Bend, OR — Community planners and public health leaders from Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties are collaborating to conduct a Health Impact Assessment to evaluate how a coordinated regional public transit system could affect community health in Central Oregon. The project, funded through a grant from the Northwest Health Foundation, is aligned with the transportation planning efforts of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
The collaborative HIA focuses on three key health indicators, which are impacted by transportation policies: 1) access to employment/jobs; 2) access to physical activity and healthy nutrition; and 3) access to healthcare services. The partnership seeks community input to assess public perceptions of transit and the degree to which the current system is serving the population in the context of these health indicators.
HIA is a rapidly growing practice in the United States. It is grounded in evidence that population health is strongly influenced by the policies, decisions and actions of sectors outside of the health care industry (e.g. primary care or hospital related services). Engaging public input in the HIA process is considered standard practice. The HIA survey is available online: www.surveymonkey.com/s/LetsTalkTransportation. The survey can also be taken in person at the following upcoming community events:
- July 27-31 Jefferson County Fair – Madras
- Aug 3-7 Deschutes County Fair – Redmond
- Aug 6 Our Community in the Park – Madras
- Aug 10-13 Crook County Fair – Prineville
- Sept 24 Project Connect – Redmond Fairgrounds
Commute Options promotes choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information about Commute Options, or the collaborative HIA project, contact Kim Curley, Outreach Coordinator at 541-408-6111.