Marion County Prevention Newsletter - Summer 2021

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Health Promotion & Prevention Pieces

Summer 2021

Prevention Newsletter Summer 2021


Welcome to the Health Promotion & Prevention Newsletter, released by Marion County's Health Promotion & Prevention Team! Each quarter we highlight selected programs, share information about events & resources, and share ways to increase the health of ourselves, our families, and our community. Together, we can connect and come together to enhance the health of all communities in Marion County! Our hope is to increase communication with our many diverse partners, educators, parents, and communities. 


What's in this Article: Table of Contents

Updates: Trainings | COVID-19 | Upcoming Events & Activities

Public Health Training Organizations

Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network: A variety of health promotion and prevention focused webinars from health experts nationwide.

Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network: A variety of mental health specific webinars from health experts nationwide to reduce mental health stigma and increase resiliency across the lifespan. 

Chemeketa Community Wellness & Recovery Workshops: Through free online webinars, Chemeketa Community College hosts a variety of health and wellness subjects. 


Upcoming Trainings

Know of another organization that provides great trainings and want to share with our network? Let us know at



COVID-19 Updates

The Marion County COVID-19 Liaison Community Partner Calls occur every Tuesday from 10:00-10:30am. These meetings are designed for community partners to receive updates about COVID-19 from Marion County Health and ask questions to our COVID-19 Liaison Team and Incident Commander.

COVID-19 Update

Join us Tuesdays at 10:00am:


More COVID-19 Information

Upcoming COVID-19 testing events and vaccination information, as well as recent sharable materials, data, and more can be found on Marion County's COVID-19 information website. Together, we can increase vaccination rates, prevent COVID-19 illness, and return to a sense of normal!

Visit for more information



May 17 - June 14: Counter Tobacco Photo Contest!

Call to Action -Take on big Tobacco in a Snap!

Announcing Counter Tobacco’s 2021 Point-of-Sale Tobacco Marketing Photo Contest!

The tobacco industry spends nearly $1 million every hour to market their deadly products – most of it at the point of sale. That amounted to $6.6 billion spent directly on marketing in the retail environment in 2019.


These point-of-sale tobacco promotions work. They increase impulse purchases among smokers and enhance the urge to purchase among recent quitters. They are also strongly associated with smoking initiation, particularly among youth, who make up the vast majority of new users.

Tobacco products near candy

We encourage you take a look around and what do you see? We did, in 2018 Marion County participated in an Tobacco and Alcohol Assessment (TARA) and  found that over 60% of stores selling tobacco and e-cigarettes products had outdoor tobacco advertising; 43% sold these products near toys; and 100% sold these products that come in flavors like candy-cane and cinnamon-apple. Read More and enter photo contest!


If you enter a photo we’d like to see it! Please send to the Prevention Team at



June 4: Free Dental Clinic at Hunsaker Dental in Salem

Hunsaker Dental is offering their 7th Annual Day of Free Dentistry THIS Friday, June 4th, from 8am to 4pm at their Salem office (1595 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97302). They are giving back to the Salem and surround areas community by offering a free cleaning, extraction or filling to those 18 years old or older who need it. Registration begins at 7:30 am. They highly suggest that patients arrive early and are prepared to wait outside with chairs, blankets, water and snacks. For more information, call 503-363-2536 or email



June 26, July 24, August 28: Free QPR Trainings

Marion County Health & Human Services and community partners will be hosting free Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Trainings on the 4th Saturday of summer months from 10:00 - 11:30am. Like CPR, this virtual training provides basic knowledge on what to do for someone in a suicidal crisis. Everyone is encouraged to learn QPR! Sign up at  

QPR Logo

See our Zero Suicide article / click here for more information 



July 10: Race to Save the Harvest

The Race to Save the Harvest Fun Run is an event to raise funds for Salem Harvest, a local non-profit that gathers unused produce around Willamette Valley for hungry families. Join their modified in-person 3k or 5k run to help save the harvest in 2021. Click here for more information!

Race to Save the Harvest



August 29: Monster Cookie Bike Ride

Join the Salem Bicycle Club for the 2021 Monster Cookie Metric Century Bicycle Ride. Short and long routes are available from Keizer to Champoeg State Park, along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. Click here for more information!

Monster Cookie

New! Ask a Community Expert: John Ackley with Bridgeway Recovery

The Oregon Council on Problem Gambling estimates that 83,800 Oregon Adults have a Gambling Disorder, and 174,150 Oregon Adults have shown signs of a problem. In Oregon, treatment is free and confidential. Expert John Ackley, CADC II, CGAC II shares his insights as a Gambling Addictions Counselor. 


John Ackley, Bridgeway Recovery Services

At what point do you recommend someone who gambles seek treatment or therapy?

Ideally, the earlier the better! As soon as someone notices that their gambling behavior is starting to harm them in some way, even slightly, and they find that even though it is hurting them, they keep going back to gamble more, that is when they should ask for help.  Just like going to see a doctor when we feel sick, the earlier someone seeks treatment, usually rh less harm has been done, and the easier it is to treat. 

I would much rather have someone come in, and after talking, we determine that there is little or no issues there, than have people come to me (as happens far, far too often) once they have lost almost everything in their lives.


What are problem gambling treatment and therapy techniques you use to treat your clients?

There are a variety of interventions and techniques that we use to work with people.  There is no “One-size fits all” approach, because everyone is different. Much of what we do is evidence-based from research in how best to assist people in making the changes they want to their lives. We work with the whole person, addressing their thinking patterns, habits, support networks, and life skills, to name a few.


When do you know to end treatment? 

Usually, it's when a person has made measurable progress on the goals that they outlined with me when they came to treatment.  We work with each person to develop an individual treatment plan to address the behaviors they want to change, and once they have A) made substantive measurable change on those goals and B) developed the ability to apply the awareness and skills to keep on track with those goals, then usually that person is ready to transition out of treatment.  It’s different for every person. Some people stay only a short time, and others remain in treatment much longer. 


Are behavior disorders or addictions like problem gambling as concerning as substance use disorders? 

Oh yes, unfortunately.  Gambling has the power to destroy just about everything that is truly important to a person:  Families, jobs, physical health, mental health, safety …all of these and more. Part of the problem is the shame and stigma around addiction (and Gambling Addiction specifically) that keep people from asking for help, so the problem just grows and grows, causing people to feel more trapped and more trapped over time, even as they might be wanting desperately for it to stop.


What support do you give their families?

As a counselor, I get to see sometimes the damage that gambling addiction can do to entire families. We are fortunate here in Oregon that under the same program that provides 100% FREE treatment (see image right and below) for all people with problem gambling behaviors, the adult family members are entitled to treatment as well. logo

Not because they are addicts, but so they can work with a counselor to learn skills and insight to cope with the distress that having a problem gambler in their lives can cause, learn more about both addiction and recovery concepts, and learn how to maintain their own stability as much as possible even while they may have someone in their lives whose behaviors are disruptive and chaotic. 


For more information on Bridgeway: 

Bridgeway Contact Information


We would like to thank John for his expertise! If you have more questions for John or want to nominate another expert to spotlight for our Fall 2021 Prevention Newsletter, contact us at

New! Community Spotlight: Salem for Refugees Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy

Salem for Refugees

Many community organizations received grant funding from Marion County to increase COVID-19 outreach and education, and reduce barriers related to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. This task is not easy! Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Salem for Refugees has found a way to connect and build trust with new neighbors and refugee families like never before.


Salem for Refugees, which started as a communitywide effort to assist refugee resettlement in 2016, received grant funding from Marion County and the Oregon Health Authority to provide COVID-19 education and outreach to refugee families, whom they call “new neighbors”.


To do this effectively, they have hired some of their new neighbors as Community Educators to provide culturally appropriate education and outreach in Swahili, Russian, Arabic, and Spanish. These Community Educators play a crucial role in building trust and confidence among Marion County’s refugee families. By listening and connecting families to needed services, they are creating practical solutions to problems COVID-19 has caused.


When members of the Swahili-speaking refugee community in Salem notified Community Educators that they had COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy for a variety of reasons, Community Educators brought a Swahili-speaking doctor to a townhall Zoom meeting for the refugee community in Marion County to ask questions. Members from 30 Swahili-speaking families attended the meeting and asked questions, breaking down previous hesitancy barriers. Community Educators went on to assist refugees in signing up for appointments and resolving transportation challenges to attend vaccine appointments. Salem for Refugees continues to assist any refugee families needing help getting vaccinated.


This is just one example of the great things happening at Salem for Refugees to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As Director of Operations and Development for Salem for Refugees Laurel Rightmer has stated, “The Marion County grant opens up new doors and helps Salem for Refugees expand in a way we couldn’t have done without. This opportunity is great for new neighbors and our organization.”


Like many of our grantees, Salem for Refugees is doing incredible work preventing the spread of COVID-19. They are doing great work among new neighbors in the Salem area building trust and enhancing community.


If you would like to nominate a community organization doing great work to spotlight for our Fall 2021 Prevention Newsletter, contact us at

Marion-Polk Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Update


Launching the Marion-Polk Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for 2021-2025

Marion County Health and Human Services, along with our collaborative CHIP partners, is proud to announce that the Marion-Polk CHIP for 2021-2025 will officially launch on June 30, 2021. “We are excited to share the CHIP and start the work of implementing our ambitious and community-driven plan,” said Marion County Community Health Coalition and CHIP Coordinator Sierra Prior.


The process to write the new CHIP started in October 2020. Even in the midst of COVID-19, over 100 individuals volunteered to participate on Priority Area Work Groups to guide writing the CHIP. 

Community Health Improvement Plan Coming Soon!

These dedicated individuals supported describing the change we want to see in the community for improving health, and creating strategies and measures to move the needle on the priority health issues.


The 2021-2025 Marion-Polk CHIP has three priority areas, nine aims, eleven population health measures, and fifty-nine strategies. The priority areas are Substance Use, Behavioral Health Supports, and Housing. The new CHIP is currently in its final approval stages with the core CHIP partners. Those partners include: Marion County Health and Human Services, Polk County Public Health, PacificSource Marion-Polk CCO, Willamette Health Council, Salem Health, Legacy Silverton Medical Center, Santiam Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente. The PacificSource Marion-Polk CCO and Willamette Health Council Community Advisory Council formally adopted the new CHIP on May 27, 2021.


On June 30, 2021 the CHIP will be posted online at:

In the meantime, check out the latest update to our Marion-Polk Community Health Assessment (CHA). The CHA and CHIP work hand-in-hand to support data-driven decision making in our health improvement planning. Find the Marion-Polk CHA 2021 Update online at:


Stay tuned for further announcements on CHIP implementation and our progress in improving the community’s health.

Community Health Assessment Cover Photo

Educators: Marion County PAXIS Social Emotional Learning Update

Community partners are thrilled to bring tools to strengthen educators and students as they adapt to these changing times.

PAX Good Behavior Game


The Marion County Health Promotion and Prevention team received a grant to provide training for the Good Behavior Game for both Marion and Polk County school staff.   The Good Behavior Game is an evidence- based, classroom intervention to help students learn and build upon their ability to have focused attention and self-regulation in the classroom. Learning these skills ultimately helps a student with their classroom performance, mental health outcome, and prevention of substance use. It has also shown to lower the stress of teachers as well as many other benefits.


So far in 2021 there have been 4 trainings with 91 school staff attending from 5 different school districts.   We are also excited to incorporate the Pax Partner training which will provide more long-term support to the schools. In the coming year we look forward to continue to offer more Good Behavior Game trainings.


If you would like bring the Good Behavior Game to your school, please email us at:


Learn more at


PAX Good Behavior Game Training

This PAX Good Behavior Game photo was taken at a training before the pandemic. Current trainings are online.

Health Joke of the Season

It is important for us to de-stress and take a deep breath, relax, and laugh. We hope this helps brighten up your day! 


Health Joke Summer 2021

Tobacco Information & News

The Oregon Senate on Wednesday, May 26th passed a bill that bans the online sales of vaping products and e-cigarettes, sending it to Gov. Kate Brown for a signature. House Bill 2261 is intended to stop Oregon youth from illicitly purchasing and using inhalant delivery systems, also called vaping products and electronic cigarettes.

The Senate passed the bill with a 24-5 vote. It passed the House with a 44-4 vote.

Vaping Online Sales Ban Image

Lawmakers and supporters have viewed online sales as a loophole because youth with an adult’s credit card information can make a purchase without showing proof of their age, unlike a brick-and-mortar store where they must show their photo identification to the clerk during a purchase. Oregonians must be at least 21 to purchase vaping products.

“The use of vaping products by our youth is shocking,” said Sen. Kathleen Taylor, D-Portland, a sponsor of the bill, in a statement. “No matter how diligent our retailers are, there is still significant access to these products online.”

For full press release see Oregon Senate Passes Bill To Ban Online Vaping Sales | The Lund Report



Tobacco Control and Health Equity in the News

The FDA action to ban Menthol Cigarettes will advance racial and health equity; protect youth, and save lives!

Efforts to ban menthol cigarettes, ban flavored cigars build on previous flavor ban and mark significant steps to reduce addiction and youth experimentation, improve quitting, and address health disparities.

Menthol Cigarette Image

On April 29th, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is committing to advancing two tobacco product standards to significantly reduce disease and death from using combusted tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. The FDA is working toward issuing proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars; the authority to adopt product standards is one of the most powerful tobacco regulatory tools Congress gave the agency. For full press release go to: FDA Commits to Evidence-Based Actions Aimed at Saving Lives and Preventing Future Generations of Smokers

NAACP Statement on FDA Plan to Ban Sale of Menthol and E-Cigarettes



Tobacco Quit Line Information

Oregon Quit Line : The Oregon Quit Line is a free, telephone and web-based program that helps youth and adults quit vaping ​cannabis and nicotine. It offers free confidential, evidence-based counseling and materials. Callers 18+ can receive Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the form of patches or gum.

Quitting Smoking Image

The Quit Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

English: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or Spanish: 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-35692)

TTY: 1-877-777-6534

Helping People Quit Tobacco - Smokefree Oregon


Youth Vaping Quit Line: This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free, confidential, 24-7 texting program for young people who vape. Text DITCHJUUL to 88709 or

Quit Tobacco Information

Bills in the Legislature - Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana

The 2021 Oregon Legislative Session is currently underway and there are a number of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco related bills under consideration.  To learn more about engagement with the legislative process and link to the Oregon Legislative Information System, visit the Oregon State Legislature Citizen Engagement Page.

Oregon State Capitol Building

Here are some of the bills under consideration at the time of this writing.  Click on the bill number to learn more about the bill, where it is in the process and any testimony that has been submitted. 


  • HB 3377A Creates taskforce to study alcohol pricing and taxes.
  • HB 2758A Requires OLCC to have 2 Commissioners with a public health background.
  • HB 2742 Allows off-premise sales licenses to sell factory-sealed containers of beer that hold more than 7 gallons.
  • SB317A Allows retail sales of mixed drinks and single servings of wine in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
  • HB 3245A Requires OLCC to develop uniform standards for minor decoy operations for delivery of alcoholic beverages.


  • SB 587 Requires Department of Revenue to issue license tobacco and inhalant delivery systems that do not hold license or other authorization by city or local public health authority (tobacco retail licensing). 
  • HB 2148 Prohibits remote sales of inhalant delivery systems.


  • HB 3000 Changes definitions of items related to marijuana and industrial hemp.
  • HB 2014 Changes marijuana taxes allocation to certain cities determined by population and location of city and based on retail sales of marijuana items in state, as exception to standard distributions.
  • HB 2015 Increases local maximum percentage of tax that city or county may impose of sale of marijuana items.
  • SB 864 Increases local maximum percentage of tax that city or county may impose on sale of marijuana items (same as HB 2015).
  • HB 3112 Creates Equity Investment and Accountability Board and Equity Investment and Accountability Office to provide equity of oversight of cannabis industry in the state.

Substance Use Prevention and Treatment:

  • HB 2313 Requires Oregon Health Authority to take statewide inventory of services available to prevent and treat substance use disorders and to support individuals in recovery from substance use disorders.

Educators & Parents: Having the Conversation about Legalized Marijuana

With recreational marijuana now legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia, more parents and educators are concerned about youth marijuana use. Chances are you’ve faced many of these questions:

End Addiction Image
  • "How do I respond if my child says, ‘what's the big deal - it's legal, so it must be safe’?"
  • "How will I know if my teen is consuming edibles or using a vape when there isn't the usual smell?"
  • "How concerned should I be if they are only smoking pot once in a while?"

Know the facts! Click here to learn more about the risk of marijuana use for youth.


Having the conversation with youth about marijuana use before they consider doing it is the best way to prevent youth use. The “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign aims to reduce underage substance use among youths under the age of 21 by providing parents and caregivers with information and resources they need to address prevention and use.

Learn about resources to prevent underaged marijuana use, including an application to help start the conversation, tips to talk to teens, videos going over scenarios, and more.

Talk. They Hear You.

Zero Suicide Gatekeeper Trainings

Everyone Has a Role - The Importance of Community Gatekeeper Training

Many people may believe that suicide prevention and intervention should be left to professionals, like therapists and social workers. However, training bystanders in best-practice suicide prevention is critical to saving lives from death by suicide. Just as CPR and first aid are taught to thousands of people outside of the medical field to assist in a medical emergency, 

Zero Suicide

suicide prevention should also be taught to those outside of the mental health field to assist in a suicidal crisis.


Currently, over two million people worldwide have been trained in Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR), an evidence-based, practical suicide prevention training. People who are trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis, offer hope, and assist in getting help– they become “gatekeepers” of hope and support for people in crisis. This brief, yet effective intervention leads to safer individuals and communities and more help-seeking behaviors.


The QPR Institute consistently maintains that 1 in 4 people should be trained in a basic suicide gatekeeper role in order to recognize an acute suicide event and provide life-saving support to those in need. As part of the Zero Suicide Initiative, Marion County Health and Human Services requires every employee – including non-clinical staff – to be trained in QPR and CALM (Counseling Against Lethal Means), as this important work extends beyond the four walls of MCHHS buildings and into families and communities. Eventually, we hope that Marion County can achieve the status of having 1 in 4 residents trained in QPR.


If you are interested in becoming trained as a QPR Gatekeeper, MCHHS staff and community partners will be offering several virtual QPR classes in the coming months. You can get more details and sign up at the following link:   


Suicide Hotline Information

New! Mental Health Bites

We hope you had an opportunity to practice self-care as part of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but don’t stop there! 


Especially now that summer is here, it is important to maintain what you’ve done for your mental well-being. The end of school is cause for celebration, but for some students it might mean less structure, routines, activities and available support systems from schools. For adults, summer too can cause disruption in established schedules and feel unfocused.

Mental Health Image


Tips for practicing mental health during summer:

  • Spend time outdoors: Take advantage of the dry, warm, sunny and long days doing your favorite outdoor activity, e.g. picnics, fishing, hiking, gardening, sunbathing (with sun protection, of course).
  • Stay hydrated: Hydration is not only important for physical health, but also your mental health too. Dehydration can affect your mood, energy and mental focus.
  • Keep socially connected: As you and/or your coworkers, friends, and family go on vacations remember to do your best to stay connected with each other. It could be a short text to share stories, humor, latest Netflix series, etc.


Make it a habit every day of every month to keep your mental health in tip-top shape.

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September 2021 Newsletter Preview

Marion County Health Promotion & Prevention will be highlighting various programs to keep you connected to the most important Health Promotion Topics in Fall 2021. If there is a subject you would like covered, please let us know through the email below.