New Positions Posted!

At the December 2018 Board meeting, several new positions were approved for 2019. With two staff departing for new adventures, we are currently recruiting for a Tribal Liaison, and several Project Manager positions. We also have Project Coordinator positions available to support project implementation and communications, including one focused specifically on Oral Health.

If you are looking for a position, have a commitment to equity, and would bring diverse experience to our team, we are looking for you! You can see our current postings at this link. In addition to these positions we anticipate a few more in the first quarter of 2019, so please stay connected!

Board Seat Open for BH Provider!

The North Sound ACH is looking for a new Behavioral Health Provider sector representative to serve on the Board of Directors.  Joe Valentine, the CEO for the North Sound BHO, has held this seat since the inception of the North Sound ACH, and we are so grateful for his leadership and voice.  As we seek to fill this very important Board seat, we are looking for nominees that:

  • Add a voice from an underrepresented community (i.e., communities of color, indigenous, disabilities, LGBTQ+)
  • Are younger than age 45
  • Have a funds development and/or financial background

The Board has identified these attributes and skills as areas where the Board has gaps in our current membership.

If you are a Behavioral Health provider and are interested in applying, please use the link below to apply.  Someone from our Governance Committee will respond with a request for a formal conversation.  We will be seeking interested individuals through the middle of January. You can find the application packet at this link (or cut and paste https://bit.ly/2GBnXMQ)

Please share this message with others in the Behavioral Health provider community to help us reach someone who would be an amazing fit for the ACH Board. 

Health Care Authority Update on Healthier Washington

From Washington State Health Care Authority bulletin:

We’re just getting started

January 31, 2019 marked the end of the State Innovation Models (SIM) grant. SIM created the foundation for Healthier Washington, a multi-agency, multi-sector movement to transform the health and wellness system in Washington State. It changed the way we work together, use state purchasing power, and build infrastructure. It boosted Washington’s commitment to create stronger communities and healthier people.

There’s a difference between SIM and Healthier Washington

SIM funded many Healthier Washington initiatives, and although the grant is ending, Healthier Washington continues. Under the banner of Healthier Washington, we’ll continue to:

  • Support and help sustain Accountable Communities of Health.
  • Integrate physical and behavioral health care, and support person-centered care.
  • Move toward health care purchasing that rewards value rather than quantity of services received.
  • Support providers and clinicians as they transition to value-based care, and work with partners to ensure a robust health workforce.
  • Enhance the Clinical Data Repository so providers can better coordinate care by accessing health care information within one system.
  • Collaborate with the Health Innovation Leadership Network.
  • Support and guide Medicaid Transformation efforts and rural transformation activities.

Healthier Washington isn’t going away

Healthier Washington is a movement—a way of thinking about how we approach health and wellness transformation. In this next phase, we are moving from building infrastructure to finding ways to support and sustain our work. Transformation takes time, and we remain committed to our initiatives and partnerships.

Learn more about Healthier Washington by visiting our website.

Grant Opportunity

Birth Equity Project

Washington State Department of Health’s Office of Family and Community Health Improvement (OFCHI) is pleased to announce a grant opportunity to fund projects aimed at improving maternal health and birth outcomes in priority populations through the Center for Disease Control Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHS). We are inviting communities to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to apply for direct funds to plan and implement a three year Birth Equity Project aimed at achieving these goals.

Instructions and materials for the Letter of Intent (LOI) to apply can be found here. The LOI is due March 4, 2019.

Snohomish County Releases Report on Opioid Misuse

In a new report released January 9, the Snohomish Health District estimates that between 5,000 and 10,000 people in Snohomish County are suffering from opioid use disorder. It’s likely that another 35,000 to 80,000 people are misusing opioids.
 
“We focused on opioid misuse and opioid use disorder because they are considered the two ends of the spectrum for diagnosable patterns that can lead to overdose and death,” said Dr. Mark Beatty, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. “This data will aid the Health District and the Opioid Response Multi-agency Coordination Group with evidence-based decision making, assessment of interventions, and other planning purposes.”

This data is the result of several months of in-depth research and analysis completed by health officer Dr. Mark Beatty. In his report, Opioid Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse in Snohomish County: Using Capture-Recapture to Estimate the Burden of Disease, Dr. Beatty applied a method originally created to estimate wildlife populations and recently used to estimate the prevalence of kidney disease.

Disease burden estimates are challenging to complete in populations that are difficult to identify or pinpoint. It becomes increasingly more complex when diseases like opioid use disorder are not a notifiable condition, such as measles or whooping cough. While the published literature is sparse, it’s possible to use surveillance for opioid events in order to estimate the disease burden. This requires an additional method known as capture-recapture.

[Click here to view an overview of capture-recapture.]

For this method, Dr. Beatty accessed FirstWatch—a proprietary record management system used for EMS calls across the county—to pull data for all overdose calls recorded in July 2018. During that month, there were 73 opioid-related overdoses identified. Utilizing data compiled by Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and the Health District, made possible through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant funded through the Washington State Department of Health, Dr. Beatty then reviewed patients seen in the emergency department. Of those 29 overdose patients at the hospital, 18 were also found in the FirstWatch data. That number translates into approximately 1,400 individuals in Snohomish County hospitalized annually because of opioids.

Using a model published by the CDC that estimates for every one death there are 32 emergency department visits for misuse and abuse, Dr. Beatty modified the calculations using Snohomish County estimates identified from the capture-recapture study.

For more information on efforts being done through the Opioid Response MAC Group, please go to www.snohomishoverdoseprevention.com. This website and accompanying social media accounts were developed to be a one-stop shop for resources. Whether trying to understand the problem, prevent addiction, or save a life, this is a place to find information for that first next step. 

Welcome to the team, Nyka!

We are very excited to have Nyka Osteen joining the North Sound ACH Team. As a Project Coordinator, Nyka will be supporting project implementation, monitoring and evaluation efforts.

A native of the North Sound region, Nyka grew up in Mt. Vernon and completed her Bachelor’s degree in microbiology and global health before earning her graduate degree in community-oriented public health from the University of Washington. After working in HIV and cancer research for the past seven years, she is excited to be transitioning to a public health and health systems role. She brings experience working in LGBTQ health and program evaluation to the North Sound ACH team.  Welcome, Nyka!

December 2018 Newsletter

Some Final Thoughts for 2018…

It has been almost a full year since my dad passed, and it’s been ten years since I lost my mom. Both feel like yesterday. Family means more to me than I can say– family born of the same blood, but also the family we choose to add to our lives. My parents taught us many things, but there are two especially that I carry with me every day. My mom taught us to not be afraid to wear our hearts on our sleeves, and she was with me when I found the pin that I wear every day in her memory. My dad taught us to find something to laugh out loud about every day, and if you ever asked him how he was, right up to his final days, he would reply, “life is good.” Born during the Depression, having gone through multiple wars and served in WWII, they knew about sacrifice, and that things take a long time to come to fruition. And they tried to teach us that. They created a home where everyone felt they belonged, no matter our differences or what was going on in our lives. I’d like to think we can do something similar here in the North Sound region.

For those who had a wonderful year, we wish for that to continue for you in 2019. For those who struggled, we wish you a reprieve and a peaceful path forward. The team at North Sound ACH sends our best wishes to you, your families, and those you love.

Liz

Check out the whole newsletter at this link: https://bit.ly/2GCZ2bB

Staff Transitions

It is always hard to see staff move on to new adventures, but we hope you will join us in wishing two team members the best as they transition.

Candice Wilson, our Tribal and Community Liaison, has taken a position with the Lhaq’temish Foundation whose mission is stated on their website as “Nilh Xwenang Tse Schelangen Este Nexw Xwlemi (this is our way of life in Lummi) – a healthy, giving, and prosperous community to strengthen our people through cultural, social, and economic abundance.” We are excited for Candice in this leadership role and wish her the best.

Ross Howell is also taking on a new role. Ross has been one of our Project Managers working in oral health, bidirectional integration and transitional care, and earlier this year moved to Vancouver, BC. Starting in January he will be a Senior Consultant for Innovation, Planning and Transformation for Fraser Health in Surrey, BC. We will miss both of these amazing team members, but are excited for them as they move into new roles. 

We have also added some new staff to our team, so please join us in welcoming:

Starleen Maharaj-Lewis, joining our team as the Community HUB Manager. Starleen’s experience working with marginalized populations in diverse settings across the nation, and in developing a framework for health equity infrastructure, makes our team even stronger. Starleen holds a BA from the University of British Columbia, and attended graduate studies in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tulane University. 
 
Khushdip (Khush) Brar, joining as Finance and Administrative Associate.  Khush comes from a diverse cultural background and brings forth her rich knowledge in business administration to our finance team. She has a loving daughter, caring mother and supportive husband who complete her world. Khush always strives to become a better person and hopes to bring that to our organization.
 

Remembering David Kincheloe

This picture shows David Kincheloe and his dog Buddy. David passed away earlier this month after a battle with cancer, still teaching his caregivers better ways to approach care right up to the end. He was a passionate advocate for patients and clients, and served as a founding member of the Governing Body of the North Sound ACH until 2017. David’s family is planning a celebration of his life sometime this Spring, and we hope to post details our website when we learn more.  His voice is surely missed.