This week, we highlight the health-policy efforts of Oregon State Senator and WIG State Director Jackie Winters. Senator Winters has been an active force in WIG for several years. In addition to serving as a State Director, she is on the Economic Stability and Opportunities Advisory Council and is a champion for health issues such as childhood obesity.
In April 2010, a group gathered at the Oregon State Capitol to celebrate the beginning of their work to reduce the prevalence of diabetes in Salem and Marion Counties. Senator Winters was joined by Senate President Peter Courtney and a group of concerned colleagues dedicated to lowering one of the highest rates of diabetes in Oregon. This led to the creation of the I LOVE ME-Marion County, created to address these local health concerns. Now five years later, the program has garnered over 45,000 participants.
The I Love ME program is based on the 5-2-1-0 model, adapted to meet local Marion County needs. The four numbers (5-2-1-0) correspond to four behaviors that lower the risk for chronic diseases: increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased physical activity, reduced recreational screen-time, and limited consumption of sugar sweetened beverages. These numbers serve as a simplistic way to incorporate healthier behaviors. They also represent a daily “challenge.” For example, adherents should attempt to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, limit screen time to two hours or less day, attempt to complete at least one hour of exercise a day, and drink zero sugar sweetened beverages a day.
Observing this 5-2-1-0 model is part of the Get Healthy stage of implementation of the I Love ME program. The model is fashioned into a 30-day challenge and is available for free on the website: www.5210challenge.org. The website also includes helpful resources and materials.
Stay Healthy is the next stage in the I LOVE ME program. This phase involves implementation of new activities funded through Salem Health and promoted by additional community volunteers. Agencies including Boys and Girls Club, Salem YMCA, Salem Keizer Schools, local health clinics and hospitals have dedicated themselves to providing activities to promote health in Marion County. These efforts will continue on a community basis to promote increased health and health maintenance with the overall goal of reducing diabetes. Senator Winters and colleagues have handed off I LOVE ME program to be run under the leadership of community colleagues, where it will continue to address the county needs.
Senator Jackie Winters represents the Salem District 10 and was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives severing District 31 in 1998. Winters was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2002 and was re-elected to this office in 2000, 2002, 2006, and again in 2010. She has lived in Salem for 40 years.
Senator Winters began work as supervisor of the Office of Economic Opportunity’s New Resources Program in 1969. She was appointed to Ombudsman in 1979 by Governor Victor Atiyeh. In this role, she helped to create the Oregon Food Share Program which grew in 2010 to include a statewide system of food back serving Oregon’s neediest families.
Senator Winters has been an active force in Women In Government for many years. She serves as both a State Director and Economic Stability and Opportunity (ESO) Advisory Council member. In addition, WIG was honored to have Senator Winters present on her work as an ESO Advisory Council member and the Marion-Polk Foodshare program at the 2014 Western Conference in San Diego, CA. Senator Winters continues her work as an ESO Advisory Council member for the 2015 year.