Health Center Partnership With Pacific University Growing

The Vernonia Health Center Board recently partnered with the Vernonia Senior Center to host speakers from Pacific University for the first in a series of three conversations on wellness. Ruth Zuinga PHD, from Pacific University School of Psychology, joined a diverse group of community members to discuss “Motivation for Healthy Living”.

For an hour over a dozen community members shared barriers and successful strategies to make healthier choices and how to re-evaluate past experiences to provide motivation for self identified goals.  “It was very engaging and enjoyable. I was happily impressed.” said Marie Kran following the session. Tobie Finzel agreed. “Excellent presentation.”

According to Heather Lewis of the Vernonia Health Board,  these conversations are being offered in response to a recent community survey in which the Vernonia Health Center Board asked patients and community members how they could better provide for the needs of the community. “Offering Community Education on Health Related Topics” was high on the list. So we approached our partners at Pacific University and this three part series is the first of many we will be offering.”

“They are an enthusiastic and invested partner,” shared Lewis about the relationship with Pacific University.  “This is also being reflected in the primary care services at the Vernonia Health Clinic. The P.A. Student rotation has begun and community feedback is overwhelmingly supportive.”

Lewis added that in the last five months, the new partnership between the Vernonia Health Board and Pacific University  has brought services at the clinic from two days a week to five. Daily appointments have increased as well,  going from five to eight clients a day up to twelve to eighteen. “I think this shows the community is just as excited as we are with the addition of Pacific University to our operations team,” said Lewis.   “With seven Health Professional Schools at the University we look forward to being able to work with them on many levels for additional services for our clients.”

The next Community Health Conversation will be February 24th, 1:00 PM at the Vernonia Senior Center. Watch for fliers and postings on Facebook for more details.