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Family and Community Health

February 22nd, 2011

When Woodvillage resident, Maria, experienced a heart attack she knew it was time to improve her health.  That is when she attended a nutrition education program provided by Oregon State University Extension Service.  Maria discovered valuable knowledge and skills that revealed how she could eat better and improve her health.  These experiences inspired Maria to work with OSU Extension to help others in her community learn how to eat healthy.

 Maria teamed up with OSU Extension staff, Robin Schuett-Hames, to bring a long-term series of nutrition education classes to her neighborhood.  Maria graciously opened up her home to participants while Robin taught the classes.  Maria and her neighbors received nutrition and food safety classes over the course of two months.  During the summer children within the community participated in fun, hands-on classes that reinforced the importance of good nutrition.  Maria’s experience captivated and helped motivate her neighbors and their families to make healthy dietary changes. Today Maria and her whole family are eating a healthy diet, they have all lost weight and Maria has reduced her cholesterol.

Jose’s diabetes was out of control and had begun to affect his vision.  The Metro Hispanic Nutrition Office teams up with the “La Clinica de Buena Salud”, a Multnomah County Clinic located in NE Portland to provide basic nutrition education classes to diabetes patients.  Clinica Community Health Specialist (CHS) Ruby Ibarra referred Jose into OSU Extension classes taught by Lucy Lores Lezcano.  Jose changed his work schedule in a local fast food restaurant to be able to make the classes a priority.  Through the course of the two-month series Jose lost weight, is exercising on a regular basis, instead of eating fast food has learned how to prepare healthy meals using Extension recipes, and is now controlling his diabetes.

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