Healthy Generations Beginnings
In 2011 IHI and our residents made a commitment to health. IHI worked closely with resident parents and youth to launch Healthy Generations, a program designed to help families develop and sustain healthier lifestyles. This includes reducing physical, social and psychological barriers to increased excercise, improved nutrition, and improved air quality for the whole family.

IHI heard from residents that they wanted to improve their personal health and prioritize the health of their families and housing communities. A significant number of IHI residents suffer from obesity, chronic illnesses and preventable diseases. Many were noticing new health problems or dealing with worsening conditions, and parents were concerned about the development of poor health habits in their children. Unfortunately, healthy lifestyle changes often take a backseat for families struggling to afford food and housing. In community surveys at our family properties, residents list cost, disabilities, depression, and lack of energy, transportation and information as primary barriers to eating better, getting more exercise and reducing indoor air pollutants.

Working with our residents, IHI identified several ways that we can support individual and community-wide changes at our housing sites. Families are excited about community meals and recipe exchanges, walking groups and increased access to local community centers, teen tobacco prevention, and chemical-free cleaning products. They want to learn more about ways that food and exercise can fight depression and improve overall mental health. IHI is incorporating nutrition education and physical activity into all of our youth programming. We know that healthier lifestyles not only improve quality of life, but also lead to improved economic and social opportunities and we are committed to working with families to help parents and their children make these important changes together.

In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, IHI coordinates with partner organizations to bring medical services to our residents. For example, Wallace Medical Concern brought its mobile medical van to our largest family property to conduct screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which disproportionately affect low-income people. IHI is working with the North by Northeast Community Health Center to bring medical services, including free flu shots and blood pressure screenings to residents of The Magnolia. In 2013, IHI expanded its capacity to help residents access direct medical care when we hired Brittini Allen as our Benefits Specialist. She came to IHI with experience working with Healthy Kids and other health initiatives and is coordinating IHI's efforts to ensure that all of our residents understand their options and enroll for medical coverage under Cover Oregon. Read more about IHI's Benefits Assistance Program.