A community engagement event organized by the WHC’s Community Advisory Council (CAC) took place in Gates on April 12, 2023. Attendees from the Santiam Canyon region spoke to their healthcare needs and were offered a creative outlet in the form of collage-making to demonstrate in pictures what a healthy community looks like to them.

In sum, the community expressed that as they continue rebuilding efforts after the devastating impacts of the 2020 wildfires, they need:

  • A place where they can go locally for health-related information and resources including access to pharmacy and telemedicine services. They would also like a space that enables more multigenerational interactions.
  • Access to more transportation options/services.
  • Support in accessing healthy food and farming options.

The CAC plans to host similar events throughout the year to foster strong community relationships and ensure that what is learned through these events is used to inform future WHC community investments and the next cycle of the Marion-Polk Community Health Assessment in 2024.

A special thanks to Santiam Hospital and the Santiam Outreach Community Center for their help in promoting the event.