Register now for the Verdant Healthier Community Conference

Set aside an “extra” day — Leap Day — to spend with the Verdant Health Commission and other community members learning from experts about ways we can live our healthiest and happiest lives. View the agenda below, or jump to detailed descriptions of sessions and presenters.


Registration on the Eventbrite registration website is now closed, as the conference has sold out. You may sign up for the waitlist on the Eventbrite registration website if you’re interested in being notified if/when a seat becomes available. Contact us at (425) 582-8600 with questions.


Date: Monday, February 29, 2016 (Leap Day!)

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th Street SW, Lynnwood — free parking available

Cost: $49 registration includes a healthy breakfast and lunch. Scholarships are available. Download the conference scholarship form for details or to apply for a scholarship.

Master of Ceremonies: 

  • Bob Drewel, WSU North Puget Sound at Everett


  • Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, Executive Director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Pediatrician, Author Mama Doc Medicine
  • Verdant Health Commission Update
  • Panel of experts on personal, workplace and community health

Breakout Sessions:

Choose sessions to attend from these topics:

  • Healthier Me & My Family
  • Healthier Workplace & Group
  • Healthier Community

To register, visit the Eventbrite registration website or
contact us at (425) 582-8600 with questions.

Thanks to our sponsors for their support!




8-8:30 a.m.

Arrival & Check In
Help Yourself to Healthy Breakfast Options

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Breakfast Keynote
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, Executive Director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Pediatrician, Author of Mama Doc Medicine

Interest Tracks

Healthier Me & My Family

Healthier Workplace & Group

Healthier Community

9:45-10:35 a.m.

How Best to Advocate for Your Health

Creating a MOVE MORE Culture

Part I: Building a Healthier Community to Support Health and Wellness

10:50-11:40 a.m.

Healthy Food Choices

Supporting Someone in Need: Strategies & Resources

Part II: Interactive Session: How Do We Improve Physical Environment and Policies?

11:55 a.m. –
1:10 p.m.

Lunch Keynote
Verdant Health Commission Staff

1:25-2:15 p.m.

Building Resiliency in Teens

Executive Tell-All

Medical & Social Services Working Together to Improve Health

2:30-3:20 p.m.

Increasing Individuals’ & Families’ Physical Activity

How Do We Manage It?

Achieving Health Equity

3:35-4:15 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote Panel
Facilitated by Master of Ceremonies Bob Drewel
Jenni McCloughan and Students, Edmonds School District
Dave Young, Vivacity & Premera Blue Cross
Carl Zapora, Verdant Health Commission

Presenters and Session Details

8:00-8:30 a.m.  Arrival & Check In

Attendees are welcome to arrive any time after 8:00 a.m. to check in and get breakfast from the buffet.

8:30-9:30 a.m.  Breakfast Keynote by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson

As the Executive Director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Wendy Sue Swanson leverages the wisdom of clinicians, patients and researchers to transform health care delivery in the digital age. She points the way to the future of medicine — a world where healthcare providers and patients use new technology to collaborate more closely and build deeper relationships than ever before.
Strong caregiver-patient relationships are built on communication, Dr. Swanson argues, and the new tech landscape offers outstanding new opportunities for communication. A practicing pediatrician and author of the popular Seattle Mama Doc blog, Wendy Sue brings unique, first-hand experience to this issue. Her online presence on her blog alone has touched the lives of 2 million people who would have been beyond her reach without social media and the Internet.

9:45-10:35 a.m.  — Healthier Me & My Family — How Best to Advocate for Your Health

Want to take charge of your health but don’t know where to start? Where do you turn for help if your health issues begin to get more complicated? Hear from a physician, social workers and others about how you can take the best care of yourself possible. Participate more in your health care decisions and get the resources you need to be the healthiest you can be.

9:45-10:35 a.m.  — Healthier Workplace & Group — Creating a MOVE MORE Culture

Learn about the impact sitting has on your health and why it is a good thing to “Make Our Day Harder.” This session will help you identify strategies to move more during your day and will connect you to trends and technologies that can help. 

9:45-10:35 a.m.  — Healthier Community — Building a Healthier Community to Support Health and Wellness (Part I)

This session will explore the connection between our physical environment and health/wellness. Speakers will address several perspectives including parks and recreation, safe routes to schools and transportation.  Attendees will also have the chance to learn about plans underway to improve our community’s infrastructure to support health, and how they can engage with these efforts.
– Sarah Olson, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Deputy Director, City of Lynnwood

10:50-11:40 a.m.  — Healthier Me & My Family — Healthy Food Choices

With so many different messages out there about food and nutrition, it’s hard to know what is right. Get the real answers and easy weeknight recipes from a registered dietitian and a local chef. You’ll see a cooking demonstration and get quick and flavorful recipes that can transform your family’s eating.
– Megan Ellison, MS, RD, CDE, Owner, Sound Dietitians & Swedish Edmonds Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

10:50-11:40 a.m.  — Healthier Workplace & Group — Supporting Someone in Need: Strategies & Resources

Every day we interact with someone experiencing a hardship or crisis. In this breakout session, learn about how frequently this impacts those around us and take away strategies and resources to be able to help in the future.

10:50-11:40 a.m.  — Healthier Community — Interactive Session: How Do We Improve Our Environment and Policies to Support Health? (Part II)

This session will build on an earlier one, but give the audience an opportunity to weigh in and share their perspectives.  Attendees will share what they think is working and what they would like to see in our community with a focus on transportation, parks and recreation, and school infrastructure.

11:55-1:10 p.m.  Lunch Keynote by the Verdant Health Commission

Since its inception in 2011, the Verdant Health Commission has invested $16.4 million in health and wellness programming in South Snohomish County. What improvements have been made in the lives of the residents, and what plans are in the works for Verdant during the next few years? Hear from staff about these accomplishments and goals. Verdant will also recognize several outstanding community members and partner agencies for their work and support of the health and well-being of this community.

1:25-2:15 p.m. — Healthier Me & My Family — Building Resiliency in Teens

What can we as a community do to help teenagers thrive and be successful? Learn about the most pressing issues teens are facing and what schools and communities are doing to transform the lives of students. Hear about the guiding principles that have changed the culture for both educators and students, increasing morale, graduation rates and emotional health.

1:25-2:15 p.m. — Healthier Workplace & Group — Executive Tell-All

What challenges are local executive leaders facing when working to support the health and wellness of their employees?  What’s on the horizon for them? Hear from several executive leaders about the work they are doing to support their employees and gather inspiration for your own work or group environment.
– Ben Roland, PharmD, Healthcare Supervisor, Seattle Area, Walgreens

1:25-2:15 p.m. — Healthier Community — Medical & Social Services Working Together to Improve Health

We know that most of our health is determined by social and environmental factors rather than direct medical or clinical care. This session will explore how social service providers are working directly with medical providers to improve health outcomes. Attendees will hear from several innovative local programs and learn about what still needs to be done to connect social and medical services.
– Katie Parker, Regional Director Resident Services, Mercy Housing

2:30-3:20 p.m. — Healthier Me & My Family — Increasing Individuals’ & Families’ Physical Activity

Learn local, fun and effective ways to get healthy as a family! Learn about programs that are great at involving the whole family in reaching their exercise goals. Also hear from a local community member who changed their health dramatically with simple changes. 
– Carrie Hite, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, City of Edmonds

2:30-3:20 p.m. — Healthier Workplace & Group — Stress: How Do We Manage It?

In today’s world, we see growing examples of toxic stress accompanied by unhealthy coping strategies like anger, tuning out, overeating, smoking and drinking. In this breakout session, you will learn healthy and effective relaxation techniques that are some of the most effective and important tools for decreasing stress and reducing the negative effects of chronic stress.
-Marni Port, MSW, Child & Teen Services Manager, Parent Trust

2:30-3:20 p.m. — Healthier Community — Achieving Health Equity

This session will explore health disparities in our community and highlight several programs that use innovative ways to connect and empower disadvantaged groups, including non-native English speakers and low-income adults.
– Vicky Breckwich Vasquez, DrPH, MPH, MA, Assistant Professor, UW Bothell
– TBD, Promotora/Spanish-Speaking Community Health Worker

3:35-4:15 p.m.  Afternoon Keynote Panel Facilitated by Master of Ceremonies Bob Drewel

Throughout the day, you will hear from presenters and panelists discussing topics that impact the health of you and your family members, your workplace or group and the community. During this afternoon keynote panel, hear from a representative of each of these areas about the issues raised today and what’s next for us in South Snohomish County.
– Dave Young, Vice President & General Manager, Sales Operations & CEO of Vivacity, Premera Blue Cross
  • Sponsors:
  • Premera Blue Cross

  • Everett Clinic

  • Harbor Square Athletic Club

  • Ash Consulting

  • Aukema & Associates

  • Edmonds Community College

  • The Herald

  • Molina Healthcare

  • Puget Sound Kidney Centers

  • Walgreens