Community Spotlight: Healthy Klamath

Nov 11, 2015

In addition, with a $100,000 grant from the Cambia Foundation, Pope and Van Dyke are collaborating with the Oregon Institute of Technology to create Geographic Information System (GIS) maps that compare health indicators, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, to social demographics, such as income and education. This will also be correlated with cost of healthcare and neighborhood walkability. With this information, they can provide targeted interventions to specific neighborhoods to best tackle some of the problems that face Klamath today.

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Klamath Falls is passionate about improving the health of their community, which is evident through a variety of measures. One of these is Healthy Klamath, a group formed in response to poor county health rankings in 2012 and comprised of community stakeholders including the County Health Department, the local hospital, coordinated care organization, newspaper, City government, and other community partners. They launched the websiteHealthyKlamath.org, which allows them to track a variety of health indicators and community interventions. The group, with the help of nursing students from OHSU, completed a Community Health Assessment, which helped identify community health priorities, establish benchmarks and monitor trends in the health status of county residents. Now under new leadership, public health experts Katherine Pope, RN Stephanie Van Dyke, MD and Jennifer Little are focusing on specific interventions such as a new recreation director for Klamath Falls, increased bicycle lanes and trails, and improved city parks.

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