better health together

2016 State of Reform Recap

EHF enjoyed the January 7th State of Reform’s Seattle conference in SeaTac with EHF Vice President Kristen West Fisher, our incoming Chief Strategy Officer for Health Systems Alisha Fehrenbacher and Better Health Together Executive Director Alison Carl White serving on panels throughout the day.    EHF Board Members Lisa Brown, Sue Lani Madsen and Mary Selecky were also in attendance representing EHF. 

Better Health Together's Executive Director Alison Carl White talks Accountable Communities of Health at the 2016 State of Reform conference in Seattle.

Better Health Together's Executive Director Alison Carl White talks Accountable Communities of Health at the 2016 State of Reform conference in Seattle.

This conference is always filled with health leaders and our active presence provided a great opportunity to highlight our work to thought leaders and funders from throughout the state.  This conference is particularly timely as it is held just prior to the January 11th start of the legislative session.  

Take a look at Kristen's panel presentation below.

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BHT Working to Further Reduce the Rate of Uninsured in Eastern Washington

Spokesman Review columnist Shawn Vestal highlights our subsidiary Better Health Together's successful efforts to reduce the rate of uninsured in Eastern Washington, prompting discussion about increasing provider capacity to meet the growing demand.  Increasing access to health care does not stop at reducing uninsured rates, which is why EHF is also investing in growing the provider pipeline and increasing the number of health care providers in our region.  Check out the full article on the Spokesman's website, or download the PDF below.

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Seattle Times Article about Access to Dental Care in Washington State

Check out this intriguing article from the Seattle Times about access to dental care in Washington State.  While approximately 25% of Washington residents have dental insurance through Medicaid, as the article states, "Dental insurance doesn't mean access to care."  Only 3 in 10 dentists accept Medicaid, and according to the article, dental trouble was the number one reason people went to the emergency room in 2010 (see image below).

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In an effort to address this problem in our region, our subsidiary Better Health Together's Dental Emergencies Needing Treatment (DENT) program aims to reduce unnecessary ER and hospital visits for dental problems by connecting clients to dental providers who accept Medicaid, as well as by growing the network of providers who accept Medicaid.  In its first six months, the program generated an estimated $634,000 in savings by helping patients access more appropriate dental care.

Learn more about DENT on BHT's website.

Check Out Better Health Together's New Website!

Given that we are deep into the holiday season, we would just like to take a second this week to shout out our subsidiary Better Health Together's new website and invite our friends and community members to take a look!  The new site has information on all of BHT's work to radically improve health in our region, from its programs to its Accountable Community of Health work, so we definitely recommend checking it out to learn more.

Highlights from First Lady Inslee's Visit on Oct. 21, 2015

Update:  Check out First Lady Inslee's Facebook post about her visit to Garfield Elementary!

First Lady Inslee and Spokane Public Schools Director of Nutrition Services Doug Wordell at Garfield Elementary.

First Lady Inslee and Spokane Public Schools Director of Nutrition Services Doug Wordell at Garfield Elementary.

First Lady Trudi Inslee came to Spokane on October 21st as part of Washington Nonprofits' Community Impact Project.  Empire Health Foundation was honored to host Mrs. Inslee and showcase how two of Governor Inslee's signature health initiatives -- Healthiest Next Generation and Healthier Washington -- are being implemented locally.

Mrs. Inslee started the day at Garfield Elementary in Spokane Public Schools where she learned about Spokane Public Schools' effort to bring scratch cooking to eight of its elementary schools.  At Garfield, Mrs. Inslee heard about how this launch built off of success in the Cheney School District under the leadership of their Superintendent Dr. Deb Clemens.  Mrs. Inslee enjoyed a delicious meal with a smart and inquisitive group of sixth graders.  A huge thanks to Garfield and Spokane Public Schools for hosting the First Lady.

In the afternoon, Mrs. Inslee joined with leaders of community nonprofits at the Philanthropy Center to discuss Eastern Washington's multi-sector efforts to achieve the Triple Aim of better health, better care at lower costs.  A particular highlight was hearing from Better Health Together Community Health Worker Georgie Tarrant about her tireless work to connect chronically homeless and medical fragile members of our community to housing and other needed services.  

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Thanks to Washington Nonprofits for your leadership in this effort and Mrs. Inslee for coming to Spokane!