Gorge Happiness Month Spins Into Action

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Hundreds of activities, partners and events strive to accelerate happiness and health throughout October 2018

Hood River, Ore., Sept. 28, 2018 Hood River— Gorge Happiness Month, hosted by One Community Health (OCH), is spinning into action again this October. It will be the third year in a row that the nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center has taken the charge to inspire people of the Columbia River Gorge, as well as businesses and organizations, to partake in this powerful, positive campaign for health and wellness.

Gorge Happiness Month is 31 days focused on the “Daily 3 Habits” scientifically proven to make people happier: gratitudes, acts of kindness & moments of silence. The goal is to inspire as many people as possible to make happy a habit.

“The initiative is based on studies that show happier people are healthier, experiencing benefits such as lower rates of cardiovascular disease, longer lives, faster healing after injury and stronger immunity,” says Dave Edwards, OCH’s CEO. “So it makes perfect sense that an integrated health care organization that focuses on whole-person health has taken the lead in creating a substantial program to grow happiness in our region. In addition to the health benefits, there are many other compelling reasons for partaking in this program. For example, happier people are more engaged in the social fabric of their communities, plus they’re more productive at work. So for organizations and businesses, Gorge Happiness Month is a fun way to motivate their people, inspire productivity, and help contribute to the wellness of our region, our country and even our world.”

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Over 130 different companies and organizations participated last year in seven towns through the Gorge. This year, participation is expected to equal if not surpass that. City Councils, law offices and organizations are taking a few minutes out of their meetings to have people list their gratitudes. Also, they’ve sent out the calendar of happiness practices via their newsletters and social media. This year, OCH is also giving away free wall hangings and stickers to hang in the staff room for people to track the habits through the month.

Other businesses are spreading the word with in-store signage; randomly giving away small items to customers throughout the month; or offering free classes and events during October that are open to the public.

Speaking of free events, there are over 20 different ones this year, including a Crossing the Political Divide Workshop at the Stevenson Library on Friday, October 12th from 7 – 8:30pm. During this event, conservatives and liberals are invited to explore their differences in order to gain deeper understanding. Developed with help by the Ford Family Foundation, this workshop is 100 percent non-partisan and open to all.

Happiness at Work is another theme that will be explored, starting with a panel on October 10th from 6 – 8pm at the Hood River Library. This panel will feature short presentations by Blue Zones and other experts on how to build happiness in the workplace. Several companies in the Gorge, including the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, have signed up to experiment with new tactics in September and will be reporting back during the panel.

Every morning in the third week of October, supervisors, managers and HR professionals are invited to a free workshop in Hood River, Stevenson, The Dalles or White Salmon to create their own plan to increase appreciation among their staff.

You can find the full schedule of events in many locations throughout the Gorge. Or, join in goodness—sign up for inspiring daily October emails at www.GorgeHappiness.org

About One Community Health
One Community Health (OCH) is a nonprofit, Federally Qualified Health Center with locations in The Dalles and Hood River, Ore. Formerly known as La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc., it was founded in 1986 and, today, has evolved into an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. OCH currently provides services to more than 12,000 patients. In addition, OCH excels in providing educational programs and support that reflect its integrated approach to health and wellbeing. Dedicated to advancing health and social justice for all its community members, OCH serves patients from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge Region: Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania Counties. To donate or for more information, visit the OCH website.

Media Contact:
Katie Roberts, Communications Developer
One Community Health
(303) 709-2912; kroberts@onecommunityhealth.org