Culture of Health Prize: Community invited to ‘Healthy Together’ event

The Columbia Gorge was one of seven national winners of the 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, honoring communities for efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

A celebration of this prize — Healthy Together / Sanos Juntos — will be held Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mosier Community School. The event is free, bilingual and all are encouraged to attend.

The Columbia Gorge region is nationally recognized for bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of health, drawing especially on the wisdom, voice, and experience of residents. The region was selected for the 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize because of programming like the Veggie Rx prescription program.

The celebration will bring the community together to share visions of what a culture of health means to them and learning how to live healthier lives through dance, games and art.

“There will be something for everyone,” said Todd Dierker, event coordinator. “This event will not only celebrate the work of our region, but also connect community members to health resources, games, dance and music as a way of coming together to celebrate health.”

The Healthy Together Celebration will bring together elected officials, health workers, soccer coaches, gardeners, nutrition experts and dancers and reflect the diversity and innovative strategies used to improve the lives of those living here. It will provide those in attendance an opportunity to connect with support resources for nutrition, housing, and health care. It will also give people a chance to try Zumba dancing, hike the Mosier tunnels or use bike power to make fruit smoothies.

To become an RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner, the Columbia Gorge had to demonstrate how it excelled in the following six criteria:

• Defining health in the broadest possible terms.

• Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.

• Cultivating a shared and deeply-held belief in the importance of equal opportunity for health.

• Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.

• Securing and making the most of available resources.

• Measuring and sharing progress and results.

“The Culture of Health Prize is a great recognition that we’re heading in the right direction,” said Sarah Sullivan, executive director of Gorge Grown. “We look at this award as encouragement rather than accomplishment.”

Learn more about Columbia Gorge’s work, as well as this year’s other prize winners through a collection videos, photos, and more at

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