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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
As the 2018 year ends, we have many things to be thoughtful and grateful for. We’re sharing our Fall thoughts with you by calling on us all to remember the season and what we can learn from the tribes about our relationship to the earth and outdoors. Read and enjoy the brief piece from Liz here.
We have also extended the deadline for expressing interest in joining the North Sound ACH Board of Directors. You can find directions and links to the key application info at this link.
Our newsletter also had some important links to upcoming events:
The 2019 Northwest Rural Health Conference will be March 25-27 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in SeaTac WA. The deadline to respond to the Call for Presentations and Posters is December 3rd. You can find more details at this link.
There is a webinar in the next week around how digital programs can engage people on Medicaid and perhaps impact health outcomes. You can register for November 27th webinar at this link.
Snohomish Health District is looking for local providers and tribes to participate in “data walks” – a series of events beginning on November 27th. The first meeting is November 27th (registration link) with additional shorter meetings on December 4th in Lynnwood, and December 11th in Monroe (registration link).
The final North Sound ACH Board meeting will be held on December 14th at the North Sound BHO building in Mount Vernon, from 9-2. You can find the calendar at this link, and the agenda and details (even for past meetings) at this page on our website. Meeting materials are posted 4-5 days ahead of the meeting.
November is Native American Heritage Month, proclaimed by Governor Inslee as a time to “honor the unique heritage of this continent’s First People and reaffirm the commitment to respect each tribe’s sovereignty and cultural identity.” We give thanks for the leadership of the tribes and their approach to whole person care. Our team continues to learn from them and aim to grow those practices in other parts of the North Sound region.
While the media focuses on the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” we hope you will join us in two other (more important) ways. First, Washington is one of several states that celebrates the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, naming it a state and school holiday. But the holiday is only one part; the proclamation also calls for educating students about the history achievements, and contributions of the tribes. Washington is rich in its 29 tribes and you can learn more about each tribe at this link. Spend at least part of your day learning about the Washington’s tribes, their history and culture.
Second, the day after Thanksgiving is a day where we are called to Opt-Outside. You can #optoutside or check out this link at the Nature Conservancy to find ways to get out and connect to the outdoors. The tribes we work with have known the connection between nature and health since time immemorial, and continue to show leadership in positioning the health of our communities, ecosystems, and wildlife as inextricably linked. They might encourage us to ‘Opt Outside’ every day to find the path to our wellness and wholeness.
We wish you wellness and gratitude this week, and hope you will celebrate your connectedness to others who were here before us, are here in our communities now, and the amazing land that surrounds us.