Hands Around the Park Today

The Malheur County Health Department will not have our regularly SMART Recovery meeting today, September 15th, to encourage everyone to go to Laxson Park (NW 4th St, Ontario) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. for Hands Around the Park. We will celebrate National Recovery Month at this amazing event, hosted by the Malheur County Prevention Coalition.

Malheur County Prevention Coalition welcomes everyone to join in honoring the hard work of all people in recovery, the dedication of all who support them and the care of the community. With motivational speakers, music, free food, awards, booths and activities for children, this free, family-friendly event is a celebration of prevention, treatment and recovery efforts and the people who are committed to the health of our community.

The SMART Recovery meetings will resume next Thursday, 3-4 p.m. at the health department (1108 SW 4th Street, Ontario). Led by our peer team of Certified Recovery Mentors, the meetings are free and open to anyone seeking science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery. People who are suffering from addiction, as well as their family and friends, or people who want to help others in their community are welcome. At meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with any addiction.

We hope to see you at Hands Around the Park today and SMART Recovery next week!

Make the Connection: Shared Experiences and Support for Veterans

If you are a Veteran, or family member of a Veteran, facing challenges in your everyday life… you are not alone. At the Malheur County Health Department, we honor Veterans and recognize the unique health needs of Veterans and their families.

There are millions of Veterans and family members who have reached out for support during tough times through Make the Connection.

Created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives. In addition to powerful stories, Make the Connection provides information about life experiences you can relate to. You also can explore information about signs, symptoms, and conditions that are related to mental health and well-being.

If you are in crisis, reach out to the Veterans Crisis Line anytime. Dial 988, then press 1. More information at veteranscrisisline.net. Veterans’ caregivers can find help through the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.

Thank you, Veterans! We support you.

Order free home tests through Friday, Sep. 2

The federal government is putting a pause on sending free COVID-19 testing kits to Americans. However, the program is still accepting orders before this Friday, September 2nd. With recent surges of both COVID-19 cases and the percentage of tests reported that are positive in Malheur County, home testing when symptomatic or exposed to a known case is an important tool to reduce the number of outbreaks.

Visit COVIDtests.gov and enter your mailing address to have free iHealth rapid-antigen COVID-19 home tests sent to you. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order THREE rounds of free at-home tests. Each shipment includes two kits of two tests each. Each household is eligible for a total of 12 tests but must order by this Friday. Need help placing an order for your at-⁠home tests? Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

Reminder: iHealth rapid-antigen home COVID-19 tests currently have a 12 month extension in their expiration dates. See the FDA iHealth extension dates, as of July 8, 2022, here.

The most important action you can take to prevent serious illness is to be vaccinated. Call your healthcare provider, pharmacy, or our office at 541-889-7279 to schedule an appointment.

COVID-19 vaccine boosters can further enhance or restore protection that might have decreased over time after your primary series vaccination. People are protected best from severe COVID-19 illness when they stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting all recommended boosters when eligible. Use the step by step guide on the CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters page to find out when you can get your booster or call our office at 541-889-7279 if you received your vaccines in Idaho or Oregon and we’re happy to look it up for you.

For a snapshot of the weekly COVID-19 monitoring, see the graphic below and stay up to date on the OHA dashboards.

Malheur County Health Equity Conference September 28 & 29

Join us to connect and collaborate to advance community health and equity during a robust day focused on solutions and strengths.

About this event:

The 2022 Malheur County Equity Conference is Thursday, September 29th, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. We will bring together the public, employees of businesses, nonprofits, and government, to learn from each other, celebrate accomplishments, and fuel change.

Conference participants are encouraged to attend an informal reception in the Japanese Garden also at the Four Rivers Cultural Center on Wednesday, September 28th, from 5-7 p.m., the evening before the conference. Meet and greet speakers and other attendees and preview booths from community partner organizations. Hors D’oeuvres will be served.

This event is sponsored by Four Rivers Healthy Community; presented by the Malheur County Equity Stewards; in partnership with over a dozen community organizations, including the Malheur County Health Department, championing health equity together.


  • Registration, meals, and materials are FREE. No cost to attendees.
  • Attendees will receive a certificate of participation if they attend the full day, September 29th.
  • Each attendee will have the opportunity to attend seven sessions in the day, to learn and connect.
  • For people who work for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government. Open to the public and all who are interested in population health and wellbeing. Residents of other communities are welcome.

More information:

All Adults Should Be Tested for Hepatitis C

Here are three things you should know about hepatitis C. 

  • One. Millions of Americans have hepatitis C and many don’t know it. 
  • Two. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer. 
  • Three. Hepatitis C can be cured. Talk to your doctor about getting tested. It could save your life.

Hepatitis C is the most commonly reported bloodborne infection in the United States. No vaccine against hepatitis C exists and no effective pre- or post- exposure prophylaxis is available, but there is treatment that can cure infection. More than half of persons who become infected with HCV will develop chronic infection. 

Visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis for more information. Call our clinic at 541-889-7279 or reach out to your primary care provider to schedule testing.

Open House Wednesday 7/27

Join us on Wednesday, July 27th, at the Malheur County Health Department from 1 to 6 p.m. for an Open House! We are eager to welcome the public to tour our clinic and offices, meet our friendly staff, and share refreshments. We are located next to the Argus Observer, across from the TVCC baseball fields, at 1108 SW 4th Street in Ontario. Share the Open House event on Facebook here.

Also, make sure to come back next Tuesday and Wednesday, August 2nd and 3rd, for the WIC Farmers’ Market! A local farm stand will have produce for sale to the public and for Farm Direct Nutrition Program recipients to spend their checks, including WIC Farm Direct and Senior Farm Direct participants. Refer anyone in Malheur County who is pregnant or caring for a child under age 5 to call us at 541-889-7279 to find out how we can serve them. Share the Farmers’ Market event on Facebook here.

See you soon!

SMART Recovery Meetings at the Health Department

The Malheur County Health Department hosts SMART Recovery Meetings from 3-4 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursdays. Previously held at the Four Rivers Cultural Center, the meetings are now available in a private classroom at the Health Department at 1108 SW 4th Street in Ontario. Find this and other upcoming opportunities on our Events Calendar.

Meetings are in English, but virtual meetings in Spanish are available and our Peer Recovery Mentors are eager to help people who speak Spanish participate in those meetings either from home or at the Health Department.

Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a community of mutual-support groups. At meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with any addiction. Participants find and develop the power within themselves to change and lead fulfilling and balanced lives guided by a science-based and sensible 4-Point Program. Learn more at smartrecovery.org.

Please Share: Upcoming Events

So much is happening this summer at MCHD!

Open House: On July 27th from 1-6 p.m., come tour the health department, meet our staff, and learn about our services! We are also launching the Health Is Wealth $100 Rewards program. We want to meet you! Help us spread the word and get involved with the great community asset we have in public health!

  • Download English and Spanish Fliers Here.
  • Share the Facebook Event Here.
  • Stay up to date with all events on our Events Calendar.

Farmers’ Market: Don’t miss the WIC Farmers’ Market August 2-3. Learn more about WIC here and call our office at 541-889-7279 to enroll, if eligible, before the event.

Reproductive health services offered at MCHD

Did you know the Health Department offers free or low-cost family planning services, and also well-woman care?

Women of all ages, regardless of their reproductive status (menopause, hysterectomy, tubal ligation, etc.), can seek care (pelvic exams and Pap smears) from one of the Health Department’s providers.

The Health Department also offers reproductive health services, which are available to women of any age. It is important to note that there is no age of consent in Oregon for birth control; teens can make an appointment without their parents’ permission, and their parents won’t know they used Health Department services unless the teen tells her parents. At their appointment, the women will talk with a provider and select the birth control method which works best for them. 

Providers also offer pregnancy testing, STI and HIV testing, health education and counseling, pre-pregnancy services and information and referral to other health and social services.

Call 541-889-7279 to schedule an appointment.

HIV testing is self-care: Today is National HIV Testing Day

Knowledge of HIV status is the first step to accessing prevention or treatment services which enable individuals to live a long and healthy life regardless of their status. HIV testing is free, easy, fast, and confidential at the Malheur County Health Department. Call 541-889-7279 to schedule an appointment.

The importance of HIV testing is included in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States 2022-2025 (PDF 1.76 MB), and one of its objectives, To Increase Knowledge of HIV Status, aligns with NHTD. Further, CDC recommends the following HIV testing:

  • Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.
  • Those with certain ongoing risk factors—such as having more than one sex partner since their last HIV test or having sex with someone whose sexual history they don’t know—should get tested annually. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
  • As part of proactive prenatal care, all pregnant women should receive certain blood tests to detect infections and other illnesses, such as HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis B.