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Washington state

Recognizing Our Immunization Partners

Every other year, the Immunization Action Coalition of Washington (IACW) recognizes our partners for their collaboration and support of immunization promotion in Washington State. In addition to celebrating these awardees at one of our meetings, we want to publicly recognize these partners on the WithinReach blog because their extraordinary work deserves wide praise.

First, the IACW Advocate Award is given to an individual active in the IACW who has given tremendous amounts of time and been successful in enhancing statewide immunization efforts. There were many inspiring and inspired nominees this year, but our team of reviewers selected Celina Yarkin, a tireless immunization advocate living on Vashon Island. We admire Celina for her willingness to have courageous conversations about immunization, especially in a community where there are many vaccine hesitant individuals and where she has faced some harsh rebukes for her position on vaccines. Celina’s work has been featured in books, documentaries, and various media outlets—and we thank her for being such a credible, passionate, and consistent advocate of vaccines as a means to protect the health of our community. As her nominator, Rebecca Dubin at Seattle-King County Public Health wrote, Celina’s voice “has encouraged others to reconsider what they believe about vaccines, and to add their voices in favor of immunization.” Thank you, Celina!

Second, the IACW Collaborator award is given to an organization active in the IACW that has impacted their community through collaboration to help promote, educate, and increase immunization rates. Among the many nominees, our team selected Tieton Village Drug, led by Nancy Hecox, PharmD, in Yakima, WA in recognition of their exceptional work to get free vaccines to adults in the Yakima area. Collaborating with many partners, Tieton Village Drug created a unique program to allow pharmacy access to free vaccines for the uninsured and underinsured.” We are deeply impressed with the commitment demonstrated by Tieton Village Drug, which has administered thousands of doses of vaccine since this program’s inception three years ago, including more than 6,000 doses of Tdap. Thank you, Nancy, and the Tieton Village Drug team for your incredible work to protect our community.

Achieving better health outcomes requires collaboration and concerted effort from a broad group of stakeholders. The winners of these awards maximize the potential for residents of our state to be healthy and free from vaccine preventable disease, and we thank them for their support of the efforts of the IACW.

Tags: Celina Yarkin   IACW   immunizations   Tieton Village Drug   Washington state   

WithinReach Starting New Health Insurance Enrollment Sites in Snohomish County

Do you need health insurance for you or your family? Do you want to understand if you are eligible for free or low cost coverage? With the new changes under the Affordable Care Act starting this fall, most people will be required to have health insurance in 2014. If you are uninsured, you can enroll in health insurance between now and March 31st.  If you want insurance coverage to start January 1st you need to be enrolled by December 23rd. All this can be confusing, but WithinReach is here to help you apply. We are certified health insurance assisters and, just in case you were wondering, we live and work in Washington State too. We are here to help families and individuals connect to health and food resources. To make it even easier, we have set up two locations in your community. Come by and get enrolled!

Health Insurance Enrollment Locations:

Mountlake Terrace Library

23300 58th Ave W
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

Thursdays, December 5th, 12th and 26th from 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Saturday, December 21st from 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Lynnwood YWCA 

6027 208th St. SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Fridays, December 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
9:30 AM-1:30 PM

Bring the following items with you:

  • Social security number (for all applicants)
  • For household members that are not US citizens: Legal Permanent Resident Card or other immigration documentation (for LPRs we will need this AND the SSN)
  • Date of birth  (for all applicants)
  • Tax filing status for the past year, current year and anticipated status for next year
  • Information on your current health plan
  • May need to bring an electronic form of payment (i.e. credit or debit card, pre-paid Visa, e-check)

Can’t make it to either location?  Call 1-800-322-2588  or visit www.ParentHelp123.org

Tags: Affordable Care Act   Health insurance enrollment   In-Person Assisters   Snohomish County   Washington state   

Health Reform Isn’t Just About Individuals; It’s About Communities

This article by WithinReach Executive Director, Alison Carl White was published today in the Puget Sound Business Journal

 There has been a lot of water cooler chatter on health-care reform. Comments cover the technology issues, the creative ads to engage young people and media splashes by groups trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Absent from these conversations is the real goal of health reform — to transform our nation’s health. This is not just a feel-good effort, but a real chance to strengthen the fabric of our country and make our nation more globally competitive. Good health is at the core of a healthy economy.

Key indicators from institutions such as the World Health Organization show that health and the health-care system in the United States are substantially worse than those of other developed countries. The U.S. has some of the best health-care facilities, yet behavioral factors such as physical inactivity, smoking and diet — combined with socio-economic disparities — result in poor health outcomes. Innovative solutions from the individual to the national levels are needed to address our future health-care challenges.

The Affordable Care Act is one step toward improving individual and community health. The real potential of the Affordable Care Act is as a catalyst for change. Since 80 percent of health is determined by one’s environment, behaviors and socio-economic circumstances, we all need to change how we live. Our focus must be on the holistic wellness of the individual that includes food, shelter, education and jobs.

Our current system is broken if a family faces financial crisis or foreclosure in order to pay for cancer treatment. Or if a construction worker cannot afford an emergency room visit and opts to stitch up his own injury. Or if a mom struggles to put food on the table or make the right preventative health-care decisions for her child.

Government’s role has shifted from safety net to change agent. The Affordable Care Act has the potential to be a trigger for social change that will give that family, that construction worker and that mother the options and opportunities to think differently about their health. This is going to require the state Legislature, corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to work together differently. We can no longer view affordable housing, health care, food security or transportation as unrelated issues.

In our community, taking care of vulnerable populations means targeting the disparities that prevent them from accessing services. That is a good investment. Social change is hard. It is much easier for us to talk about change and focus on our small piece of the system. What we need now is great community leadership and dogged persistence. We need a Legislature that will put the needs of families ahead of politics. We need nonprofits to stop competing with each other for grants and instead find ways to collaborate. We need government agencies to stop clinging to the way it was and embrace new technology, new media and new practices. But most of all, each one of us needs to commit to behaving differently.

The complexities of health reform dwarf even the most well-resourced and well-managed organizations. We have an opportunity before us to use health-care reform as an even larger chance at social change. But true social change requires all stakeholders involved in the issue to understand the problem and their role in being part of the solution. We must change our own behaviors by breaking down silos, forging long-term partnerships and connecting with others who are experts in particular areas of work. This way, we can leverage the investments being made in this state as part of health-care reform to create a better Washington state for each and every member of the community.

Tags: Affordable Care Act   Health Reform   Washington state   

The Affordable Care Act: Improving the Health Assets of Individuals in Washington

Last week we hosted our first webinar about the Affordable Care Act and the changes in how people access health insurance in Washington. Around 100 Community organizations and professionals joined us for information on Medicaid Expansion and the new options for health care coverage on Washington Healthplanfinder, our state-run Exchange. If you missed the webinar you can download the presentation slides or watch the webinar recording to learn more about who is covered under the Medicaid expansion,  immigrant eligibility, where to find help applying and more.

Here are answers to a few of the questions asked during the webinar. (Look here for more answers to Affordable Care Act questions in the upcoming weeks.)

What dental services will be covered for adults on Medicaid in 2014?

Starting January 1, 2014, Washington Apple Health will resume covering dental services for all adults with Medicaid.  This Includes clients who already have Medicaid AND clients who are eligible for “Expanded Medicaid” as part of health care reform.  The following services will be included in adult dental coverage:

    • Routine Check-ups  – exams and x-rays
    • Preventive services – cleanings and Fluoride applications
    • Dentures and Partial Dentures (prior authorization required)
    • Restorative Fillings (crowns are not covered)
    • Limited root canals (front teeth only)
    • Extractions and limited oral surgery
    • Additional services will be available for adults served through the Division of Developmental Disabilities.

For more details about dental coverage, see the following resources:

Who should I send to WithinReach for help?

At WithinReach we offer Basic Food application assistance and an extensive database of health and nutrition resources to clients across Washington State.  Resources include community medical and dental clinics, WIC clinics, food banks,  child development, parent support and more.  Use our online Resource Finder to connect your clients to the resources they need.

For clients specifically looking for health coverage, our Family Health Hotline (1-800-322-2588) can assist with enrollment for King and Snohomish County residents and will direct clients to their local in-person assister for other regions of the state.

Tags: Affordable Care Act   Dental Insurance   Medicaid expansion   Washington state   

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