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The Public Health Foundation of Columbia County

Columbia County is located northwest of Portland along the Columbia River. The Public Health Foundation of Columbia County (TPHFCC) is a nonprofit and holds the agreement to offer public health services to the community. The agency’s vision is “Healthy People, Healthy Community.” TPHFCC works towards creating healthy environments and policies to reduce the burden of chronic disease.

As of 2012 Columbia County’s total population served by the agency was 49,680[1] people. Of the residents that live in the county 93.5% are white[2]. Columbia County is limited in community resources and is the largest county in Oregon without a hospital.

As part of the Public Health Foundation, the WIC program serves 1350 clients and has identified both breastfeeding support and education as important goals. WIC teamed up with the Healthy Communities Coordinator to see how those goals might be accomplished.  

CHALLENGES

The Public Health Foundation of Columbia County building was performing at maximum capacity. There was no additional space for the WIC team to provide breastfeeding classes to more than a few clients at a time. The minimal space also prohibited WIC staff from inviting family to classes.

In terms of worksite wellness, the lack of space posed challenges to creating an agency breastfeeding policy. There was no room for employees or clients to express milk in a comfortable and quiet environment.

SUCCESS

In February 2009 the Columbia County WIC program and the Healthy Communities Coordinator collaborated to apply for one-time WIC- sponsored funding for special projects to implement the Surgeon General’s call to action to support breastfeeding. The Foundation’s administrator pledged her support for increasing capacity for breastfeeding.

Our Proposal: Requested funding to purchase a modular with ADA accessibility in order to meet the growing need of our breastfeeding families/WIC clients, to support the implementation of TPHFCC breastfeeding policy, and beneficially increase partnerships among stakeholders in the community who support breastfeeding. 

The proposal was awarded in March and by September of 2012 the modular was open for WIC classes. The increase capacity allowed for a breastfeeding room. TPHFCC Board approved the breastfeeding policy.

 


 

[1] Portland State University: Population estimates 

[2] Census Quick facts: Columbia County, OR