About the Chronic Disease Prevention Project
The Marion County Healthy Communities – Chronic Disease Prevention project is a community-based effort to help prevent, reduce, and manage chronic disease in Marion County. The project aims to put systems and policies in place that will:
- Increase opportunities for physical activity
- Increase opportunities for healthy food choices
- Increase access to chronic disease self-management programs
- Decrease access to tobacco
From June 2008 – May 2009, the Chronic Disease Prevention Subcommittee of the Health Advisory Board worked in collaboration with Marion County Health Department to complete a community needs assessment and develop a three-year community plan. The plan is focused on implementing policy-based initiatives in four settings: Community, Schools, Health Systems and Worksites. Implementing health policies in these four settings will help create environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
The three-year community plan is a working document that includes 18 policy-based objectives, which are based on best and promising practices. The Chronic Disease Prevention Subcommittee, MCHD, and other community partners are now working toward meeting these objectives. Please join us in the effort!
Policy Based Initiatives
Research shows that policy-based initiatives are an effective way to help shape the environment in which we live, what we have access to, and what we do. Involvement from community members has been found to be necessary to make these policy changes. In addition, policy changes require the infrastructure to support those changes over time.
Community and statewide policies can help support the healthy choice as the easy choice for adults and children. Policies can do this by protecting adults and children from unhealthy choices and influences, establishing public spaces and worksites as tobacco and smokefree, and providing access to chronic disease self-management programs.
Some examples of policy-based initiatives that have been shown to be successful include:
- Laws that make it illegal for stores to sell tobacco products to children
- Laws that protect people from exposure to second-hand smoke while at work
- Requiring restaurants to label nutritional content of their foods on menus
- County and City Comprehensive Plans that support the creation of trails, parks and recreational facilities to promote physical activity
- Providing grocery stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods
These policies may lead to reductions in chronic diseases and their complications through increased access to healthy foods and spaces for physical activity, and decreased access and exposure to tobacco products.
Shaping the Context of Health: A Review of Environmental and Policy Approaches in the Prevention of Chronic Disease
Best and Promising Practices
"Best" practices are actions or techniques that have been shown, through vigorous evaluation, to create change or make an impact. In addition, they must be shown to be successful when replicated or adapted in other communities. They are sometimes seen as the "gold standard."
"Promising" practices are actions or technique that may not have been evaluated as vigorously as "best" practices. Additionally, while they may have been shown to be successful in one specific situation, they may not have yet been proven to be successful in all settings.
The Chronic Disease Prevention Subcommittee of the Marion County Advisory Board serves as the advisory group for the prevention project. The Chronic Disease Prevention Subcommittee's goal is provide guidance and leadership in assessing and implementing policies that make it easy for people to make healthy choices. Involvement from key leaders and stakeholders in Marion County's communities, schools, worksites, health systems, and state agencies is critical and necessary to achieve a healthy Marion County.
Currently, the Marion County Chronic Disease Prevention Project subcommittee is comprised of over 30 key leaders and stakeholders from the fields of healthcare, city government, schools, non-profit agencies and community advocates, including:
- City of Salem
- City of Woodburn
- Community Action Agency Head Start
- Marion County Department of Children and Families
- Marion County Wellness Program
- Marion Polk Food Share
- Marion Polk Medical Society
- North Marion School District
- Northwest Human Services
- Northwest Senior and Disability Services
- Oregon State University Extension Services
- Red Cross
- Rural/Metro Ambulance
- Salem Hospital
- Salem-Keizer School District
- Silverton Hospital
- Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (area FQHC)
- Community advocates/volunteers
From the subcommittee, four workgroups have been established to help develop and implement the 3-year community plan. These workgroups are based on the following settings: community, worksites, schools, and health systems.
We plan to continue to build and strengthen the Marion County Chronic Disease Prevention Project by engaging more members. If you would like to join the subcommittee, please contact us, (503) 566-2901 or
Planning Phase: June 2008 - June 30, 2009
The 3 main objectives of the planning phase are to:
- Establish a Chronic Disease Prevention Subcommittee
- Conduct an assessment of the needs of the community
- Develop a Community Plan based on findings of the needs assessment
Implementation Phase: July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2012
Marion County Community Health Improvement Partnership