By Elevate Health
Elevate HealthNov 01, 2023
“The KP”: A Resilient Community with Needs, Pt. 2
In this episode, the second of two discussions about Pierce County’s Key Peninsula (also known as “the KP”), Fire Prevention Specialist and Public Information Officer Anne Nesbit explains the health needs and challenges associated with delivering services to those who live and work in a rural, geographically isolated area.
Community Wealth Affects Health
In this episode, Dr. Jessi Quizar, an urban studies professor at the University Of Washington-Tacoma, describes how racism and discriminatory practices of the past have adversely affected overall public health and well-being in Tacoma and the South Puget Sound.
Rx for Youths of Color: Health Equity and Increased Awareness
In this episode of Elevate Health’s 80/20 Project, Exita Lealofi, Youth Development Specialist for Proyecto Mole in Tacoma, Washington, explains that youths of color in the South Puget Sound are often unaware how or where they can access basic health services for themselves and their families.
Holding Grace for Those With SUD
Past efforts to address substance use disorders in the United States have largely fallen short and created stigma. But in this episode of Elevate Health’s 80/20 Podcast, Alli Toren, a staff member for the Pierce County Opioid Task Force, says public opinions and attitudes appear to be shifting.
Committed to Healthy Safe Streets
Established more than 30 years ago, the grassroots organization Safe Streets has evolved with the times, helping ensure safety and security in South Puget Sound communities. Safe Streets Executive Director Dr. Nora Flemming de Sandoval describes today’s challenges and opportunities.
Teen Mental Health First Aid
In Pierce County, Washington, youths and families are engaging in a program designed to help them see, understand and respond to signs of mental distress and substance use disorders. Courtney Chandler, Health Promotion Coordinator for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, explains how this collaborative approach is changing lives.
Helping Families Thrive
It’s true that babies don’t come with instruction manuals. But a program called Family Connects Pierce County is helping hundreds of parents in Washington’s South Puget Sound Region navigate the unique needs and challenges that newborns bring. In this episode, Dr. Aisha Nnoli, a local OB-GYN, and Family Connects Program Director Emily Poncik, discuss the importance of post-partum care.
Supporting Older Adults, People with Disabilities & Caregivers
One in four Americans currently falls into the categories of either aging or disabled, according to U.S. population statistics. Matt Santelli, Education and Outreach Specialist for the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Pierce County, Washington, explains that providing support services to such residents can be challenging, but also critically important.
Introducing new HOPE to Tacoma
A new program called Holistic Outreach Promoting Engagement (HOPE) will launch soon in the City of Tacoma. Co-Directors Aleesia Morales and Cassie Hallstone explain how the initiative is expected to improve responses to mental and behavioral health crises in South Puget Sound.
Numbers Can Tell A Story
When analyzed effectively, numbers often shed light on the health of communities and the effectiveness of programs. Dana Orr, a Project Evaluator for Comprehensive Life Resources in Tacoma, Wash., explains how statistics can be invaluable tools when making complex decisions about how, when and where to provide human services.
Providing BIPOC Youth with Media Literacy Skills
Emotional wellness, especially for teens and youth of color, is often directly influenced by media. Karter X. Karter of Our Sisters’ House in Tacoma, Wash., shares insights about newly designed programming aimed at helping young people cope with media-induced anxieties.
Much More Than a Needle Exchange
For individuals living with substance use disorders, access to clean syringes can help prevent additional health problems such as hepatitis, HIV and other illnesses. For nearly 35 years, the Tacoma Needle Exchange has quietly established itself as a local community force and a national leader in harm reduction and community protection.
Housing One Family at a Time
Limited inventory, high prices and rising mortgage rates are combining to push the cost of buying a home out of reach for many working families. But housing expert Sherrana Kildun explains in this episode how Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity is working hard to change that equation, one home and one family at a time.
Tackling Tween and Teen Mental Health
Covid lockdowns. Social media. Early puberty. Cyber-bullying. The possible causes are many. But the undeniable fact is this: Today’s children and adolescents are under greater psychological strain than any previous generation in history. In this episode, two South Puget Sound mental health professionals explain why awareness and education are increasingly important tools.
Anchoring the Community
Danny Fisher-Bruns, a Puget Sound-area consultant, discusses the Tacoma Anchor Network, a coalition of major Pierce County institutions working together to address social, racial and economic inequities of common concern to all South Sound residents.
Boldly Addressing Child Abuse
One in nine girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. Author DeVandra Wheeler, a social worker and victims’ advocate based in Tacoma, Wash., says children and families must protect themselves before it’s too late.
“The KP”: A Resilient Community with Needs
Providing health and social services to underserved and at-risk populations can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. But when the area in need is a rural and geographically isolated peninsula, the stakes increase exponentially. In this episode, we hear from Susan and Ben Paganelli, a husband-and-wife team who are working to help improve whole-person health for residents of Washington’s Key Peninsula, commonly referred to as “the KP.”
An Affordable Housing Crisis
Like many other communities across the nation, Pierce County, Washington, is caught in a housing dilemma: A booming population, too little housing, and dramatically rising costs. In this 80/20 episode, Bryan Schmid, Pierce County’s Affordable Housing Supervisor, describes why shelter is essential to any community’s health and explains the strategies underway to address the problem.
Tackling Homelessness in Pierce County, Wash.
More than 3,000 people at any point in time are unsheltered in Pierce County, Wash. In this episode of the Elevate Health 80/20 Project, Delmar Algee, III, a social service supervisor who oversees Homeless Programming, explains the range of initiatives aimed at addressing the problem.
Navigating Life’s Challenges as a Disabled Person
Some 61 million adults – or roughly one in four in the United States – live with some form of disability. Nalani Linder, Interim Executive Director of the Tacoma Area Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities (TACID), explains how virtually all social determinants of health may be affected for those who live with disabilities.
Transitioning to a “New Normal” in Rental Housing
The pandemic further exposed the lack of affordable housing across the nation, especially in Pierce County, Washington. With the transition to a post-Covid “new normal” now underway, County Rental Assistance Lead Valeri Almony explains the ongoing challenges as well as the path forward.
Health Concerns in the LGBTQ+ Community, Pt. 2
LGBTQ+ youths in Pierce County often experience marginalization and discrimination, especially in health care settings. In this second episode a two-part series focused on social determinants of health in the LGBTQ+ community, Oasis Youth Center Executive Director Matthew Wilson describes how SDOH factors can have negative consequences, particularly those 21 and under.
Health Concerns in the LGBTQ+ Community, Pt. 1
According to recent polling, an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. population will soon identify as LGBTQ+ or something other than heterosexual, roughly double from just a decade ago. In the first of two episodes geared toward the LGBTQ+ community, Troy Christensen of Tacoma’s Rainbow Center discusses the significance and challenges associated with ensuring equitable access to health care for all in a changing society.
The Power of Health Data
Data collection and monitoring are essential to understanding a community’s health needs and health trends. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Data Analyst Stephanie Wood, also a consultant to the county’s Opioid Task Force, explains how numbers significantly influence important health policy decisions.
This episode features a conversation with Stephanie Sacks, Clinical Director for Rebuilding Hope, the Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County, Washington, which offers support toward healing through advocacy and therapy for those affected by sexual assault.
Keeping Food in the System
The chasm between haves and have nots is only increasing in many communities, including Pierce County, Washington. Michelle Douglas of the Emergency Food Network explains the growing demands on local food pantries throughout the South Puget Sound region.
Emphasizing Cultural Sensitivity
In this episode, substance use counselor Shundra King discusses how the effectiveness of drug treatment for people of color can often hinge on the cultural competencies of therapists who serve them.
What If Your Next Meal Was Uncertain?
Nearly 800,000 people in Washington state residents are food insecure, according to Feeding America, and more than one-third of those residents are children. Yuni Medlin, a food security and safety activist based in Tacoma, Wash., explains the adverse and unanticipated effects that poor nutrition can have on an entire community, not just individuals.
Co-Responders’ Goals: Filling Behavioral Health Gaps
In Pierce County, Wash., a co-responders’ program is meeting community needs by providing appropriate, supportive and accountable behavioral health services to clients who might otherwise end up in emergency rooms or jails. Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Darren Moss, Jr. and Chantel Quintero, a behavioral health crisis intervention supervisor for MultiCare, explain how the program changes lives and saves money.
Social Workers: Connecting the Community
March is National Social Workers Month. With that in mind, Elevate Health’s Clinical Director of Integration and Transformation Kim Bjorn, herself a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, helps explain the many roles and responsibilities of social workers in today’s society.
Addressing Child Mental Health Crises
This episode explores integrated care needs in Pierce County, Washington that aim to support children and families in times of crisis.
A Dangerous Cycle: Substance Use and Intimate Partner Violence
The use of opioids, particularly among survivors and abusers in intimate partner violence (IPV) relationships, is prevalent. These situations create unique risks for recovery.
In this Elevate Health Community Care Conversation, guests Abi McLane, Assistant Director of the Crystal Judson Family Foundation, and Robert Hamilton, Manager of Multicare’s Substance Use Disorder Program in Pierce County, discuss the complex topics of awareness, prevention, and support for those suffering emotional, physical, and verbal abuse in domestic partnerships in which substance use is an issue.
Removing Health Barriers for Urban Natives
For more than three decades, the Tahoma Urban Native Alliance (TUNA) has strived to sustain and support the dignity of urban Native Americans living in Pierce County, Washington. This Elevate Health Community Care Conversation features TUNA Executive Director Colette August and Assistant Director Sauncha Romey.
"Indigenous methodologies could save the world if people listened to us,” Romey says during the episode. “We could end world hunger. We could end global warming. We could eliminate the wealth gap."
Tune in to hear how TUNA promotes sustainable services and addresses the unique barriers to whole-person health faced by urban communities.
Reducing the Stigma of Dementia
“Dementia.” Just mentioning the word can induce anxiety and fear. In this episode, Wendy Morris, Dementia Services Program Manager for Lutheran Community Services Northwest in Tacoma, Washington, discusses strategies for spotting dementia, programs for those coping with it, and resources for caregivers.
OnePierce: Carefully Building Community Assets
In this Radical Shift podcast episode, Lauren Fulton, Executive Director of the OnePierce Community Resiliency Fund, explains how this subsidiary of Elevate Health works to strengthen Pierce County, Washington, by leveraging, pooling and investing financial resources in deserving entities and activities that serve to create a healthier and more sustainable economic environment.
Behavioral Health: A 'Perfect Storm' of Human Needs
Across the U.S., communities large and small are suffering from crisis levels of mental health and substance abuse issues. In this Community Care Conversation podcast, host Kim Bjorn interviews local government officials Heather Moss and Richard Van Cleave about efforts to compassionately, but effectively, address behavioral health problems in Pierce County, Washington.
Explaining the 80/20 Rule
Health does not mean just going to the doctor. In this inaugural episode of the 80/20 Project, Elevate Health Chief Operations Officer and licensed clinical social worker Jodi Castle explains that a multitude of factors combine to influence “whole-person” health in a community.
Accountable Communities of Health: Transforming Health Care Delivery
It’s no secret. Health care in the U.S. is generally complex, confusing and expensive. Enter Accountable Communities of Health, aka “ACHs.” These community-based organizations, which operate in more than two dozen states, seek to transform health care delivery by: focusing on individuals, ensuring health equity, reducing costs, and improving health outcomes for entire communities. Jodi Castle, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and COO of Elevate Health of Pierce County, Washington, offers a tutorial on ACHs and the contributions they make to the areas they serve.
Building a Bridge of Hope
Podcast host and licensed clinical social worker Kim Bjorn explores the challenges kids and their families face in the current U.S. mental health system. Kim’s guest is Joe LeRoy, CEO of HopeSparks, a Tacoma, Washington-based social services organization that is helping to transform pediatric care.
Strategically Reducing 911 Calls
With the population aging, first responders across the country are exposed to demanding and tense situations on a regular basis. But in Pierce County Washington, mental health workers Traci Krieg and Jennifer Sorensen explain to host Kim Bjorn that a community partnership forged a few years ago is reducing the strain on first responders, emergency rooms and jails.
Homelessness is Solvable
Many U.S. communities, including Tacoma and other cities in Western Washington, are facing an explosion in homelessness. But Gerrit Nyland, a social services supervisor tasked with ending homelessness in Pierce County, says what many don’t realize is that roughly one-third of the unsheltered in the South Puget Sound are children, while many others are “working poor” families whose lives have been disrupted by job loss, unexpected injury, illness, or just bad luck.
Fear, Isolation and Control are Keys to Domestic Violence
Physical violence is often just the tip of the iceberg in abusive relationships. In this episode of Elevate Health Podcast, two domestic violence experts in Washington state’s South Puget Sound Region explain that for many survivors, finding a “way out” can take time, patience and planning.
A Looming Crisis for Special Needs Kids
More than one out of every six children in the U.S. between the ages of 3 and 17 is diagnosed each year with one or more disabilities. Doreen VanderVort, a Washington state-based advocate for families with special needs kids, says finding resources and services for such children can be overwhelming, especially for those who don’t know how and where to look for help.
Exploring Health Care Integration
Health practitioners across disciplines are beginning to recognize that service integration can be effective in saving time, money and stress for patients and the providers that serve them. Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, a veteran community care dentist in Tacoma, Washington, explains the benefits and the challenges.
Teen Suicide Can Be Prevented
Today’s children encounter stressors dramatically unlike those experienced by their parents and grandparents. In this podcast, Pierce County Washington-based pediatric social worker Ashley Mangum describes how “asking the question” can help avert crises.
Opioid Misuse, Stigma and Prevention
Host & Guest: Kim Bjorn, MSW, LICSW and Chelsea Amato, BSW, Tacoma Pierce County Opioid Task Force Coordinator
Topic: Opioid misuse, including the stigma it carries as well as possible solutions