Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health (SWACH) today announced the selection of Barbe West as executive director. Barbe will lead SWACH in its ongoing collaborative efforts to improve health and health equity in Southwest Washington.
Barbe’s experience includes nine years as the executive director of the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington. The nonprofit Free Clinic provides and facilitates access to free, compassionate, quality health care for children and adults who are otherwise unable to obtain such services. Prior to her role with the Free Clinic, Barbe was the executive director of Community Choices and president of the Northwest Region for Kaiser Permanente.
“Barbe’s experience in Southwest Washington and her expertise will be valuable assets as SWACH continues partnering with community members, organizations and local leaders to address our region’s most significant health challenges,” said Jon Hersen, chair of SWACH’s board of trustees. “We look forward to Barbe’s leadership as we continue this important work.”
Because SWACH works with partners across healthcare, social service, government and community settings, the process of selecting an ED involved significant transparency and stakeholder input.
“Our work relies on community input, partnerships and collaboration,” adds Hersen. “That’s why it was important to include community voices in the selection process.”
SWACH’s community-based board of directors led a search that drew national interest and a strong candidate pool. SWACH and its stakeholders conducted multiple rounds of interviews, including sessions with members of the SWACH Regional Health Improvement Plan council (RHIP). The RHIP council includes community members and participants from a variety of sectors.
Barbe has a B.A. in Sociology from San Diego State University and a M.B.A. from National University. Barbe will begin with SWACH on Monday August 20.