Self-healing communities | A transformational process model for improving intergenerational health

A Transformational Process Model for Improving Intergenerational Health

In the 1980s, when the timber and fishing industries declined, and in 2003, when the aluminum reduction manufacturing plant went bankrupt, Cowlitz County residents lost more than jobs—they lost their ways of life. Compounding problems, the region was also devastated by the volcanic
eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 and the second largest urban landslide in U.S. history in 1998. Through the 1980s and 1990s the county experienced chronic underemployment (over 15 percent), and many health and social problems—infant mortality, births to mothers ages 10 to 17, violence against self and others, chronic disease, youth hospitalizations for suicide attempts, and dropping out of school, for example—were occurring at rates in the worst quartile of county rates throughout the state. In less than two decades, though, this community has achieved stunning child safety and school completion results for a small investment.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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