About Us

  • School bus
  • People outside at a farms market
  • An employee
  • Gardening
  • A grandmother playing with her two grandkids

Place Matters Oregon is an effort of the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division. The goals are to foster conversations about how place affects our health and to inspire collective action that will make a healthy life available to all Oregonians.

The places where we live, work, learn, play and age matter to our physical, mental and emotional health. Much can be done in Oregon communities to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live a long, healthy life. Places that support people in making healthy choices help prevent the chronic diseases that diminish individual lives and the vitality of our state.

The mission of the Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority is to promote health and prevent the leading causes of death, disease and injury in our state. We do this by creating environments, policies and systems that support healthy communities and wellness for everyone, including access to healthy food, physical activity, immunizations, safe water and clean air.

For more information, please visit the Public Health Division website.

Watch the video

  • Open Video Modal

    How does place matter to health?

    Few of us would say our lives have been easy or obstacle-free. But some of us face more barriers to a healthy life than others. These barriers are rooted in the places where we live, work, learn, play and age. Our places create opportunities and obstacles that make it easier for some of us to manage our health and much harder for others to do the same.

    How does place matter to health?

    Speaker 1:
    Here in Oregon, we share a state of magnificent physical places. Together, we own the beaches and rivers and mountain streams. Shouldn’t good health be the same? Why would we allow it to have an exclusive address?

    Oregon isn’t the same place for all of us. The families and distinct cultures that shape us, the schools we attend, the neighborhoods we grow up in, these matter too. Sometimes they give us health and hope, and sometimes they act as barriers, holding us back. Until each of us has the opportunity to be healthy, all of us will pay a price.

    This generation of Oregon children may be the first in our state’s history to live shorter lives than their parents. Unless we change that. Unless we begin to ask, how did we get here and how will we get to a better place? Because in Oregon, place matters, and when we make better places, we build better lives.

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Notes on word choice throughout this website

  • “Tobacco”— Always refers to commercial tobacco, unless otherwise noted.
  • “Obesity” — Refers to the medical condition or disease that causes or complicates multiple chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  • “Latino/Latina” — The conversation about proper terminology for describing the Latino community is a fluid one. For this website,
    OHA took guidance from Regional Health Equity Coalitions (RHECs) including Oregon Health Equity Alliance (OHEA) and Mid-
    Columbia Health Equity Advocates (MCHEA). OHA will continue to monitor this conversation as it evolves and adjust our word
    choices as necessary.