Healthy
Communities
Newsletter

April 2020
Community partners working together
to build health and resilience
To subscribe to the Healthy Communities Newsletter or to share an announcement, please email Jan.Dolph@clark.wa.gov.
Community Meetings - Temporarily Suspended
Due to COVID-19, April meetings of the ACEs Action Alliance,
Trauma-Informed Schools, Evergreen and Vancouver Faith-Based Coffee groups,
Safe Kids Clark County, CHARG!, Car Seat classes at PeaceHealth and the
Clark County Breastfeeding Coalition are cancelled.
Coronavirus Updates and Resources

Public Health and our community partners are working hard to keep you safe.

Please do  your  part by practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and following stay-at-home guidelines.
Clark County Public Health announced the first local case of COVID-19 in early March, but our work to prepare began weeks earlier. Now that the virus is in our community, our team has shifted into a response similar to that of the measles outbreak last year. We follow up on every COVID-19 case to identify close contacts, who are then instructed to quarantine for 14 days. We coordinate our response with the state health department and neighboring county health departments, and we work closely with the Clark County Emergency Operations Center and other county departments, local health care providers and community partners. 
COVID-19: General information and advice

Basic needs and economic support

  • Links to community resources including SNAP and TANF applications, list of operational food pantries, the COVID-19 page for unemployment benefits, housing hotline, Clark PUD financial assistance info, crisis lines, and more. Created and updated by Vancouver Public Schools.
  • Need emergency food? Visit one of Clark County Food Banks partner sites. The complete list of sites is updated daily here. Food delivery may be arranged in special circumstances. Inquire here.
  • The Vancouver Chamber of Commerce lists COVID-19 resources for businesses and residents. 
  • Free meals for students are offered by most local school districts. Check the website for your district to find times and locations for meal pick-up.
  • Betancourt Macias Family Foundation is accepting donations and offering support for undocumented individuals and families.
  • Workforce of Southwest Washington offers updates on COVID-19 and a list of financial resources and other supports for workers and employers. 
  • The Small Business Association offers an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program for small businesses in Clark County.
  • Camp Evergreen is providing free child care for our community's children (30 months - 12 year old) of first responders and healthcare professionals at Crestline Elementary, Monday-Friday 6 AM - 8PM. Must register on their website, no drop-ins.
 
 
COVID-19 training resources

  • TRAIN Learning Network aggregates training opportunities for public health, healthcare, and preparedness professionals from thousands of training providers. This includes training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and other organizations. Connect here.
  • American Nursing Association offers free online training for members and non-members about the latest clinical and protective information regarding COVID-19.
  • Region 9 Head Start Association offers multiple pre-recorded webinars and lectures on supporting families and children during COVID-19. For Free ECE Continuing Education Units enter promo code: FREESUPPORT.
 
Want to help?

  • Clark County Food Bank needs volunteers and the criteria for volunteers has changed. Check their website for how to volunteer right now.
  • For other local organizations needing volunteers, The Columbian has a list in a recent article.
Can COVID-19 impact
your health,
 even if you don’t
catch the virus?

Situations and events that are unexpected, unpredictable and over which we have minimal or no control can trigger our bodies’ stress responses. When this type of situation persists over time, stress becomes potentially traumatic and particularly toxic. As the original ACE study demonstrated, if unmitigated, toxic stress can lead to mental, physical and behavioral health issues. 

Sound familiar? The worldwide situation related to COVID-19 fits this definition well. The things we know (and what we don’t know) about this virus, combined with concerns about our jobs and the economy, our own or our children’s education, the safety of friends and family — and even our supply of toilet paper — has the cumulative potential to cause toxic, damaging stress. Combined with the loneliness of isolation, this stress can re-trigger past trauma in adults and potentially cause ACEs for our children. 

Unmitigated stress can trigger our bodies’ natural protective responses of flight, freeze and flight. Stress can impair our brains’ ability to see the world as it is and to respond appropriately. It can strain our capacity to communicate, understand information, feel compassion and problem-solve. Instead, toxic stress often cues misguided coping mechanisms and responses such as aggression, clinging, self-medication, hoarding and withdrawal. For members of our community who live with racism, poverty, violence, isolation or homelessness, the impact is multiplied. 

Adults are not the only ones experiencing this stress. Children overhear news blaring from the TV, they absorb the anxious chatter around their homes and neighborhoods. The closure of schools and faith communities disrupt the predictability of their lives and isolates them from their friends and teachers. Like you, they fear for their own and their family’s safety, and they may imagine the worst. For children whose parents are not coping well, who cannot be emotionally present, or who display anger, violence or are overusing alcohol or drugs, the problem is far worse.

Like adults, when children are stressed, their anxiety often translates into behavior. This may be in the form of nightmares, tantrums, misbehavior, defiance, or complaints. They may withdraw, shut down, cry and cling. They may even behave in a cavalier way, as if they don’t care at all or by acting out scenes of illness or death.

As adults, it is our responsibility at this time to practice self-care and self-regulation, so we can compassionately view these behaviors for what they are: symptoms of stress. If we manage our own stress, we are in a better place to draw upon our skills and resilience to listen and be present for our kids, to remind them of their strengths, and to reassure them that we are there for them and are keeping them safe and protected. By focusing on our strengths, reaching out for connection, remembering our brain science, and practicing self-regulation such as mindfulness, breathing, and exercise, we can react to our children and to one another — not punitively, judgmentally or aggressively — but compassionately and with love.

Crisis support

  • Mental health crisis services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling the Southwest Washington Crisis Line at: 800.626.8137 | TTY 866.835.2755. The Clark County Youth Mobile Crisis Unit is also accessed at this number and continues to provide services for any youth or child in Clark County regardless of insurance or medicaid coverage.
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 24/7, 365-day-a-year hotline for people experiencing suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 1-800-273-8255 or click here to chat.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24/7 support for survivors and their loved ones. Call 1-800-799-7233, use the website's live chat function, or text LOVEIS to 22522. They also provide services for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.


Resilience, coping and self-regulation


Resources for educators, parents and caregivers


Fun tips and activities for children and families


Safe Kids Worldwide lists product recalls each month. Please note: Product recalls never expire, so it’s important to check the recalls on a regular basis. This is especially important for hand-me-down or pre-owned children’s products.

Used child car seats and bike helmets should never be re-used in case their integrity is compromised.
Concern over Coronavirus Gun Surge

Americans are responding to the coronavirus pandemic by stocking-up on guns and ammunition, a trend that could increase suicides, and unintentional shootings as well as increase the risk of domestic violence.

  • On March 10, the day the U.S. reached 1,000 cases of coronavirus, the gun industry saw an unprecedented 276% sales surge in ammunition nationwide, according to a data study published by http://Ammo.com [See their map here]
  • Federal background checks when a firearm is sold at retail showed that such checks were up 300% on March 16, compared with the same date last year, according to Mark Oliva, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. [Source]
  • The National Instant Criminal Background Check System said it responded to inquiries on 2.8 million prospective gun-buyers last month — the third-highest monthly total since the system was created in 1998, and up from 2 million in February last year. [Source]

Help to stop this surge in gun buying by talking to your friends, neighbors and relatives by asking them to not purchase guns.
News you can use
Special Message from ABCD Coordinator

On March 20, Delta Dental of Washington announced two programs to support member dentist partners: one a grant program and another that provides loans against future claims payments. With offices across the state closing temporarily due to COVID-19, it is important to identify ways to help with cash flow so that offices are positioned to reopen their doors and serve patients as soon as this passes. 
 
Please help to share this information to assist eligible ABCD providers and other dentists in your county and region. For more information, please click here.
 
About our coalitions and community groups
The ACEs Action Alliance is:
A multi-sector collaborative of public and private organizations and individuals. We raise awareness about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their long-term impact. We promote trauma-informed approaches and policies to support resilience and healing for people of all ages. All are welcome at monthly meetings.

The Trauma-Informed Schools Team is open to anyone who works in or with schools in Clark County. We meet monthly to explore tools, resources and applications of trauma-informed principles for schools.

Check the calendar at ACEsActionAlliance.org for current meeting information and other resources.
Faith-Based Coffee is:
A non-denominational bridge that joins faith partners, communities and local schools to share learning, meet the needs of children, families and neighborhoods, and address emergent needs that arise in our community. All are welcome. Members maintain the separation of church and state at meetings and when fulfilling needs by serving from the heart without promoting personal religious beliefs or engaging in religious recruitment.
Safe Kids Clark County is:
A member of  Safe Kids Worldwide , a grassroots network of more than 600 coalitions and chapters that work closely with law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, health professionals, educators, businesses, public policy makers, and, most importantly, parents and kids to promote safety. Priorities include proper car seat use, baby's safe sleep, reducing child vehicular injuries and deaths, and water safety. Local coordination provided by American Medical Response (AMR).
CHARG is:
A local forum for community members and health professionals to connect and collaborate in order to deliver appropriate services that meet the needs of the diverse populations of Clark County. At each of our bi-monthly forums, the Clark County Community Health Access Resource Group (CHARG) strives to illuminate and educate participants on a handful of themed topics relating to health access.
Clark County Breastfeeding Coalition is:
A coalition that works to improve the health of our community by promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding. CCBC is committed to identifying and eliminating barriers to breastfeeding among families of all races and ethnicities in Clark County in order to foster a culture of inclusion.

The coalition works collaboratively to connect, educate and promote breastfeeding practices in all Clark County communities. CCBC also works to create an environment that supports breastfeeding as the cultural norm for infant feeding.


The Healthy Communities Newsletter is published the first week of each month.
To submit announcements or share information, please send complete information or attach a high resolution pdf file to cyndie.meyer@clark.wa.gov by the 20th of the month prior.
All submissions will be screened and may be edited prior to publication.

If you would like to receive the Healthy Communities Newsletter, please email Jan.Dolph@clark.wa.gov