Melanie Gillespie, Healthy Gen's Executive Director  

Greetings, friends and colleagues!

Here at Healthy Gen we continue to find inspiration and hope in the incredible work being done every day, by many of you, to create enduring health equity. As you know, it's not easy work but it's important and critical work if we are to create the just, equitable and healthy world we all want to leave for our children.  

This summer as I reflect on what matters most I want to thank and salute you, the champions of health equity, who rise each day and work to make our collective dream a reality. You are the light in the darkness we find so pervasive right now. Collectively, we have no choice but to dive into the darkness with hope and love as our weapons of choice. We must keep lifting up and supporting one another through the long journey. The Healthy Gen team is here to support you. I am here to support you. Let's keep going. There is much work to do. 



Civic Leadership During Housing Crisis
HLC members speak at Vancouver City Council meeting
Like many cities, Vancouver, WA is facing a housing crisis. The Southwest Washington Healthy Living Collaborative is working actively to assure that affordable housing is available for all people. Thanks in part to the efforts of the entire Collaborative, affordable housing gained a sweet victory at the June 13th Vancouver City Council meeting when it was approved to put a levy on November's ballot. The Affordable Housing Levy would raise 42M over 7 years, which is desperately needed funding that can be leveraged five-fold to both produce and preserve housing and prevent people from becoming homeless.

Inspiring testimony was provided by Healthy Living Collaborative members Kachina Inman, Eric McNair Scott, Andy Silver, and Marla Sanger of PeaceHealth who said, "Every person needs a house that is safe and secure" and thanked the City Council for taking this seriously. The Council voted unanimously to put the Affordable Housing Levy on November's ballot, hopefully leading the way for other jurisdictions to create local funding sources for housing in SW Washington communities. 

Part of Eric McNair Scott's (Sea Mar Community Health Center) testimony included the  story of Mercy who represents many of the vulnerable people in our communities who cannot find or sustain housing.
National Unity Conference for CHWs

The Annual Community Health Worker (CHW)  Unity Conference sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Health Outreach at the University of Southern Mississippi will be taking place July 17-20 in Atlanta. This is an exciting and unique conference because it is designed by CHWs for CHWs with their concerns at the forefront.  Many of the workshops are also led by CHWs. Since its inception, this gathering has resulted in a national cohort of peers who work together to identify needs and solutions around the United States. There is always intentional celebration and recognition of the work CHWs are doing locally in each state. 
 
This year, the conference is in Atlanta, Georgia. Its focus is CHW: Social Change Agents Advancing Equity and Improving Outcomes! Lisa Miller and Ina Smith from the Salishan Community Health Advocates in Tacoma, Washington will be attending. They are excited to meet their colleagues from around the country, learn what other programs are doing and to share their own successes.  Each year, Lisa who is the Community Health Advocate Facilitator takes one of the volunteer Health Advocates with her to the conference to learn from their peers and to continue to build capacity in their cohort.

Check out the conference brochure here
ACEs Mapping Project 

Many individual programs reported multiple activities. 

This year at The Science of HOPE conference in April we dedicated an entire room, filled with maps, to mapping Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) and Resilience initiatives happening throughout Washington State and nationwide. This topic has come up time and time again, in countless meetings and calls. It's a simple ask that is logistically quite challenging. People working on ACE & Resilience Initiatives want to know: Who else is out there doing this work? Where is the work happening? Who's leading the charge? Can I learn from them? Connect with them? How do I begin to find out what's happening?

 
While these questions are so integral to the work happening on the ground, capturing this information in a coherent way is hard; so we asked people to get info onto the map either in person during the conference or ahead of time through an online survey. Add your info here if you want to put your initiative alongside others:  Get on the Map
 
So far 39 Washington state and 7 national initiatives have shared their project or program descriptions, of which, 27 reported education focused program activities, 21 training activities, 15 policy advocacy activities, and 25 reported coalition building activities. Respondents also reported a range of topics that their initiative or project "primarily addressed", including: 42 focused on ACEs, 42 on Resilience, 26 on Neuroscience, 14 on Epigenetics, 13 on Race, 22 on Equity, and 17 on Poverty.
 
The data we have now is the raw information given to us on ACE & Resilience Initiatives happening nationally and in  Washington State. We hope to continue to collect information on the work that's impacting community & individual resilience, and preventing ACEs here and across the country for a comprehensive picture of ACEs & Resilience work.
The Science of HOPE Workshops Online
Josue Guadarrama presenting his workshop on 

Workshops are now available online!  A few highlights: 

Presented by Laurence Steinberg, PhD

Presented by Stephany Cuevas, EdM

Building Radical Healing into Program Organizations Presented by Shawn Ginwright, PhD

Meet the Healthy Gen Team 
Kimberly Latham crossing a suspension bridge. 

Kimberly Latham, Program Associate, Community Based Health 
I am excited to be part of a team that values walking alongside individuals while also engaging multi-sector agencies to improve community health. As we rethink what healthcare means to our communities, I know Healthy Gen is embracing the change (and disruption) happening throughout the policy and service-delivery arena. When thinking about enduring health equity, I believe in partnering our breadth of data with personal narratives and testimonies.
 
I have wrestled with knowing there are health disparities - the nuts and bolts of the "what" is clear - what I continue think about is the "how".... how do we invest in communities to ensure their environmental, physical, and mental health needs are met no matter where they live in America? I realize that's a big question to tackle in a brief intro. I am excited to join a team committed to answering that question and to begin a dialogue with HealthyGen's partners around bridging that "How" question. Speaking of bridges, when I am not interrupting conversations to promote equity, I am in search of the next suspension bridge!



Dr. Ying Li, Assistant Professor Dept. of Health and Human Development at WWU with Healthy Gen Intern Samantha Eussen during Dr. Li's site visit to Healthy Gen in June

Samantha Eussen, Policy Intern 
I am a summer intern at Healthy Gen from Western Washington University. Upon completion of my internship in August of this year, I will graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Community Health. These past few weeks at Healthy Gen have been nothing short of insightful and empowering. I was fortunate to have been able to attend the Children's Mental Health Work Group meeting in Olympia on Tuesday June 21 and have been greatly moved by all of the amazing work that is going on in our state for mental health and wellbeing of our children. I feel more empowered than ever to pursue a career in public health to increase the self-efficacy of my fellow Washington residents and continue the great work that is already underway!



Milo Zahler Wendt

Welcome Baby Milo! 
Abbie Zahler, Healthy Gen's Assistant Director of Community Based Health, and her husband Mark Wendt are thrilled to introduce the world to Milo Zahler Wendt, born on July 5th and weighing in at 7lbs 14oz. All are home and doing well. Abbie will be out on maternity leave through September. We can't wait to meet wee Milo in person! 




Share Your Ideas!   

We want to hear your ideas for our 2017  conference!

Please complete this  survey to suggest speakers and topics. 


Upcoming Events 

July 19th 



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