The ultimate beneficiaries of the collaboration fostered by the monthly Douglas County gatherings are the children served by participating organizations. Photo: Roseburg Tracker
Volume | Issue | 2022
Cover Story

It started with breakfast

Life can be challenging for children who live with chronic health conditions. When they also experience adverse family or community circumstances — poverty, foster care, substance abuse or the death of a parent — their chances of thriving decline dramatically. Child advocates and researchers have given this combination of medical and social challenges a name: health complexity.

In Douglas County, 4,262 children and youth — 28% of the under-21 population — experience health complexity, according to data analysis by Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership.

Yet many organizations serving medical, mental and behavioral health needs in rural areas of Oregon like Douglas County do not have the resources they need to adequately provide care for these children. The lack of affordable, accessible options for care means children and youth are in precarious circumstances.

Lea en español »

Read More

More in this Issue:

Community Vitality is a storytelling publication published since 2000. Send article ideas, questions or requests for past issues to

© 2000-2021 The Ford Family Foundation. Anne Kubisch, President; Mandy Elder, Editor; Megan Monson, Assistant Editor

The health of a community

Analicia Nicholson just started the biggest job she’s ever had: She’s the new superintendent of the Douglas Educational Service District. On a recent Zoom call, she shared her hopes, fears, and all...  Read More

Recovery from wildfires remains a community task

Almost two years ago, the Almeda Fire engulfed over 2,500 homes in a community already struggling with a dire shortage of affordable housing units. The housing issue was worrisome, but it was only...  Read More

Weaving Community

For Eugene artist Jovencio de la Paz, weaving is more than a medium. It’s an ancient craft with an important place in civilization’s history. It’s a place to share experiences, to have important...  Read More

Planting seeds for a community building movement

 “The Ford Institute Leadership Program’s vision of community vitality and building capacity has been realized in amazing ways in many communities,” explains Mary Ward from her Southern Oregon home...  Read More

Equitable pathways to federal funding for rural Oregon

New funding opportunities from the federal government are adding urgency to an old concern — that rural Oregon continues to leave dollars on the table through unclaimed federal grant program funding...  Read More

Digital Distribution for Community Vitality

We offer both digital and printed editions of this publication. Printed copies are available by individual request only. Please note that we only mail Community Vitality to residents in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Residents outside of this geography are welcome to download any issues from this website or subscribe to the online version.

If you’re a graduate of the Ford Institute Leadership Program or a recipient of a Ford Family scholarship, you will automatically receive an online subscription. All others? Don’t miss our next issue.

Be sure to sign up at:

Don't worry. We never share our mailing list, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Community Vitality is produced by Three60 Communications.

©2010 - 2023 The Ford Family Foundation. All rights reserved. Please direct permission to reprint inquiries here.