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Lane County Community Health Needs Decided By Vote

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Tiffany Eckert
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As part of a community-wide plan to improve health in Lane County-- hundreds of residents from all walks of life-- got together Wednesday night to simultaneously vote on which health issues they consider top priority. Electronic votes were tallied and KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert was there for the results.

Heather Amrhein is with United Way of Lane County.

Amrhein: “We’re asking people to vote on the focus areas so really it’s the community making the decision because this is something that is affecting them.

Amrhein says part of her job has been to coordinate work between her agency, Public Health, Trillium and PeaceHealth to create a Community Health Needs Assessment. She says now is the time to focus on the priorities of a Health Improvement *Plan.

Amrhein: “And the five issues that are being voted on are socio and economic opportunities, mental wellness, access to health care, creating a safe and inclusive community and promoting health behaviors.

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
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Heather Amrhein, Public Health epidemiologist Brian Johnson (center) and Peacehealth telehealth specialist Dan Casares watch and tally as votes are cast.

More than three hundred people at sites in Eugene, Florence and Cottage Grove used hand held electronic gadgets to vote Everyone heard the results at the same time:

“The two strategic issues that we will be focusing on as a community are: a. Promote access to economic and social opportunities. And e. Promote healthy behaviors and engage the community in healthy living. That’s fantastic everyone. Thanks for your votes.”

The Live Healthy Lane event wrapped up in Eugene with United Way Executive Director Noreen Dunnells outlining Next Steps. She said the county is at a “critical juncture” and needs the commitment of support from all sectors of our communities.

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Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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