Over the last year, SWACH has experienced many changes and challenges and yet, there is much to be proud of as well. As an organization, we need to continue to listen and respond to our communities needs and keep our vision of ensuring “…all communities in SWWA have equitable access to what they need for physical, behavioral, economic and social well-being”.
Executive Director Transition: Barbe West, ED for 2.5+ years, left the organization in early April. Planning is underway to backfill the role but, in the meantime, we have welcomed Alanna Hein with Hein Consulting Group as the interim ED. Alanna comes with more than two decades of consulting experience, much of it focused in healthcare. She has worked with organizations such as HealthShare, CareOregon, Cascadia and several FQHCs. She has also done several interim leadership engagements, also in healthcare. The focus of her consulting practice is on equity and inclusion, change management, executive, leadership and team development, and conflict resolution.
Equity: SWACH completed an equity assessment in 2020 (full report can be found here) and SWACH is committed to ensuring that equity and inclusion are at the center of our work.
New Board Members: we have welcomed the following individuals to the board:
• Worku Negussie. Mr. Negussie is an engineer at WaferTech and also provides youth counseling at Counseling Youth Services. Additionally, Worku serves as the Executive Director of Empower Family Focused Service and serves as a volunteer at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church. He has a Master’s in Counseling and a Bachelor’s in Engineering.
• Sarah Brewer. Ms. Brewer is the Vice President for Medicaid Services with Legacy Health. She has a long history of supporting population health.
• Susan Stearns. Ms. Stearns is the CEO for the Pink Lemonade Project whose purpose is to educate, empower and support those affected by breast cancer in the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area.
The Board has also commissioned a new committee: “Board Recruiting & Membership” Committee. In addition to supporting the recruitment of new Board members, this committee will also be working to ensure diversity of the members so that the Board truly represents those that we support in our communities.
SWACH has current openings on its Board of Trustees. Key accountabilities include overseeing organizational planning, ensuring fiscal goals are met, and providing oversight that is consistent with SWACH’s mission, vision, values and governance practices.
For more information, contact Kirby Richards for an application or to address questions.
Sustainability: Washington Health Care Authority has received approval for a “year 6” extension of the Medicaid Transformation Project (MTP). It is unclear on the impact to funding (when and how much) but it does allow the work underway to continue.
In the meantime, the Sustainability Committee is actively developing a sustainability framework that will take us beyond year 6 and many more years to come. We look forward to providing more detail later this summer.