Lane County Touts Success Of Community Health Initiative

Apr 18, 2018

Lane County’s efforts-- to improve the overall health of its residents-- are paying off.  And community organizations plan to invest more in this initiative that came out of Obamacare.

Tara DeVee in front of the KLCC studios in downtown Eugene.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

The Community Health Improvement Plan, or CHIP, aims to reduce health disparities, promote equity and improve overall health in everyone. While this sounds far-reaching, partners like Trillium Community Health Plan and United Way of Lane County say hundreds of residents have been served in urban and rural areas.

Tara DaVee is a part of CHIP. She used to be a nursing assistant living in rural Springfield, until she became disabled.

“I found out I got heavy metal poisoning from a well,” DeVee says. “So I got arsenic poisoning. And so it actually paralyzed me.”

DaVee is on the Oregon Health Plan, she receives disability and lives in a low-rent apartment. She credits CHIP for services that assist with the basics: affordable housing, food and safety. She now advocates for others as a Community Health Worker.

“This is brought to the community by the community, DeVee says. “It’s not just a bunch of policy makers sitting behind their desk, deciding what’s good for you and I. It involves real people living lives like this.”

Lane County Public Health, PeaceHealth Oregon and dozens of local organizations are simultaneously celebrating successes with the CHIP collaboration and preparing to launch the next Community Health Needs Assessment to begin this summer.

For more information on CHIP: