ST. HELENS, Oregon — Columbia County is now ready to start work on its Year of Wellness initiative. At the Dec. 16, 2015 Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Henry Heimuller proposed a proclamation for 2016 to be a Year of Wellness in the county. The motion passed unanimously.
Columbia County joins Tillamook County (adopted June 17, 2015) and Clatsop County (adopted Dec. 9, 2015) in passing this proclamation. The Year of Wellness encourages everyone, including individuals, families, communities, schools, faith organizations, community organizations, businesses and government agencies, to learn more about what they can do to improve health and well-being, then incorporate those changes into a healthier lifestyle.
“Wellness is much more than just disease prevention,” said Sherrie Ford, administrator of the Public Health Foundation of Columbia County. “It’s about improving our overall physical, social and mental well-being.”
“Public Health is committed to actively participating in this initiative,” Ford adds. “We hope local businesses, individuals and community groups will join us!”
An initial steering committee meeting will meet at 9 a.m., Friday, Feb. 19 in the Columbia County Soil and Conservation meeting room at 35285 Millard Road in St. Helens. All who are interested are invited to attend.
In Columbia County, a number of other community groups have agreed to support this endeavor, including:
· Columbia Pacific CCO Community Advisory Council, which has created a community health improvement plan that has identified obesity and tobacco cessation as top priorities.
· Columbia Health Coalition, which is working to increase access to physical activity opportunities, nutritional support and tobacco cessation programs.
· Columbia County commissioners, who passed the proclamation.
· Local communities like St. Helens and Scappoose, which have passed local resolutions to become healthy, eating, active living (HEAL) cities.