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Q & A with New Chief Executive Officer, Kay Knox

We are proud to announce Kay Knox as the new Chief Executive Officer of WithinReach. She has been a staff leader since joining the organization as assistant director in 1999. She has since been deputy director, chief operating officer and acting executive director. Kay loves WithinReach, is passionate about our mission and has clearly demonstrated effective executive leadership.

We recently talked with Kay about her long-time commitment to WithinReach, her vision for the organization and food! Here is what Kay had to say:

What are you proud of most about working at WithinReach?

Staff have heard me say this a million times, but it’s true.  I am as proud of how we operate as an organization, as I am of the services we provide.  We are a learning organization that is driven by quality and innovation in all things.  Our staff’s commitment and devotion are unparalleled.

What kind of leader do you consider yourself?

Well, I know what kind of leader I hope I am.  For me, leading is about listening, building trust and relationship, removing barriers, creating opportunities, being accountable  – all so staff can use their skills to the highest and best use, on behalf of the organization.  In this way, I see myself in service to staff, donors, and partners.  I strive to be a leader who is accessible, self-aware, and committed to thoughtful action.

What is your aha moment?

Whoa… I am following in the footsteps of my former leaders and mentors.  I am filled with awe to follow the path of the amazing women who have come before me at WithinReach  – Cynthia Shurtleff, the visionary leader who launched our work, Ginny English, the founding leader who built the organization from the ground up,  (and who hired me!), Patty Hayes, the public health superstar who helped us find our place as a strong, independent non-profit, and Alison Carl White, the community change agent who helped position us to make a real impact in family health over the next 25 years. I am filled with gratitude for their leadership, teaching and support.

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read was the new book by Jamie Ford, Songs of Willow Frost, which is set in Seattle’s International district during the Depression. Our daughter Mari was born in China, so the story held special interest for us.  We read it aloud as a family, which is something we often do.   

Cabin or Hotel?

Cabin most definitely, and even better, our tent trailer.   Favorite place to camp is on the Twisp River – no cell reception, no services, just the sound of the water, deer walking through camp every evening, and pie irons in the fire.

Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Probably, donkey and eel.  Surprisingly, I could recommend the eel, probably not the donkey.

Note to self: Do not serve donkey at next year’s luncheon!


Tags: Chief Executive Officer   Kay Knox   

Parents Share Their Experiences With the Ages and Stages Questionnaire

Written by Help Me Grow AmeriCorps VISTA, Keri Foster

As a parent, have you ever wondered, ‘Is my child on track for preschool?’ Developmental milestones are key skills that children learn at predictable times; knowing where your child is at in reaching these milestones is a great way to make sure they’re making good progress towards school readiness. That’s why the Help Me Grow Washington program at WithinReach provides families with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), an easy to use, doctor recommended tool for checking in on your child’s developmental milestones.

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is an activity-based developmental screening questionnaire that asks you to look at your child’s development by completing simple activities together. For example, on the ASQ for a 14 month old baby, the questionnaire asks, “when your baby wants something does she tell you by pointing at it.” You can answer yes, sometimes, or not yet. By completing the ASQ, you can find out what your child is capable of, what their strengths are, and what you can work on together – even if they’re on track.

Parents report having a positive experience filling out the Ages and Stages Questionnaire with their child. According to Scott, a participating father, the questionnaire was accessible: “it wasn’t arduous which I kind of expected and I thought it might be harder.” In fact, he and his daughter, “had a fun time doing it together. [Emma] liked showing off what she could do and so not only did I feel like I could answer the questions, we had a good time.” Watch a video of Scott and Emma completing the ASQ.

The questionnaire can be done in the comfort in your own home. It can also give you insight into new activities you and your child can do to practice emerging skills. Other parents describe similar positive experiences. Kelly, mother to a 14 month old explains, “it gave me some ideas of what I could be working [on] with my daughter. I know some things in our daily life that incorporate picking up things or being able to go up and down stairs so it gave me some ideas of activities we could be doing around the house [to support her development].” Watch a video of Kelly and her daughter completing the ASQ.

Filling out the Ages and Stages Questionnaire is not only simple and fun, it is also a great way to spend quality time with your child and be actively involved in your child’s developmental growth. Plus, we’ll connect you with activity suggestions and community resources that help you support your child’s early learning goals. To get involved in your child’s development complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire today! Call our WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or visit

Tags: Child Development   Developmental Screening   Help Me Grow   

GiveBig: Help Us Hit It Out of the Park!

Join us in supporting WithinReach on May 6th!

May 6th is the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live. The Seattle Foundation will stretch any donation given to WithinReach that day. As long as you have an internet connection (or access to the internet on your mobile phone), you can participate!We are proud to be part of an amazing nonprofit organization that makes the connections Washington families need to be healthy. WithinReach connects vulnerable families in Washington to resources that fulfill the most basic of human needs; food and healthcare. Last year alone, we connected more than 250,000 people to free or low cost health insurance, child development screenings and food resources like food stamps and WIC. Watch this video to learn more about how we help move families from crisis to stability.

To join the WithinReach GiveBIG team, this is all you have to do:

1. Mark May 6th in your calendar so you don’t forget to give on that day. On May 6th make a donation to WithinReach. To ensure the match is made, donate through WithinReach’s page in the Seattle Foundation’s online Giving Center: DONATE HERE!

2.  To show your support before May 6th go to the WithinReach Facebook page and share our GiveBIG posts and images.

Thank you for your support!  With your help, we can reach our goal of $10,000 and help connect more families to the resources they need to be healthy.

Tags: GiveBig   Seattle Foundation   

A special message for YOU

Thank you for supporting Washington children and families at the 2013 WithinReach Healthy Connections Luncheon.

Your generous gift helped us raise $170,000. Your support provides access to health care and food that vulnerable communities need to learn, meet their basic needs, and have a healthy life.

Thank you again so much for helping remove the barriers and make the connections all Washington families need to be healthy!

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