Investments To Support Health System Transformation Efforts 

Seattle, WA

Local non-profit collaborative HealthierHere today announced that it will invest $6.5 million to support 14 partner organizations to develop innovative approaches aimed at reducing health disparities across King County.

The funding, which HealthierHere earned through its role as King County’s Accountable Community of Health, will be distributed to partners through two strategies:   

  • $5 million toward Community-Based Social Determinants of Health Innovations to improve health outcomes by addressing factors outside of the healthcare system such as housing, employment, food access, transportation, mental health and more. 
  • $1.5 million toward Tribal Health Innovations to reduce health disparities experienced by American Indians, Alaska Natives and Tribally Affiliated Indigenous people in King County 

In alignment with HealthierHere’s commitment to bridge silos and foster cross-sector collaborations, awardees will partner with other community and/or clinical organizations to co-design strategies, policies, and practices. They’ll work together to increase access to culturally relevant care, improve health outcomes, and address gaps and barriers that drive inequities. 

Until now, it’s been difficult for many organizations to access the resources they need to achieve community health. They often face issues such as limited staff capacity and budget, systemic racism, and burdensome funding models. HealthierHere aims to disrupt that dynamic.

“System transformation has to start at the grassroots level,” says Susan McLaughlin, CEO of HealthierHere. “To build healthier, more equitable communities, investments need to be channeled to where they will have the greatest impact. Community and Tribal organizations – rooted in generations of experience – are best positioned to understand the needs of and develop solutions for the people they serve. We are proud to support their efforts.”

These investments will build capacity and provide support to implement a wide range of innovations, from developing community-based strategies for integrated care and managing chronic health conditions to creating payment models to assure that Urban and Rural American Indian/Alaska Native identifying people have access to traditional medicines and cultural advocates in clinical settings.

“The Native population, we’re at the center of health disparities – they’re passed down in our DNA. We are fighting this every day,” says George Farrell (Standing Rock Lakota Tribe), Innovations Director of Unkitawa, one of the organizations supported through the Tribal and Community Innovations.

“HealthierHere has deepened our roots,” says Ixtlixochitl White Hawk (Mexika-Tenochca/Otomi/Tarasco). “The fact that they were so open and willing to learn what’s needed by the people – not saying ‘Hey, here’s some money and what we want you to do.’ It’s more like, ‘How can we be of service?’ That gave us strong roots, and this tree is growing. These innovations are woven in – it’s all part of the tree of our community’s health.”

Awardees include:
Tribal Innovations: Cowlitz Tribe, Nakani Native Program, Unkitawa
Community Innovations:Arms Around You, Association of Zambians in Seattle, WA, Kent Youth and Family Services, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Living Well Kent, Mercy Housing Northwest, Neighborhood House, Peer WA, Sisters In Common, Solid Ground, Unkitawa, YMCA of Greater Seattle

Download the press release