Committees

Mental-Behavioral Health Committee

Facilitator – Courtney Armstrong

Meeting details

The Mental/Behavioral Health Committee passionately promotes acceptance, fosters resiliency, and encourages compassion to support recovery and the mental well-being of our community.

Meetings

The Mental/Behavioral Health Committee meetings are held in the Benton-Franklin Health District Board Room on First Wednesdays, except July, at 3 pm.

Vision

Our community is a place where compassion for our mental well-being is demonstrated by:

  • Promoting positive attitudes toward mental health awareness
  • Providing timely access to quality mental health services
  • Working to identify and eliminate barriers to individualized care
  • Advocating for sustainable funding to support the mental health system

Current focus

The committee is currently advocating a comprehensive review of mental/behavioral health services in Benton-Franklin counties. Committee members are working to create opportunities for community conversations to normalize the idea of mental/behavioral health as an essential part of overall health.

The Mental/Behavioral Health Committee is also drafting an information handout with information on what to expect when you or someone you care about is receiving mental/behavioral health care. This will lead to a better understanding of mental health and the challenges people who live with mental illness face every day.

Members of the Behavioral Health Committee are also members of an Ad Hoc Task Force working to address the problem of suicide in our community. There are a number of events scheduled for the month of September, Suicide Awareness Month.

Recent Activities

Committee members conduct community forums and classes for families, first responders, and other professionals. An example is Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for first responders. CIT provides law enforcement with tools to assist individuals with a mental illness, and improves the safety of patrol officers, consumers, family members, and citizens within the community.

Health Access Team

Chair – Mark Brault

 

Mission

The Health Access Team exists to position our community to access health care now and in the future.

 

Meetings

The Health Access Team meetings are at United Way on the first Friday of each month, 8:30-to-9:45 am.

 

Primary Focus

The Health Access Team is working to reduce inappropriate emergency room use and help connect patients to primary care physicians. Using the emergency room for non-emergencies is a growing issue across the state, but the Tri-Cities is consistently high compared to the statewide average.

 

Accomplishments

The most effective health systems are primary care-oriented, and have minimal financial barriers to accessing primary care. Patient outcomes, quality and satisfaction, and system costs, are all improved when patients have a strong clinical relationship with a primary care provider (PCP).

 

The HAT developed a resource, “Good Health Begins With Me”, to educate community members on use of primary care, urgent care, and emergency room visits. The rack card is available for use and can be found below.

 

Local Medical Services Guide

Oral Health Coalition

Chair – Lauren Spilles RDH, BA

 

Mission

The Oral Health Coalition (OHC) is committed to educating medical and dental professionals on the importance of integrating dental and physical health care.

 

Meetings

The Oral Health Coalition meets in the Benton-Franklin Health District, Classroom 2 on the first Thursday of each month (except July and August) from 5:30-to-7 pm.

 

Current Focus

The Oral Health Coalition produces the annual Eastern Washington Medical-Dental Summit, for clinicians of both disciplines. The summit features practical clinical applications informed by the latest research to enable physicians and dentists to improve patient care and community health.

 

Recent Activities

The Oral Health Committee hosted a dinner for primary care providers and pediatric dentists to discuss early childhood dental problems and coordinating care between the medical and dental providers of children ages 0 to 5 years old.

 

The Committee is also working to increase the number of dentists practicing within Federally Qualified Health Centers. This need is an ongoing priority.

Oral Health Coalition

Chair – Lauren Spilles RDH, BA

 

Mission

The Oral Health Coalition (OHC) is committed to educating medical and dental professionals on the importance of integrating dental and physical health care.

 

Meetings

The Oral Health Coalition meets in the Benton-Franklin Health District, Classroom 2 on the first Thursday of each month (except July and August) from 5:30-to-7 pm.

 

Current Focus

The Oral Health Coalition produces the annual Eastern Washington Medical-Dental Summit, for clinicians of both disciplines. The summit features practical clinical applications informed by the latest research to enable physicians and dentists to improve patient care and community health.

 

Recent Activities

The Oral Health Committee hosted a dinner for primary care providers and pediatric dentists to discuss early childhood dental problems and coordinating care between the medical and dental providers of children ages 0 to 5 years old.

 

The Committee is also working to increase the number of dentists practicing within Federally Qualified Health Centers. This need is an ongoing priority.

Care Transitions Committee

Chair – Anthony Richards

 

Mission

To reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge by improving communication at transition points in care wherever they occur; hospital, home, community agencies, skilled nursing, assisted living.

 

Meetings

The Care Transitions Committee meets at 1:30 pm on the third Thursday of each month in the Benton-Franklin Health District offices.

 

Primary Focus

Benton and Franklin Counties consistently rank worst for hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge. The Transitions Committee is working to understand the reasons for this and develop protocols to improve the statistics.

 

Accomplishments

The Care Transitions Committee grew out of the Readmission Avoidance Project (RAP), which identified a number of points in the continuum of care where better communication and support would benefit the patient and reduce readmissions.

Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition

Chair – Cameron Fordmeier

 

Mission

To promote awareness and understanding that suicide is a preventable public health problem in the Benton and Franklin counties and to encourage our community to talk about it.

 

Meetings

Coalition meetings are held at 9:15 am the first Wednesday of every month at United Way of Benton-Franklin Counties, 401 N. Young, Kennewick.

 

Download the Events Calendar here.

 

Members

Members represent diverse sectors of our community and have a common passion to see an end to youth suicides.

 

Current Executive Board Members Include:

  • Cameron Fordmeir
  • Carla Prock
  • Dana Camarena
  • Kirk Williamson
  • Kristi Haynes
  • Mark Lee

 

Current focus

The Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition wants to help our community learn that suicide is a preventable public health problem. Talking about suicide is the best way to prevent it from happening. If your organization would like to arrange for a presentation from one of our trained presenters, please give us the information using this link. (link email to jozellep@bfhd.wa.gov put Suicide Prevention in the subject line).

 

Benton Franklin Youth Suicide Prevention Coalition Charter – 2019.pdf download here.

 

Suicide Reporting Guidelines for Media pdf download here.

 

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