Whitman County Library Is "Making Connections for Mature Adults"

Check out the following press release describing the wide range of programming offered by our partners at the Whitman County Library supported in part by a grant from our Rural Aging Responsive Cycle!


Instructor Suzy McNeilly and project coordinator Sara Garza sort through yoga equipment for new classes.  Photo Credit: Whitman County Library.

Instructor Suzy McNeilly and project coordinator Sara Garza sort through yoga equipment for new classes.  Photo Credit: Whitman County Library.

Whitman County Library announces a new series of programs called “Making Connections for Mature Adults.”  This series of classes, one-on-one programming and informal get-togethers will serve the county though the library’s 14 branches, community locations and in-home visits. These programs are made possible by an $11,000 grant from Empire Health Foundation.

In getting the program rolling, project coordinator Sara Garza is seeking assistance from residents and communities. She says, “If you’d like to participate I hope you will give me a call. Getting these services out to residents across our county is a valuable component of the project.”

The first class set to begin is called “Yin & Balance Yoga,” which will run each Monday starting June 22 from 8:30-9:15 a.m. in the Colfax Library. Taught by Suzy McNeilly, a Yoga Alliance certified instructor the class will improve balance, strength and flexibility for mature adults.  Props and chairs will be used and exercise routines will be modified to incorporate health and mobility issues. 

“Intergenerational Rural Heritage Conversations” are lively discussions about “the olden days” and available by appointment.  Small groups, pairs, families, and all ages are invited to participate in these lively discussions of the past. The library is seeking mature participants with historic local photos and memories to share with the community and with younger generations during these interactive sessions. 

If you’d like to participate I hope you will give me a call. Getting these services out to residents across our county is a valuable component of the project.
— Sara Garza, Project Coordinator, Whitman County Library

“Technology and Everyday Living,” are one-on-one or group instructional classes available by appointment. These classes help mature adults navigate computers or the many aspects of today’s technological world. Examples might be navigating your doctor’s websites and patient portals, online banking or navigating Facebook to follow friends and family.

“Care Giver Coffee Connection Support Group” with Melissa Johnson from Rural Resources will begin August 17 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and continue on the first and third Mondays of each month.  This facilitated caregiver support group will be held in The Center providing caregivers with coffee, snacks, conversation, information, resources, and strategies.  Caregivers are invited to bring their “loved ones” along who will gather simultaneously with Sara Garza for fun activities and conversation.

To participate or schedule informal coffee groups, card games or other activities contact Sarah McKnight at Whitman County Library 509-397-4366 or sarah@whitco.lib.wa.us. 

Program Coordinator Christina Kamkosi selected to Inland Business Catalyst Magazine's Top 20 Under 40!

Congratulations to our very own Christina Kamkosi for being selected to Inland Business Catalyst Magazine's Top 20 Under 40!  Twenty young professionals under the age of 40 were chosen out of 60 nominees for this honor, and we are so proud to announce that Christina made the final list!

A little more about Christina...

Christina is a Program Coordinator for Responsive Grants and Capacity Building Programs. She landed in Spokane July of 2010 from Malawi, in the southeastern part of Africa. Christina has a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication from African Bible College and she also holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Whitworth University. She first started as a fellow in 2013 before she officially joined the EHF team in October of 2014.  She was recently being selected to Inland Business Catalyst Magazines "Top 20 Under 40," which recognizes young professionals "to be reckoned with" in Eastern Washington. Additionally she is certified as a Qualified Administrator for Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a tool that assesses intercultural competence. Christina is looking forward to continue partnering with different organizations working to improve the wellbeing of people in our community and region.

Learn more about Inland Business Catalyst Magazine's Top 20 Under 40 at their Facebook page!

Foundation Construction Nearly Complete on University District Health Clinic

The Spokesman Review's "The Dirt" section recently reported out on the progress of the new University District Health Clinic, which is being constructed as part of the Spokane Teaching Health Consortium's work to grow physician supply in Eastern Washington.  EHF is proud to partner with Providence Health Care and the Washington State University Spokane to transform Eastern Washington into the state's healthiest region!

Architect's rendering of University District Health Clinic, slated to open mid-2016.

Architect's rendering of University District Health Clinic, slated to open mid-2016.

Visit STHC's website to learn more about this public-private partnership, and click below to download the FAQs!


Originally posted by our friends at The Spokesman Review.

Foundation work is nearly complete for the $16 million University District Health Clinic, and Bouten Construction expects to start erecting structural steel next month.

The two-story, 42,000-square-foot clinic will be on the southeast edge of the Riverpoint Campus, directly south across the street from Schade Towers and east of The Bookie.

It is expected to open in mid-2016 at 624 E. Front Ave.

Brian Sayler, Bouten senior project manager, said preliminary site work started in May. The new building’s exterior will have brick and metal wall panels. The interior includes areas for 55 exam rooms, a gym for occupational and physical therapy services, behavioral health counseling, an X-ray imaging suite, and pharmacy.

The U-District clinic will be operated by a consortium of Providence, WSU Spokane and the Empire Health Foundation. It will provide a variety of health services and be a venue for medical residents to practice, along with nursing, pharmacy and other health sciences students from WSU and Eastern Washington University.

The residents and students will practice under the supervision of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other providers and serve many of the same patients now cared for at two residency clinics in the Fifth and Browne Medical Center. Those clinics will close and move to the new site.

Rural Aging Program Supports COAST Transportation in Whitman County

Check out the new van that Whitman County's Council on Aging and Human Services purchased with partial support from our Rural Aging Services Initiative!  Older adults in Whitman County use COAST for any number of transportation needs, from basic necessities to life-enriching activities, and we were thrilled to be able to support the purchase of a new ADA-accessible van (see below!)

New COAST van purchased by Council on Aging and Human Services through a combination of support from the Washington State Department of Transportation and a grant from EHF's Rural Aging Services Initiative.

New COAST van purchased by Council on Aging and Human Services through a combination of support from the Washington State Department of Transportation and a grant from EHF's Rural Aging Services Initiative.

Council on Aging believes that "personal mobility is one of the foundations of full participation in a free society," which rings especially true for rural-dwelling older adults.  In our work to date on the Rural Aging Services Initiative, we have found that transportation is the most acute need for older adults living in non-metro areas, and this need is widely recognized in rural health circles across the country (check out this October 2014 article via the Daily Yonder).  Fostering strong partnerships between rural service providers helps to create efficiencies rather than duplicated efforts, and Council on Aging is committed to coordinating services with other providers. 

COAST Public Transportation serves Whitman, Asotin, and Garfield Counties in Eastern Washington, as well as several counties in Western Idaho.

Curious about Healthier Washington and the role of Accountable Communities of Health?

EHF’s enthusiasm concerning the proposed Section 1115 Medicaid waiver proposal from the Washington State Health Care Authority continues to grow.  An increased role for Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs) is a particularly exciting development for us as the contractors for the Transforming ACHs Technical Assistance Project, also funded by the Health Care Authority.  We believe that this is a truly transformative proposal, and that the opportunity for local communities to develop reinvestment strategies to capture savings from interventions is game changing.  Growing out of HB 2572, which enabled value-based purchasing reform and established ACHs in Washington State, the Section 1115 waiver recognizes that health is about more than just health care, allowing local communities to prioritize and respond to their own needs.  Part of the Healthier Washington plan to achieve the Triple Aim of Better Health, Better Care, and Lower Costs, this waiver incorporates a holistic approach that recognizes the importance of social determinants of health, including supportive housing services. 

Our friends at the Washington State Hospital Association put together this video, which does a great job communicating the goals and changes associated with the Healthier Washington plan, including the role of ACHs in transforming delivery systems.  What’s more, they even use our subsidiary, Better Health Together, as an example organization that is leading the charge in this work here in Eastern Washington.  Take a look at the video above if you are curious and want to learn more about Healthier Washington and about ACHs.