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Outback Strong supports projects that improve Lake County residents' health and well-being.

Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program returned to Lake County in June 2017.

This is the first time the program has been offered in Lakeview for at least three years. The last organization to host the program was the YMCA, which operated a preschool in Lakeview. When the YMCA closed the preschool and left Lakeview, no other entity was able to sponsor the program until Lake Health District was approached about operating it this year.

How it works

Lake Health District’s assistant dietary manager Jessica Calvin is preparing the lunches, and CHIP coordinator Arvinder Singh is overseeing the program. Lunches are served from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at two sites: McDonald City Park (the kiddie park) in Lakeview and Goose Lake State Recreation Area in New Pine Creek. The program served lunches at Union School throughout June and July. The Union lunches were increasingly sparsely attended, which led Singh to close the site in August. Lake Health District also served lunches during two church vacation Bible schools.

In addition to serving meals, Lake Health District has provided daily educational activities, arts and crafts, games, and more. The programming is led by Prevention coordinator Francie Winters. FoodCorps service member Rachelle Hanson helped coordinate the activities through the end of her service term July 31.

This supplementary programming was made possible by two grants the health district secured. The Oregon Department of Education Start-up and Expansion Grant and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon’s Summer Meals Support Fund provided dollars for supplies to support the lunches and the activities.

Community volunteers

The program would not be possible without widespread community support. Former Klamath Family Head Start-Lakeview director Vicky Taylor recruited volunteers to serve lunches. Community members stepped up and filled nine weeks’ worth of volunteer slots:

  • Week of June 26: Lake Health District
  • Week of July 3: Lakeview Assembly of God and First Baptist Church youth group
  • Week of July 10: Lakeview Lions Club
  • Week of July 17: Lake County Chamber of Commerce
  • Week of July 24: Les Schwab
  • Week of July 31: Lakeview Elks Club
  • Week of August 7: Umpqua Bank
  • Week of August 14: Lake County Public Health
  • Week of August 21: Lake County Library

Are you hungry?

Lunch is free for anyone through age 18. Meals are served from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at the kiddie park and in New Pine Creek.

If you’re traveling out of the area, summer lunch programs are available around the state. Find out more by calling 211, texting “food” to 877-877, or visiting http://www.summerfoodoregon.org/.

Learn more about the Outback Strong Summer Lunch Program by contacting Singh at (541) 947-2114 ext. 198 or asingh@lakehealthdistrict.org.

Colorectal cancer screening

In January 2017, Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization awarded the Lake County Community Advisory Council a $24,990 grant to participate in a project aimed at improving colorectal cancer screening rates among Oregon Health Plan members.

What is the grant for?

Lake Health Clinic and Warner Mountain Medical Clinic are working with Oregon Rural Practice-Based Research Network (ORPRN) to improve colorectal cancer screening rates in Lake County. A third-party vendor will mail Hemosure iFOBT kits to patients who are due for colorectal cancer screenings. The kits can be less intimidating for patients than a colonoscopy and are used at home. The tests detect occult — hidden — blood in the stool, which can be a symptom of colon cancer. Patients use a brush provided in the kit at different sites in the stool, then return the test to their clinic. The clinics will test the kits and call patients with the results.

Those results determine what happens next. A provider may want to follow up with the patient. The patient may require a colonoscopy or additional tests. If, however, the results are clear, the patient does not have to repeat the test until the following year.

Why is this important?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It affects men and women nearly equally, and the risk increases with age. People age 50 and older should be checked.

Screenings are especially important because colorectal cancer is highly preventable. The cancer develops from polyps in the digestive tract that initially are benign but can become cancerous over time. Screenings detect these polyps so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Screenings can also find the cancer itself at an early stage, when it is most treatable, according to the CDC.

What will it cost me?

This program is specifically for Oregon Health Plan members. This Medicaid program covers nearly all costs for members, including follow-up visits and subsequent procedures.

How can I learn more?

Lake Health Clinic patients may call Susan Campbell at (541) 947-2114 ext. 397. Warner Mountain Medical Clinic patients may call Kim Hendrix at (541) 947-2331.