Rafton’s Round Up: March 2024

Sarah Rafton, MSW

Only two months into 2024, WCAAP has already had gratifying accomplishments for kids and meaningful opportunities to connect as a community! Below are some high points and what stands out for our team members in 2024 so far.

Over 100 WCAAP members and staff gathered at the Capitol on February 12, 2024 for Advocacy Day, thanks to the incredible work of our staff.

My personal highlight was Representative Callan receiving our child advocate award.

Here are more Advocacy Day highlights from the team:

Program Coordinator, Elexis Jackson: Having the chance to connect with members in person and feel their passion radiate throughout the room as we discussed our top priorities and how to advocate for children and families in our state.

Communications Director, Sarah Nau: It was wonderful to be together in person with so many members and partners to advocate for kids and their families; it helped bring the work of our community into focus in a way that shined a light on just how all our hard work is paying off.

Director, Kailani Amine: It was so great to have Community Health Workers with us at Advocacy day sharing more about their profession and uplifting the voices of the families they serve.

While legislative advocacy is WCAAPs long-standing mission and strength, we are also making measurable differences in child health on the front lines of care in clinics and through our community partnerships. Here are some highlights:

Program Manager, Marina Martinez, supports our WA-CHIP immunization learning collaborative. “Working with International Community Health Services (ICHS) has been a highlight. Dr. Pang led his team in QI and created an immunization schedule poster in 4 languages, which has spread to other ICHS sites as well. With the cohort concluding, I am thrilled Dr. Pang’s peers now want ongoing training in strong recommendation to continue to increase vaccination rates.”

Program Manager, DeAnna Dudley, supports our HPV@9 learning collaborative – the current cohort is supporting 11 clinics, including 6 rural clinics. “The momentum of cohort three of the HPV@9 Learning Collaborative is a highlight of 2024 so far.”

Program Manager, Ali Goodyear, supports our pediatric Community Health Worker learning collaborative. “Providing opportunities for Community Health Workers to come together and learn about clinical topics such as trauma-informed care and how to support families of children with developmental disabilities has been my highlight.”

Program Manager, Colleen McCarty, supports parent-involvement at WCAAP and school/community partnerships. Colleen recently led work in partnership with Dr. Amy Garrett and Pediatric Associates of Whidbey Island, for an 8-week series to train parents from two elementary schools in First Approach Skills Training (FAST). “Observing parents receiving skills and education in FAST in Oak Harbor has been my 2024 highlight so far.”

Data Manager, Michelle Tolman, fulfills a new role at WCAAP, supporting data for our learning collaboratives. “After 6 months on the team, finding my place on the team and enjoying team relationships.”

It is truly an honor to work with this team and I am consistently bowled over by their dedication, skill and innovation.