The goals and objectives of this practice were as follows:
Goal 1: Develop capacity for community mobilization and advocacy surrounding tobacco prevention policies in Crook County.
- Engage 15-25 youth throughout the Central Oregon region to participate in training, team building, and providing public presentations to elected officials
- Engage 3-12 Adult Champions to train and present with youth to public officials
- Conduct a two-day media advocacy training as a retreat for youth
- Youth will map out legislative strategies for use in Central Oregon
- Youth leaders will assist in recruiting and training 12 youth coalition members for the next biennium
Goal 2: Increase awareness among youth about tobacco industry tactics to target youth, effects of tobacco use, and resources available to prevent initiation and support cessation.
Goal 3: Adult Champions and Youth Leaders develop and deliver messages to community members and decision makers in order to limit the influence of tobacco in the retail environment.
- Identify and deliver messaging that will appeal to adults and to youth in the region in order to address predatory tobacco industry practices in the retail environment
- Enact Tobacco Retail Licensure ordinances in all Central Oregon jurisdictions
In order to achieve these goals, Crook County Health Department partnered with LHAs in two neighboring counties and a tribal government to apply for and secure funding from state public health and our regional Coordinated Care Organization. Each partner contributed to the outlining of work in proposals, and collectively committed to the practice of authentically and meaningfully engaging youth in all aspects of the work. Securing buy-in from all levels of each LHA was critical to the success of this project.
Recruitment and outreach: LHA staff leveraged relationships with school groups (Students Against Destructive Decisions, leadership, health classes, et cetera) and local substance abuse prevention coalitions to garner feedback on the project, educate about the issue being addressed, and to recruit advocates.
Advocacy trainings and ongoing capacity-building: LHAs developed a robust advocacy training schedule that included customized skill-building for coalition members, engagement in state and national conferences (Oregon Health Authority's Place Matters, Oregon Public Health Association's Annual Conference, Communities Against Drugs Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Forum, and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) National Conference). Each of these opportunities had emphasis on local policy and system changes that can support the health of communities. In between training events, local workshops were held to practice skills, including message drafting, public speaking, and media communications.
Youth Summit: The First Annual Youth Summit was collaboratively planned and coordinated by the three LHAs in Central Oregon. We subcontracted with the Youth Leadership Institute to provide staff training on effective youth-adult partnerships prior to the Summit, facilitate sessions for youth during the Summit, and evaluation of Summit objectives, which aligned with and supported the objectives for the project. More information on results of the Summit are described in the Evaluation section of this application. 24 middle and high school students attended the two-day Summit and received training on effective youth-adult partnerships; how to advocate with peers, community members, and elected officials; and interpretation and use of media.
Public Health Advocacy Day: Youth who attended the Summit from the four county and tribal jurisdictions in Central Oregon had the option to continue building their skills and travel with the group to the State Capitol for Public Health Advocacy Day. Youth met with their representatives to share their concerns about health issues they are facing, including mental health and e-cigarette use.
Photovoice: Groups of students across the region participated in Photovoice workshops where they learned the process and went out in their communities to take pictures that could tell their stories of how tobacco affects their lives. They then developed messages to accompany their photos and chose a series of 24 displays to be included in exhibits across the region. Three community events were planned, promoted and held throughout Central Oregon. Community members, media, and decision-makers attended the exhibits.
Presentations to local elected officials: Youth advocates presented to city and county elected officials in two of the three county jurisdictions to educate about the issue of e-cigarettes among youth and advocate for local Tobacco Retail Licensing and expansion of the Indoor Clean Air Act.
Policy drafting and proposal: Based on responses to the presentations with elected officials, LHA staff worked with state public health, the Public Health Law Center, local legal counsel, and community stakeholders to draft a Tobacco Retail Licensing ordinance that has been proposed to county and city officials and is currently under consideration. The policy has been requested by and shared with neighboring Jefferson County.
Sustainability efforts: Building capacity among our stakeholders is a major aspect of sustainability for this project, and is ongoing. Funding sustainability is also pursued on an ongoing basis by applying for grants, fundraising, and requesting sponsorships and in-kind donations or services. Since the conclusion of this project, we have continued the work for another six months and have secured additional funding to support the 2nd Annual Youth Summit for Health.
The specific steps taken to implement the program were:
- LHA staff and coalition members conducted Key Informant Interviews to inform policy strategies
- Coordinated with LHA partners to develop program plans
- Secured funding
- Hired Regional Project Coordinator
- Hired Youth Liaisons
- Recruited and engaged adult and youth community leaders in advocacy trainings
- LHA staff trained in effective Youth-Adult Partnerships and Positive Youth Development
- Worked with youth, the Youth Leadership Institute, and LHA partners to plan and coordinate the first annual Youth Summit for Health
- Development of legislative strategies for Central Oregon region
- Facilitation of Photovoice
- Organization of community education events (Photovoice Exhibits)
- Presentations to local elected officials
- Drafting and proposal of policy options for Tobacco Retail Licensing and strengthening the Indoor Clean Air Act
Most of this practice was open and available to all community members. Some of the roles within the practice had criteria for participation. Youth Liaisons and interns must: be current high school students, submit application and references via county job portal, and interview with a panel. Youth Summit participants must: be current middle or high school students in the Central Oregon region, express interest in learning about health issues and advocating for policy and/or systems change. Priority given to youth previously engaged in coalition and/or advocacy efforts in their community. Presenters to elected officials must complete advocacy training. Priority given to Youth Summit participants, engagement in message development and message delivery coaching and supports.
The timeframe for our practice was September 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
- September – planning and funding proposals
- October – hiring and training, volunteer recruitment
- November & December – advocacy training, Youth Summit planning
- January – Youth Summit and policy message development
- February – state legislative outreach & education
- March & April – Photovoice & community education
- May & June – community outreach, local elected officials presentations, policy drafting
Our key stakeholders involved with this project include LHAs in the region (three counties and one tribal), schools (specifically health teachers, counselors, careers teachers, and administrators), youth, and the business community (Chamber of Commerce). Several of these stakeholders are engaged through local substance abuse prevention coalitions with 12 sector representation (business, media, youth, parents, school, youth-serving organization, faith, law enforcement, government, substance abuse organization, civic organization, and healthcare professional). Funders are also key stakeholders engaged in this project, and include Oregon Health Authority, our local hospital – St. Charles Health System, the Coordinated Care Organization for our region – PacificSource & Central Oregon Health Council, and a variety of business and community members who provide fundraising and sponsorship opportunities.
Stakeholders were involved from the inception of this project, in every step until completion, and into ongoing efforts. Youth, LHAs and coalition members conducted key informant interviews, focus groups, and other data collection to inform project development and funding requests. Funders have not only supported the project financially, but also provided technical assistance, evaluation support, and networking connections throughout the project. Schools partnered with LHAs to conduct surveys, recruit students, communicate with parents and staff, provided letters of support, and platforms for presentations and student outreach. The Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Crook County's LHA to recruit and support student interns. All stakeholders received presentations and/or reports of project results and continue to be involved in the ongoing work.
The LHA fosters community collaboration in a wide variety of ways. Essentially, try not ask our stakeholders to do anything that we would not do for them – OR – if what we are asking is outside our scope, we are sure to find other ways to reciprocate support. This means that LHA staff serve on steering committees, advisory boards, and work groups for stakeholders. We have regular attendance and engagement in Chamber of Commerce events and provide technical support for our local substance abuse prevention coalition.
Additionally, we work hard to connect the work to values held by our stakeholders. Our partnership with schools includes provision of training for teachers and staff; classroom presentations; and data collection, analysis and sharing. This is all framed within our shared value of student health and success. In order to stay connected with the values of our partners, we conduct regular surveys, listening sessions, and send out requests for review and input.
We have regular and ongoing collaboration with neighboring LHAs in order to best coordinate with state and regional stakeholders (Oregon Health Authority, hospital system, Coordinate Care Organization, Federally Qualified Health Center). These efforts also assure that we leverage each other's resources where it makes sense.
Liaison wages & fringe
Conferences & training
Room & board
Conference space, meals & lodging
Binders, pens, markers
Charter bus to state capitol
Staff supervision & program support
Furniture, hardware, software, utilities
County vehicles & mileage
Advocacy, Public Health best-practice, Coalition-building, Media communications
Weekly and quarterly conference room use
Tobacco-Free Kids National Ambassador
Training, media & legislative connections, travel