....was back in May. I've been busy, OK? I am finally able to post this report about a project spearheaded by Sara Hussein of my staff. Sara helps me with issues of health care and City employee wellness, as well as other projects. She found and completed an application for a federal grant to mark National Women's Health Week, which is observed every year in a week around Mothers' Day. Sara and I began by considering a project aimed at encouraging women working for the City to increase healthy activities, but soon realized that the women in Portland most in need of assistance on health care issues are those who live outside and don't have homes, jobs, or health insurance. So we designed our grant project to reach and help those women.
Sara pays attention to details - her computer screen shows the National Women's Health web site
In February 2010, City Council accepted a grant award in the amount of $2,500 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health in support of community health education activities during the 11th annual National Women’s Health Week. In addition to the federal funding, in kind donations, including volunteer time and materials, worth about $6,500 were donated to our office to provide free health care classes in the community to low income women and women living outside. The only cost to taxpayers was allocating Sara's time devoted to the project, and a small amount from my office budget to print and laminate cards informing women where to find free health care resources.
The project held two different types of workshops. One was a women’s health education workshop, called "Healthy Habits for Healthy Women", designed for women living outside, taught them about health care issues specific to women. Two of these workshops were held at shelters, the other at an outside church gathering for people living outside. The second type of workshop, called "Eating Healthfully on a Budget", was a nutrition education workshop for women in transitional housing living at the Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter, and held at the Oregon Food Bank. The women learned how to purchase and cook healthy meals on a tight budget.
In order to accomplish this project, our office partnered with several Portland-area organizations:
- Dinner and a Movie Youth Program
- Multnomah County Public Health Department’s Community Capacitation Center
- Oregon Adult Immunization Coalition
- Oregon Food Bank
- Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
- Rose Haven Women’s Shelter
- Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter (SAFES)
Over 125 women attended these workshops! Our office received a lot of positive feedback from participants, including being able to walk away knowing more about steps they can take to protect themselves and their health. Several of our partner organizations told us they plan to continue offering similar workshops to their clients, and to involve women living outside in more group discussions about health and safety.
The final report was presented to Portland City Council on Wednesday, June 16th. A copy of the final report can be found here (pdf file - sorry, I try to avoid posting pdf files, but this one has some interesting bar charts). Well done, Sara!