Community Health Improvement Plan

The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is a strategic community work plan that defines how Washington County Public Health (WCPH) and community partners come together to develop a culture of health and to address priority health issues identified by a comprehensive assessment of local Washington County data.

Many factors affect the health of individuals and communities. The complexity of these factors makes it essential to work collaboratively with many partners across sectors to address the unique needs of the community.

In addition, Washington County’s diversity increases the need for cross-sector strategic partnerships to improve health. The CHIP addresses the social and environmental determinants of health by engaging partners from across the community to tap in to expertise, knowledge and resources.

The 2020-2023 CHIP builds on the partnerships and progress made since the 2017 plan, and further centers reducing health disparities, improving health equity, and applying a racial equity lens and trauma-informed principles to the CHIP structure and work as its foundational goals.   

Priorities for the current CHIP:

Improve Access to Health Care 

Including primary care, behavioral health and oral health services


• Increase the percent of the population with a regular health care provider.
• Increase the number of providers in the community.
• Increase the number of adults with insurance.

Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes 

Including mental health, suicide and addictions


• Decrease suicide count by year and age-adjusted suicide rate.
• Reduce drug and alcohol induced deaths.
• Decrease teen alcohol and drug use.
• Decrease depression.

Prevent chronic disease


• Decrease percent of population with limited access to healthy food.
• Increase percent of adults with adequate fruit and vegetable consumption.
• Increase percent of adults who engage in regular physical activity.

CHIP Leadership Team

The CHIP Leadership Team includes a representative from each of the five community committees (soon to be six, with the re-launch of the ACEs committee) along with other partners, and is focused on implementing a vision of equity and trauma-informed care across the CHIP committees and structure. The leadership team is responsible for directing the developing of each multi-year plan, tracking and coordinating strategies, and facilitating the annual CHIP Community Grant program. The committees have aligned organizational goals and developed collaborative approaches to address these common priorities. The CHIP is developed using evidence-based best practices and a collective impact approach to identify mutually reinforcing collaborative activities.

The five committees and leadership team are described below:

Access to Care Committee

The Access to Care Committee is focused on improving access to health care through an approach to identifying and addressing barriers that is coordinated and sustainable. The committee focuses on equity through cultural responsiveness, person-centered programs, holistic approaches, and developing programs that are focused on addressing health inequities and disparities.


Improve access to and utilization of primary care, mental and behavioral health services and oral health services.


-Ensure access to and utilization of reproductive and sexual health care for all people in Washington County by coordinating activities, resources and services.

-Improve oral health access through patient education, referral coordination, closed loop referrals and community partner collaboration.

-Improve access to harm reduction services, a key access touchpoint, to improve access to health care needs related to drug use, including mental health, sexual health and communicable disease like HIV/STIs and hepatitis.

-Increase capacity for traditional health workers (including community health workers and behavioral health specialists) in Washington County and coordinate with regional efforts

-Increase access to primary care services in partnership with supportive housing units and community organizations. 

Aging and Connection Committee

This committee is focused on identifying and implementing innovative strategies to treat and prevent depression and anxiety in older adults in Washington County. Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services, in partnership with Washington County Behavioral Health, is providing support and resources to community partners to implement strategies. The committee is focused on identifying, implementing and evaluating those efforts. 


• Prevent and treat anxiety and depression in older adults by cultivating and strengthening a community that supports the aging process.

Healthy Communities Committee

The Healthy Communities Committee is comprised of organizations focused on improving access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity, reducing tobacco use, improving programs for people living with chronic disease, and addressing built environment and place-based issues that impact chronic disease. The committee’s objectives are focused on supporting health in all policies and increasing access to and awareness of affordable, healthy food, physical activity and chronic disease self-management opportunities.


Create and improve the physical and social environments in which people live, learn, work and play; enable communities and individuals to live life to their maximum potential.


-Increase access to and awareness of affordable and healthy food, physical activity and chronic disease self-management opportunities through educational programs and resources.

-Identify opportunities to incorporate health into community design processes and policies to support (1) access to healthy and affordable food, (2) opportunities for physical activity and (3) access to tobacco-free environments.

-Develop and maintain infrastructure to support implementation of committee objectives.

Youth Substance Use Prevention Collaborative (SUP)  

The Youth Substance Use Prevention Collaborative (SUP) focuses on reducing youth use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, as well as gambling, through policy and environmental change, community education and collaboration. SUP strives to empower youth and young adults to make safe, healthy and legal choices.


Develop policies, systems and environments that promote healthy, substance-free youth.


-Review school district policies relating to substance use; develop and disseminate evidence-based policy and prevention tools/resources.

-Increase youth and family resiliency.

-Assess community readiness and promote social norms to reduce youth substance use.

-Leverage community partnerships to reduce youth access to substances, such as through social hosting.

Suicide Prevention Council

The Suicide Prevention Council (SPC) implements work from the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, with the goal of preventing suicide in Washington County. The vision of the council is “Zero is possible” in alignment with the national Zero Suicide approach. The objectives are focused on integrating and coordinating suicide prevention activities across multiple sectors, reducing access to lethal means, promoting suicide prevention as a core component of health care services, and evaluating the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention interventions. The council reviews local suicide fatality data to monitor and inform prevention efforts.


Decrease the overall suicide rate in Washington County by 10% between 2018 and 2023 to a rate of 9.4 per 100,000 people.


-Develop and implement a prevention and a postvention policy for Washington County community.

-Integrate and coordinate suicide prevention activities across multiple sectors and settings.

-Promote efforts to reduce access to lethal means of suicide among individuals with identified suicide risks.

- Increase knowledge and outreach resources to high risk groups including veterans and LGBTQ youth and older adults experiencing isolation.

-Develop, implement and monitor effective programs that promote wellness and prevent suicide and related behaviors.

-Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.

-Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of suicide prevention interventions and systems and synthesize and disseminate findings.

The vision of the council is “Zero Is Possible” in alignment with the national Zero Suicide Initiative. Zero Suicide is a foundational belief that suicides for those individuals within the behavioral health care settings are preventable. The Zero Suicide Initiative is designed to help behavioral health organizations create a system-wide transformation toward safer suicide care.

Washington County offers free suicide prevention and Mental Health First Aid trainings throughout the year. In 2018 over 1,000 Washington County residents were trained in suicide prevention or Mental Health First Aid. For more information please go to Get Trained To Help.

—Help is always available.—

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)press 1 for veterans or service members.

About the Data

Health Insurance Coverage data is from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 1-year estimates, Table S2701. This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.

Primary Care Physician data is from the Area Health Resource File/American Medical Association. Mental Health Provider data is from CMS, National Provider Identification. Dentist data is from Area Health Resource File/National Provider Identification file. In all three cases, the data was accessed via County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.

Drug Overdose Mortality data was queried from CDC Wonder via the following parameters: Underlying Cause of Death, ICD-10 codes: X40–X44, X60–X64, X85, Y10–Y14. Suicide Mortality data was queried from CDC Wonder via the following parameters: Underlying Cause of Death, ICD-10 codes: X60-X84, Y87.0.

Low Access to Grocery Store data is from the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Environment Atlas.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption data is from Oregon's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Additional Resources

LiveStats: Food Access and SNAP Statistics for Washington County

CDC: Access to HealthCare

CDC: Suicide Prevention Resources

CDC: A look inside Food Deserts

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Oregon Violent Death Reporting System