Your Voice Matters in the “Place Matters Oregon” Movement

If you haven’t heard about it yet, let me be the first to invite you into a brand new space called PlaceMattersOregon.com.

This recently launched website is the newest component of Place Matters Oregon, an initiative of the Oregon Health Authority that reflects a growing movement in our state to foster conversation about a vital topic: How the places where we live, work, learn and play affect our individual and collective health.

PlaceMattersOregon.com is one of the many ways in which Oregonians can take part in this important conversation. The movement is taking shape as well on social media, where you can find Place Matters Oregon on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (#PlaceMattersOR).

D.J. Simpson, a college freshman, is already there, reprising his headline-making rap about the realities of life “North of Portlandia.”

So is Jessie Hecocta, who describes how education levels and lack of transportation are creating health challenges for members of the Klamath Tribes.

And then there’s Bob Orlando, who demonstrates on a walk around Prineville how moving to that eastern Oregon community has enabled him to live a healthier life.

D.J., Jessie and Bob are a few of the many reasons I’m excited about PlaceMattersOregon.com. Our goal with this site is to spark, spread and sustain a statewide conversation about how the places we live, work, play and learn are connected to our health.

On the website and on our social media channels, Oregonians can explore together the health effects of social factors (such as income, education, race and ethnicity) and risk factors (tobacco use, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition)—as they relate to the places where we live, work, play and learn.

We can keep the conversation going offline, by continuing to talk about how place matters to our health in our own particular places—our homes, schools, neighborhoods, parks and workplaces.

Here’s how we put it on the PlaceMattersOregon.com home page:

In this state of spectacular physical wonders, our communities don’t share the same access to physical health. In Oregon, place matters. And when we make better places, we build better lives. 

“Conversation” is key. I think you’ll be surprised and inspired by the people you see and hear on PlaceMattersOregon.com and on our FacebookYouTube and Twitter platforms. And your contributions are equally important. What will truly bring this movement to life are your reactions, your experiences of how place affects your health, and your ideas about how we build a healthier Oregon for all of us.

When you engage with Place Matters Oregon… 

You will hear from Oregonians across the state—teens, adults and seniors, from our biggest cities to our smallest communities.

You will find a wealth of information, including Oregon-specific data that might surprise you—and make you curious to learn more. Did you know, for example, that nearly 1 in 2 employed adults in Oregon spend most of their days sitting? Or why it matters?


You can test yourself—and your family, friends and neighbors—on topics that aren’t always what they seem. For example, our “What If” page puts you in the shoes of an older Oregonian, for whom a simple walk to the bus stop is anything but easy.

Most importantly, you can tell the rest of Oregon what you think about it all. The new website and our social media channels offer multiple ways to contribute your thoughts and experiences, including on the website’s “Join the Conversation” page.

So please, take a look. Listen, react and share. Tell us what’s good, bad or missing from PlaceMattersOregon.com and the Place Matters Oregon movement. Help keep the conversation going about this place called Oregon and how our place here affects our health.


Curious about a chronic disease topic you’d like to see covered here? Interested in writing a guest blog? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment below. 



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