Health and wellness are integral parts of life. OSU-Cascades is dedicated to creating an environment where health careers and students can thrive by building the Health and Recreation Center on campus. This center will provide teaching and clinical spaces for future undergraduate degrees in occupational and speech therapy and in audiology, as well as the current undergraduate degree in kinesiology, master’s degree in counseling and Ph.D. in physical therapy. The center will help meet challenging workforce needs in Central Oregon and statewide. Also, all OSU-Cascades students will find fitness opportunities at the Health and Recreation Center. It will offer resources that promote health and well-being for first-generation students and students with financial need who may not otherwise have access. These services are proven to support academic success and reduce barriers to degree completion.

Pursuing health equity for Oregonians is a goal that will require investments in the next generation of health care providers. According to the Oregon Health Authority, two out of three Central Oregon counties have up to 82% fewer health care providers than the statewide average in some categories. Construction of the Health and Recreation Center can help bridge this gap.