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Lifestyle column: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Lifestyle columnist Cathy Hastie in a 2013 photo.

Editor’s note: Lifestyle columnist Cathy Hastie was a remarkably healthy cancer patient. Then she stopped bike commuting. Here, she describes what happened next.

Six months ago, I was healthy.

At 5’11″ and 160 lbs, my body was capable of just about anything I asked it to do, from hoisting boxes to dancing the two-step to running a few miles through the neighborhood. I wasn’t overly demanding, forcing myself to reach for some calculated heart rate or working towards 9 percent body fat. I simply had a body that worked, and worked well. Even though I had cancer.


Cycling helps earn Portland ‘Fittest City in America’ title

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Men’s Fitness magazine has named Portland the “Fittest City in America.” While that’s certainly something to be proud of, what makes this national recognition even more notable is that cycling got top billing in the magazine’s report.

The online version of the story opens with the author sharing his first-hand experience competing in a cyclocross race at Portland International Raceway last fall. The lead photo on the story shows a row of people riding bikes across the Broadway Bridge. There’s also an image in the story of the mural in downtown Portland that reads, “Welcome to America’s Bicycle Capitol.”

How’d Portland beat out cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City for top honors (and for the second year in a row no less)? Here’s an excerpt from the story: (more…)

Summit panel urges stronger connection between mobility, race, health

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
The panelists: L to R: Dr. Philip Wu,
Olivia Quiroz, Mychal Tetteh, Noelle Dobson.
(Photos: BikePortland/Patrick Croasdaile)

In recent years, the fields of public health, equity and transportation policy have become increasingly linked. At a breakout session at the Active Transportation Summit yesterday, advocates and experts came together to learn more about why these issues are linked and discuss how to make that link stronger.

According to Dr. Phil Wu, a pediatric obesity specialist at Kaiser Permanente, “There’s no way to deal with obesity unless we start dealing with issues of transportation.” (more…)

CDC says U.S. transportation system needs health check-up

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a series of recommendations on how to improve health through transportation policy. The report is a resounding endorsement of the current stance of the U.S. Department of Transportation and of local and national advocacy groups and government agencies that are calling for an increased focus on active transportation. (more…)

Bike riding doctor Mel Kohn to lead Oregon Health Authority

Friday, March 19th, 2010
U.S. Surgeon General rides in Portland-19.jpg
Dr. Kohn, speaking in support of Safe Routes
to School during a visit by the U.S.
Surgeon General in April 2008.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Dr. Mel Kohn has been named the new head of the Oregon Public Health Division, which is set to become part of the new Oregon Health Authority. Kohn had been serving as the acting public health director and state health officer since September 2008.

Kohn also happens to be a regular bike rider who has shown engagement and interest in encouraging the use of bicycles — especially through the Safe Routes to School program — for years. (more…)

Events explore link between transportation, health, and equity

Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Mel Rader of Upstream Public
Health speaks at PSU today.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A quick note about a few events on the horizon that explore how transportation policy impacts the environment, public health and social equity.

Today at noon (sorry for late notice), Mel Rader of Portland-based health advocacy organization Upstream Public Health will speak at Portland State University as part of their ongoing Transportation Seminar Series. Rader’s talk will examine the health benefits that come with reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our transportation system. Rader spearheaded a Health Impact Assessment on a climate change policy that studied how a reduction in driving led to significant changes in air pollution, physical activity and collision rates.

New study: Less driving would make Oregon healthier

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Download the study here.

Portland-based Upstream Public Health has just released an important new statewide study that draws a clear connection between transportation policy decisions and people’s health.

The study — Oregon’s first-ever statewide Health Impact Assessment (HIA) — was commissioned by Upstream and funded by the Northwest Health Foundation. Upstream collaborated with Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and an advisory committee made up of a diverse range of experts from the planning, health, transportation engineering, and advocacy fields. (more…)

Off to Corvallis to talk about public health

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

This morning I’m off to the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis to attend the Oregon Public Health Association’s annual conference.

I’ve been invited by the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) to join a panel discussion titled, New Partners in the Movement to Re-frame “Public Health”. The NWHF is behind the Community Health Priorities project, which is an exciting effort working to “Stimulate public conversation about health in our communities” (among other things). (more…)

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