Innovative education & incentives for regional health
Team up with groups like Physicians for Social Responsibility and Oregon Health Policy & Research, Ecotrust, etc. to help create a broad innovative grassroots initiative to promote personal and environmental health including incentives to promote change at multiple levels: individuals, employers, schools, community organizations and health agencies: to provide innovative education inclusive of social advocacy skills and promoting a broader definition of health & well being including 1) how to avoid and change the widespread use of toxic chemicals in food, the home, landscaping, highway maintenance, etc. 2) how to support local sustainable farmers and small businesses; 3) how to avoid promoting animal cruelty (such as factory farms); as well as 4) eating healthy whole grains, fruits & vegetables (avoiding processed foods & foods with chemical additives), maintaining a healthy weight (BMI), exercising regularly and making informed decisions about health care; and 5) learning & practicing effective stress & communication skills.
This idea starts vague then goes on to promote personal causes. But it suggests that perhaps some kind of economic agglomeration (ecosystem) centered on the health industry might makes sense. Portland has something of a semiconductor industry centered on Intel, an athletic clothing industry due to Nike, Columbia, etc and clearly a desire to establish a green energy related industry with a number of participants. But how about OHSU? I am not in touch with the health industry, but I wonder how much we are leveraging this area juggernaut? If PDX is under-leveraging them, could we do more to encourage related corporate spinoffs and regional partners? Sorry this is not a more developed thought, but hey, this is the level of motivation you get for free. :-)
Kathy Wolfe commented
This idea is huge and encompasses so many of the issues that are serious problems in Oregon and around the world. Each of us needs to take responsibility in every way within our power to achieve and maintain health, our own and our planet's health. But there are many things that we cannot control which are damaging to our our health and the health of our mother earth. It really doesn't seem possible to separate the two any longer. A good start would be to concentrate on removing and stopping the use of toxic chemicals in all aspects of our lives.