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Independence to join HEAL Cities campaign

City ready to start wellness program

December 18, 2013

INDEPENDENCE — The city of Independence is working to be a more healthy place to live and work, said Gloria Butsch, Independence accounting manager, at the Dec. 10 Independence City Council meeting.

"We are getting ready as a staff to launch a wellness program for our employees," she said. "As a link to that, we are also working on partnering with Oregon Public Health Institute and HEAL Cities campaign."

HEAL stands for Healthy Eating Active Living.

The program would need the council's involvement, Butsch said.

"Our plan is to link internal employee wellness program with HEAL cities, the school district and master gardeners," she said. "We'd like to have a vegetable garden type deal … where city employees that are interested in doing that can partner with students to grow food."

Some small incentive grants exist to help pay for these kinds of things, Butsch said, in addition to resources from Oregon Public Health and Kaiser Permanente.

"We hope to have your approval to work toward a HEAL Cities campaign," she said. "It involves our communities, gets our cities involved in wellness, and uses our wonderful resources out there (such as) the walking tour and parks."

The council did not make a decision. Butsch said she expects to have a resolution for them to decide on in January.

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