PENDLETON - A Umatilla County coalition will use $130,000 in grant money to find creative ways to prevent chronic disease.

The American Planning Association awarded funds to a group called the Umatilla County Plan4Heath Initiative to combat two factors of chronic disease: physical inactivity and lack of access to nutritious foods. Plan4Health is a national, regional and local effort to create vibrant, healthy places.

“Over the next nine months we will be bringing together key stakeholders from throughout Umatilla County who have a desire to build a healthy community.” said Umatilla County Public Health Director Meghan DeBolt.

DeBolt said county Plan4Health leaders will meet with representatives from health, education and government to identify opportunities and ideas.

“In addition to partnership building, we will conduct a community needs and readiness assessment to identify opportunities and draft a community action plan based upon the assessments findings and community interest, all with a focus on ensuring a healthy future for Umatilla County,” Debolt said.

Seventeen coalitions were selected for the Plan4Health program after a competitive review process.

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