In The Community

Community Health Initiatives

February 20, 2015



Community Health Initiatives improve the health of individuals, families, and communities by addressing the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health. We understand that excellent medical care alone is not enough for people to be healthy. We believe the role of the community is vital to creating the conditions that promote health. The nonmedical resources in communities, like healthy food and safe parks, are crucial to wellness and disease prevention. To bring about improvements in health at the population level, we partner with others to create health-promoting environments.

Our work in communities happens in the following places:

  • Schools
  • Cities and towns
  • Neighborhoods
  • Parks
  • Workplaces
  • Community centers
  • Centers of worship/faith

Our work in community health includes the following strategies:

  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Advocacy and public policy
  • Community-clinic integration
  • Capacity building
  • Place-based initiatives
  • Grant-making

Some examples of our current Community Health Initiatives work include:

  • Thriving Schools is a comprehensive effort to create a culture of health and wellness for students, staff, and teachers in K-12 schools.
  • Educational Theatre Program is an innovative partnership with Oregon Children’s Theatre to teach kids and promote health in creative ways.
  • HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Cities Campaign is a partnership with the Oregon Public Health Institute to encourage and support civic leaders to adopt policies that create healthy and safe communities for all residents.
  • HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Communities Grant Initiative supports coalitions working to improve obesity-related chronic disease outcomes.
  • City of Portland Sunday Parkways presented by Kaiser Permanente promotes healthy active living through a series of five free events opening the city’s streets to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation while fostering civic pride and stimulating economic development.
  • Healthy Living Collaborative of Southwest Washington aims to reduce and prevent chronic disease in four counties through policy, systems, and environmental change approaches. Kaiser Permanente is honored to provide funding and serve on the steering committee.
  • Childhood Hunger Coalition  is dedicated to providing ongoing education and outreach tools for clinicians in an effort to reduce childhood hunger and improve the health of children and families. The Coalition is a program of the Oregon Food Bank and Kaiser Permanente serves on the steering committee.
  • Healthy Food Access Initiative increases access to healthy food for vulnerable populations in the Northwest communities we serve through policy, systems, and place-based approaches.
    • Watch a video produced by one of our funded partners, Ecotrust, about the impact on the Salem-Keizer School District, one of 11 school districts that began and/or expanded their procurement of locally produced food.
  • RxPLAY creates a bridge between the medical advice to become more physically active and the community based recreation systems that offer opportunities for physical activity.