the County to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables on a consistent basis. This grant will allow the agency to explore more distribution sites to further expand the program.

• Wildflower Play Collective – Wildflower Play Collective/Start Up, $25k

Wildflower Play Collective is a nonprofit, play-focused Family Resource Center launching in South Columbia County. Modeled on the successful St. Johns SwapnPlay in Portland, the collective is a sliding-scale, membership based indoor play and community space with a swap closet for trading gently-used kid’s gear and clothing – a combination children’s museum and family resource center.

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