Where in the State is WCAAP?

Colleen McCarty, MPH, Program Manager

In recent weeks, I have had the pleasure of travelling around the state to connect with community partners, host several events, and present on WCAAP projects. My whirlwind of travel included over 1,000 miles driven, countless podcasts, one flat tire, and two 40-minute flights. As a few of our statewide projects come to a close in the coming months, I will share more with you about their learnings and impact on youth and families in upcoming issues of Developments. For now, I am happy to share a few highlights of my travels and our reach in the past month:

On February 28th, Skagit County Public Health and WCAAP hosted a school nurse meeting on the topic of seizure management in Mount Vernon as part of the AAP Chronic Conditions Management in Schools grant. We were fortunate to have a parent attend and share her experience caring for her child with a seizure disorder, and heard clinical updates on epilepsy from Meghan Smith, DNP from the Seattle Children’s Hospital Neurology team.

Two weeks later, I traveled south to Olympia where WCAAP, in partnership with ESD 113, hosted a meet and greet event for over 30 school nurses, pediatric and family practice providers, and public health staff in Thurston County working together to improve coordination and communication between schools and clinics to support student health. Dr. Maria Huang from WCAAP’s Vaccine Committee helped recruit local providers to attend, and the group is interested in continuing periodic in-person meetings to strengthen relationships and discuss local health challenges.

On March 22nd, the Pediatrics Supporting Parents team, led by Dr. Mary Ann Woodruff, Rachel Lettieri, and Shayla Collins, hosted their first Family Night event in Tacoma to bring together families for dinner and discussion. This family-centered event, which included mindfulness, a Lego competition, and giveaways from the Tacoma Pierce County Public Health Department, offered an opportunity for families to share how they support their children’s health and wellness and share what kinds of support they are looking for from healthcare systems.

Throughout February and March, I traveled to Oak Harbor several times as part of a project to hold group sessions for parents using the First Approach Skills Training (FAST) curriculum. In partnership with Dr. Amy Garrett from Pediatric Associates of Whidbey Island, the Island County Health Department, and school staff from Olympic View Elementary School, we held six evening sessions to deliver the FAST-Behavior curriculum to parents at two local elementary schools.

In late March, I was able to present about the project at the Northwest Rural Health Conference in Spokane, accompanied by clinical social worker and WCAAP Program Manager Leslie Graham. We received incredible feedback and strong interest in offering similar group FAST trainings for parents in other communities around the state.

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