Category: Blog

Tukwila’s River Run Brings Diverse Communities Together for Healthy Fun

race participants at finish line

Dozens of participants in Global to Local community health programs gathered under a bright blue sky last weekend for the annual River Run 5K. Fitness enthusiasts, ranging in age from young children to grandparents, converged on the beautiful course, which followed the Duwamish River south of Tukwila Community Center.

race participants next to river

G2L fitness program participants have been running and walking in the race since 2014; it’s become a beloved tradition.

group of race participants

“Participating in this race has been really successful for us over the years, as it complements our physical activity programs,” said Community Health Worker (CHW) Monica Davalos, who has joined the event four times. “I like that the 5K is a motivation – it’s a challenge that most of our participants had never tried before. And when the race is over, they feel like they’ve really met their goals.”

race participants

The crowd reflected the diversity of South King County, with Somali and Latino communities particularly well represented thanks to recruitment by CHWs.

“By participating in the walk/run each year, we’re integrating our communities into public activities and making them visible. The CHW team brings awareness and makes the process of participating in these activities easier for our communities, thus removing barriers,” said CHW Program Manager Aisha Dahir.

participants run to finish line

“It was great to bring diverse communities together,” added CHW Diana Melgoza. “Being able to all have the same goal — same start, same finish — and encouraging and motivating each other was really fun. It was my first time doing a race, and I want to do it again!”

Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page. And while you’re there, “Like” our page to keep up with all things Global to Local!

Community Health Workers

G2L currently employs five CHWs, including Monica and Diana, who support Tukwila and SeaTac residents in improving their health and fitness. Their activities range from organizing exercise and nutrition classes, to addressing barriers that prevent residents from visiting their primary care doctors.

Our CHW program is inspired by the many global health programs that train trusted community members as health workers who operate outside of clinics to provide education, referrals, and social support for health behaviors.

The initiative is one of four programs for improving community health that G2L has developed with the goal of helping communities around the country adapt the programs to serve their needs.

Tukwila Parks and Recreation, a key partner

Big thanks to our friends at Tukwila Parks and Recreation, who organize the race each year and have long been fantastic partners in supporting the health and fitness of our community. Watch our video to learn about another of our collaborations, a fitness program at Tukwila Community Center that creates a culturally appropriate space for Somali women to improve their health.

Friends, Fun, and Food at Our Community Open House

Guests of all ages at the open house

Community members, partners, and supporters packed Global to Local’s office this spring for our first community open house. More than 150 guests of all ages joined us for fun activities, delicious food, and a chance to learn about our work.

One popular activity invited guests to fill out signs sharing what leadership means to them. Our staff then spoke with participants about the importance of community leadership in deciding how systems serve them.

G2L staff member Niesha Brooks and a guest share their thoughts about leadership.

In another corner of the office, guests spun a wheel filled with topics like “diabetes” and “public health vs. health care.” Lucky winners walked away with more knowledge about staying healthy and prizes for answering questions related to the topic they spun.

G2L staff lead a health activity.

Throughout the evening, guests learned more about the range of work G2L does, from organizing fitness classes to training residents to lead civic engagement efforts, and from operating the Connection Desk to supporting the Congolese Integration Network. Guests who were familiar with only some of our programs were excited to learn about other aspects of our work.

Floribert Mubalama from Congolese Integration Network talks with a guest.

Naija Buka and Soozveen Mediterranean Catering provided delicious food for the evening. Both businesses are operated by food entrepreneurs who participate in the Incubator Program at Food Innovation Network, which was launched by Global to Local to create pathways for health, wealth, and success through food system revitalization in South King County.

food

Grown-ups had a great time, but the kids seem to have had even more fun! We’re always delighted when families engage with our work, and we loved getting to know the next generation of leaders.

Big thanks to everyone who made our open house a success! Special thanks to volunteer photographers Ken Tran and Cordell Pierce; you can see more of their photos on our event Facebook album.

Upcoming events

We’d love to see you again soon at these upcoming events:

A New Adventure for Executive Director Adam Taylor

G2L staff share their ideas about leadership

G2L staff share their ideas about leadership; Executive Director Adam Taylor’s sign reads, “Leadership is a voice for all.” Having spent eight years helping to build leadership in South King County and at G2L, Adam is moving on to new adventures. Image credit: Ken Tran.

 

After leading G2L for eight years, Founding Executive Director Adam Taylor will step down from his position on June 29 to begin a yearlong travel adventure with his family. In his announcement, Adam wrote, “Global to Local has never been stronger, which is why I have decided this is the right time for this transition. Our staff of over 20 is exceptional, our funding is solid, our partnerships are deep, and we are seeing the impact of our work every day.”

G2L Board Chair Dan Dixon highlighted some of Adam’s accomplishments in a message to our newsletter subscribers:

“A few examples of Adam and the G2L team’s work include development of a nationally recognized diabetes management program that utilizes highly efficient and cost-effective health promoters and a smart phone app that dramatically improves the wellness of users with diabetes. This program is now being launched in the Swedish System. Adam has also worked tirelessly with dozens of community partners and with support from the Seattle Foundation and King County to develop a Food Innovation Network that is launching new food businesses and improving access to healthy foods.

“Adam has engaged corporate and government partners along with universities and community groups to pursue distinctive avenues of innovation, from economic literacy and job training and placement to primary health care. One of the signature achievements of Adam’s tenure, in partnership with HealthPoint, was development of the Connection Desk that enabled thousands of individuals to sign up for the Affordable Care Act and other important services ranging from housing to employment and much more.”

Identifying G2L’s Next Leader

G2L’s board has already launched a national search for our next executive director, with the goal of having someone in place by the end of June. Details about the position are posted here; we hope you will share this opportunity with your networks.

We will keep you updated through our email newsletter; if you aren’t already subscribed, we invite you to sign up now.

The GOOD and the BAD of Technology

Watch out, Seattle is climbing to one of the city top tech cities in the U.S.   With this new wealth, comes both benefits and problems.  If you tallied up the value of all of the housing stock in Seattle in 2017, it would add up to about $645 billion, more than the gross domestic product of Argentina.  Even more remarkable, that figure shot up nearly 12 percent in a single year, compared with 2016.

Ongoing construction in Seattle’s downtown core.

The net worth of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, soared to $105.1 billion in January, placing him ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth was valued at a slight less-astounding $93.3 billion.  Both of their companies provide nearly 100,000 tech jobs opportunities.  Based on a recent report, there are 134,000 tech jobs in Seattle, a 33 percent increase since 2011. And these workers are well-paid, with an average wage of $113,906.   With many jobs opportunities comes many newcomers.

 

 

According to King5 News, nearly 21, 000 people— 57 per day—moved into the city between July 1, 2015- and July 1, 2016.  As a result, Seattle placed 10th as the most expansive market for both apartments and office spaces.  To illustrate, the prices for the average apartment rent in the Seattle metro area at $1,640 per month, a 37 percent increase since 2011.  Furthermore, Seattle’s new median price for a single-family house is $729,000, up by 13.7 percent from a year earlier.  Skyrocketing housing prices and increasing traffic congestion are eroding our quality of life and causing many residents to relocate to other parts of the country.  In Silicon Valley’s case, this resulted in many becoming homeless.  And to add injury to insult, many of the homeless work regular jobs, in some cases serving the very people whose sky-high net worth is the reason housing has become so unaffordable.

Brian Biege, first vice president in CBRE’s Bellevue office claimed “Although rental rate in core submarkets in the region have gone up, it’s clear that dollar-for-dollar, Seattle continues to offer more options than some of the other large technology hubs across the nation” As a result, it often seems like Seattle is getting younger all the time, and there definitely has been a big influx of fresh-faced techies into the city in recent years.  Seattle’s population of 20-somethings living in the downtown core increased by 16 percent since 2010.  Correlated, Seattle is the most educated market in the nation according to the same report, with 62.1 percent of all resident over 25 possessing at least a bachelor’s degree.

Higher education should improve one’s quality and quantity of life.  According to an article from Sightline Institute, “If Seattle were an independent nation, its life expectancy would rank second, just a month behind Japan’s”, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world of 83.84 years. However, which population does this data represent?

With this new culture way of life, they are many good outcomes and many destructive results.  The disparity in many social, political, and economic aspects of life fall beyond our control as the Seattle’s market getting more competitive each day. What can be done about this growing inequality? And how do you define your role in this community?

 

By: Sopheakvatey Chey

The Power of the Connection Desk

I recently spent some time getting to know all of our programs from a community level. In December, I volunteered at the Connection Desk and got to see the power of what makes it work. Communities aren’t simply connected to social and health services. Rather, they are given a helping hand to improve their daily lives. In doing so, you empower people and give them the ability to believe in themselves and others.

Imagine yourself in need of help paying rent or to enroll in health insurance. Maybe this isn’t too far off from reality. But if you haven’t been in these shoes, think of having no option except to ask a stranger for help. At the Connection Desk, you enter the door and are immediately greeted by warm faces. Those faces are intentionally there to make you feel welcomed and supported. First, you’ll enter brief information about yourself and the type of services or resources you need. Then a program coordinator will patiently walk you through the necessary steps for registration for the Affordable Health Care, utility assistance, housing, resume building and much more.

I had the opportunity to work with a newcomer that was in need of a resume and finding job opportunities. As we began to build his resume, he started to talk. By listening, we had the chance to learn about each other and hear each other’s stories. In the end, it was more than just resources. We began to have an honest human connection, valuing and validating the social experience.

 

By Niesha Brooks
Leadership & Engagement Manager

In light of DACA lets revisit the Federal Real ID Act of 2005.

As you consider renewing or getting your WA State ID, please consider the following about the Federal Real ID Act that was passed in 2005. You could help prevent placing a target on people in our community.

 What is it?

The Real ID Act of 2005 is a federal law intended to help prevent terrorism and identity theft. It was placed after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. For 12 years the Real ID Act did not go fully into effect in some U.S. states. Now the final day for anyone to use their regular ID in Washington state as identification for domestic flights is January 22, 2018. Washington became the latest state to seek federal ID compliance and last one left standing in this battle to stop the Real ID Act from going into effect. Real ID is supposed to tie a person’s residency to their identification card.

 What does this mean?

Real ID can be more harmful than we think. Withall thesepolitical barriers being thrown at people who immigrated to this country in hopes of fulfilling their dreams, this can actually be a weapon used to target them. The Real ID Act will individually targetwhois an immigrant and who is not.  After January 22, 2018, they can no longer fly domestically. This is unfair, and we are also seeing injustice being done to our DACA students. The “Dreamers” who came to this country at a young age at their parent’s will, and who know nothing more than this country which is their home.

What can we do?

WA state will give their residents two options when going to get the WA state ID. You can either get the enhanced ID that falls under the Real ID Act allowing someone to know you’re a citizen or resident of the United States, or you can get the regular WA state ID, and also get a passport card separately.  A passport card is a great identification card to have in your wallet. Here is why:

  • Real ID compliant.
  • Costs $30 for adults if you already have a passport book and $55 for first-time adult applicants.
  • Same validity as the passport book: If you’re over 16, your passport card is valid for 10 years. If you’re under 16, your passport card is valid for 5 years.
  • Can be used for entering the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

Even though the Real ID Act will soon go into effect in WA state, there is something we can all do to protect and help everyone in this state. Go get a passport card or book additionally when it is time to get or renew your current state ID. If you need to travel domestically or internationally, having a passport card will be convenient.

More information:
DACA Resources:

If you or anyone you know is a DACA recipient and is in need of financial help for the renewal application, please visit:

•     DACA Renewal Fund

•    https://unitedwedream.org/groups/#wa

•    https://unitedwedream.org/

WA Medicaid Needs Input!

New Washington Medicaid projects need input!

Why is this important?

Medicaid (not to be confused with Medicare) is our health care program for families and individuals with limited income or resources. Our most vulnerable communities access health services through Medicaid.

Projects like these have the potential to set our standards of care higher. We can ensure a holistic approach to health that includes equity and social issues outside of just health care (i.e. housing, transportation, etc). However, these projects will only be successful with community buy-in and participation. Please give feedback by September 8th, 2017. 

 

Confused by the language? Here’s the low-down.

What is the ACH?

ACHs are where public and private entities come together to work on shared health goals. Washington State has nine, some are divided by county and others include several counties. Here’s a fact sheet for more info and a map of our state’s ACHs. King County ACH is a formal LLC enterprise with an Executive Director.

What are the ACHs in WA tasked with?

A Medicaid Transformation Demonstration Project. WHEW. That’s a mouthful. This basically means that the federal government has agreed to give WA state money in order to test new ways of providing health care and insurance to Medicaid (Apple Health) clients.

The ACHs are each selecting 4-8 projects that they will be testing over the next 5 years. These projects focus on a variety of issues and have been pre-determined at this point. Once the projects are chosen by each ACH they will be monitored and evaluated based on defined metrics for success. Projects that achieve improvements in metrics outlined in the toolkit will be eligible to earn incentive funds.

Who are the people designing this?

In King County, “Design Teams” of medical providers, social service providers, local government, health plans and community members developed the draft project plans.

What are they asking for feedback on?

The King County ACH wants public comments on the 8 possible projects. I’ve listed all of the projects below. The survey is designed to elicit feedback one project at a time and it asks detailed questions about whether these projects will address community needs and how achievable the outcomes seem. Detailed information on each project can be found in the 86-page Project Toolkit.

  • Bi-directional Integration of Physical and Behavioral Health through Care Transformation
  • Community-Based Care Coordination
  • Transitional Care
  • Diversion Interventions
  • Addressing the Opioid Use Epidemic
  • Reproductive and Maternal/Child Health
  • Access to Oral Health Services
  • Chronic Disease Prevention and Control

 

Still Confused?

Well, you aren’t alone. Feel free to contact us if you want to give feedback but need help navigating the form. (disclaimer: we can’t provide opinions but can help define and explain lingo, terms, or context)

How is inclusion practiced?

How is inclusion practiced?

I came across this wonderful article recently, “All Voices on Deck: How Inclusiveness Can Help Define Your Leadership Style” by Rebecca Shambaugh. I highly suggest every person read it. Especially those who want to be leaders practicing inclusion.

Inclusion has been on my mind a lot lately (hiring processes will do that). It’s easy to think as non-profits that we’ve got this covered. And of course, we all use the words equity and inclusion so often that, why wouldn’t we? But these words are such a totem in our industry. I wonder what we miss by throwing them around so casually. The Shambaugh article isn’t written for non-profits but applies all the same – if not more since our work is in the name of social good.

Inclusion Confusion

From my experiences talking with many other non-profit professionals, our

Turns out inclusion is a lot like a community conversation…just everyday.

industry is pretty good at giving clinical definitions of equity and understands inclusion as a way to practice equity. But what does inclusion really look like? How do we practice it? Does it exist in both our programming and our organizations? When asking these questions, I’ve found it much harder to get a clear and tangible answer.

Recently asked what equity and inclusion means to me, I gave the same canned and romantic response I often hear from colleagues. I talked about bringing people to the table and said something about my shoes not fitting all feet. This re-played in my head for the next few days until I realized what was off about my answer. It was a regurgitation of definitions that didn’t speak to mindfulness or action. Many of us solidly understand the concepts and it certainly isn’t hard to intend to be inclusive. It does, however, take action and commitment to actually practice them.

When asked again, this is how I will answer:

Equity must go beyond intent (although intent should be examined–  doing this work out of privileged guilt makes it about you and not equity). It is not enough to be intentional. True equity requires us to engage in constant awareness, have humbling conversations, and most of all – create transparency in our actions. It is a constant cycle of listening, adjusting, and recognizing patterns of behavior and history.

But at any given moment, it should be easy to point to concrete actions – as a person or an organization. We are all, each and every human being, responsible for doing this. And this should be the ultimate requirement we have for our leaders. One of my concrete actions is my commitment to asking for and giving honest feedback – especially the hard kind that digs at my ego.

Taking actions

The article linked above outlines 10 solid actions for leaders to take. Shambaugh includes actions to increase equity across race, gender, cognitive styles and more.

If you prefer listening or watching to reading, try Chimamanda Adichie’s TEDTalk – The Danger of a Single Story. Another great resource that goes hand in hand with the Shambaugh article.

 

-Allison Mountjoy

Reflections on My Last Day with G2L

Today is my last day interning at Global to Local, and my looming exit presents a bittersweet opportunity for reflection on an inspiring six months. This reflection is also a thank-you, because my time at G2L was defined by its amazing, welcoming staff who make South King County a better place every day with their hard work. Because I have been a communications and development intern, it seems appropriate that this post take the form of an internet-friendly list.

  1. Think Hard – A Promise Kept

When I first came on in our SeaTac office I asked my supervisor, Allison, to make me ‘think hard’ – not just make copies and run for coffee (which, coincidentally, I did very little of). She agreed. I quickly realized that such a goal was unavoidable, here – everyone was already thinking very, very hard about how to help the residents of SeaTac and Tukwila live healthier lives. My supervisor fulfilled my request without trouble – I felt that I was doing real work to be utilized by the organization, and stretching my thinking in the same way that the present staff already was.

  1. Great People, Great Work

I never expected to feel so at home in a professional setting as an undergraduate, yet the staff of Global to Local welcomed me quickly and warmly. They fostered the growth of my ideas, and encouraged me to stretch my thinking and work-processes in an environment where I had room to succeed and fail without the risk of negative repercussions. It became clear to me that the same mindset which was allowing their innovation as an organization was allowing my growth as an activist and student in the non-profit setting. They genuinely care about people. Additionally, they were supportive and kind to me.

  1. Something Different

G2L takes creative, thoughtful, unconventional approaches to healthcare that I consider to be of particular importance in today’s uncertain national health climate. They have left behind the fear of failure that pervades conventional health networks, allowing them to take risks that standard systems will not – to the benefit of the residents of South King County.

I am proud to have been a small part of this movement for innovation, and beyond grateful to the staff at Global to Local for making me a part of their team. It brings me great comfort to know that there is a small group of committed people working hard to pioneer new methods of improving health in our communities. I cannot wait to hear what they do next.

Thank you.

Dan Godfrey
Undergraduate Student
Medical Anthropology & Global Health
University of Washington

Honoring Women Everywhere

In honor of International Women’s Day and in solidarity with Day Without Women, Global to Local is providing a paid day off for our female employees. This might sound like a small gesture, but if you take a look at our staff page you will realize that this really means our Executive Director will be working in an empty office on Wednesday. Yes, that’s right – until next Monday (when new-hire Jojo starts), we are an organization of 8 diverse women and a single man. While this is just one example of many where the non-profit industry is full of women, we still have a ways to go to achieve gender equity, even in the female-friendly non-profit realm. A recent study, Women in the Workplace finds that “women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to manager – so far fewer end up on the path to leadership – and are less likely to be hired into more senior positions.” Women also receive “less access to the people, input, and opportunities that accelerate careers.” As a result, the higher the professional position, the fewer women you see and the more imbalanced our organizations. This is also reflected in our cultural lens of the feminine “to be” versus the masculine “to do” (feminine and masculine: not to be confused with man and woman).

These management qualities, summarized in the report, might be labeled ‘feminine’ and are embraced by remarkably few women and men alike but exist within us all:

  • leading with the power of language,
  • cultivating relationships, building teams that release the energy and potential of others,
  • building an inclusive organization that “makes the strengths of their people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant”

In the words of Francis Hesselbein: “some might call this feminine management, others would call it the enlightened way that we all must lead.”

For every women and man in the world, I would leave you with this: Gender inequity hurts everyone: women and men of every race, creed, and affiliation. We are being given a great opportunity to bring balance back into the world and break free from the boxes we’ve imposed on each other and ourselves – let’s take the opportunity.

My challenge to you for the month ahead is to read up on gender equity (I’m even giving you a list of great reads to make it easy). Start learning about the long history of women’s rights, patriarchy, racism (yes, racism is deeply tied to feminism – both systems of oppression), and gender fluidity. Read up, start observing, then start a dialogue. Stumped for dialogue? Start with the question: what could the world look like if we started to value feminine qualities more?

In Solidarity,

Allison

———

Suggested Reading:

If you can’t find time to read: