Register now for the Verdant Healthier Community Conference

Join the Verdant Health Commission and your fellow health and social service providers to learn strategies to support and improve the health of our community. Topics will cover both the physical and behavioral health needs and issues facing South Snohomish County. View the agenda below, or jump to detailed descriptions of sessions and presenters.


Register now on the Eventbrite registration website.
Contact us at (425) 582-8600 with questions.


Date: Monday, March 12, 2018

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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

Cost: $55 Early Bird registration through Feb. 12. $75 Regular registration starts Feb. 13. Registration includes healthy breakfast and lunch buffets. Scholarships are available. Download the conference scholarship form for details or to apply for a scholarship.

Keynotes & Breakout Sessions:

  • 3 keynote/general sessions throughout the day
  • 12 breakout sessions to choose from in interest tracks that cover health practice, advocacy, policy, and theory

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

Thanks to our sponsors for their support!




7:30-8:00 a.m.

Arrival & Check In
Help Yourself to Healthy Breakfast Buffet

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Breakfast Keynote
Pritpal Tamber, MD, CEO & Co-Founder of Bridging Health & Community

Interest Tracks

The “Why”

What theories inform effective community health practices?

The “How”

What practices do we implement to improve community health?

The “Now What?”

How do we advocate and drive policy in community health?

9:15-10:05 a.m.

Food, Hunger & Chronic Diseases: How Do They Relate?

Case Studies in Behavioral Health Integration

Navigating the Healthcare Alphabet Soup

10:15-11:05 a.m.

Why Does Oral Health Matter?

Trauma Informed Practice in Schools

Social Determinants of Health: The Truth About Immigration and Health Outcomes

11:15 a.m. –
12:15 p.m.

Lunch Presentation by Verdant with Community Awards
Details Coming Soon!

12:25-1:15 p.m.

What is Best Practice?

Non-opiate Treatment of Pain: A Team Approach

Case Studies in Advocacy Work

1:25-2:15 p.m.

Brain Health

Mindfulness for Preventing Burnout

The Many Voices of Community Health

2:25-3:25 p.m.

Closing Keynote
Shelly Virva, LCSW, National Center for Complex Health & Social Needs within the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers

Presenters and Session Details

7:30-8:00 a.m.  Arrival & Check In

Attendees are welcome to arrive any time after 7:30 a.m. to check in and get breakfast from the buffet.

8:00-9:00 a.m.  Breakfast Keynote — Pritpal Tamber, MD, CEO & Co-Founder of Bridging Health & Community

Verdant is proud to have keynote speaker Pritpal Tamber, MD, joining us from Bridging Health & Community. As the CEO and Co-Founder of Bridging Health & Community, Dr. Tamber saw a missing link in determining whether individuals are healthy or sick. He will share a radical approach to health equity and the social determinants of health and explain how health systems can intentionally foster a community’s resources to support individual control over one’s life and agree on priorities that will bring the best solutions.
Dr. Tamber is the former Physician Editor of TEDMED, TED’s dedicated health event. In that role, he reviewed over 1,600 innovations and helped shape the 40 talks that made it into the 2013 program. It was through that role that he became convinced that current efforts in health innovation will fail to meaningfully impact population health or health equity.

9:15-10:05 a.m.  — The “Why” — Food, Hunger & Chronic Diseases: How Do They Relate?

Food insecurity is a widespread public health issue in the US affecting 42 million people of all ages, children through older adults. Individuals experiencing food insecurity have higher rates of chronic conditions and have reduced capacity to manage diet-related diseases like diabetes. Join our panelists to learn how nutrition and access to quality foods can impact health across the lifespan.
– Marcia Wharton, MD, Medical Director, Molina Healthcare
– Nick Jackal, Director of Community Programs, Food Lifeline
– Martha Peppones, MS, RDN, Nutrition and Advocacy Director, Homage Senior Services

9:15-10:05 a.m.  — The “How” — Case Studies in Behavioral Health Integration

More primary care providers are integrating behavioral health care services into their clinical settings. Hear practical information about how this is being done in South Snohomish County and learn directly from healthcare and behavioral health providers about what is working and challenges they face.
– Paula Thomas, Behavioral Health Integration Director, Center for Human Services
– Beratta Gomillion, Executive Director, Center for Human Services
– Marcy Shimada, CEO, Edmonds Family Medicine

9:15-10:05 a.m.  — The “Now What?” — Navigating the Healthcare Alphabet Soup

How do you stay current on what is happening in the rapidly changing healthcare system?  What do all of those acronyms mean anyways?  In this session, learn from industry experts who can help you make better sense of this complex system and learn where you can go to find reliable information.
– Karianna Wilson, CEO, Wilson Strategic & Commissioner, Verdant Health Commission
– Caitlynn Safford, Director of Governmental Relations, Amerigroup Washington
– Peter Adler, President and Regional VP, Molina Healthcare

10:15-11:05 a.m.  — The “Why” — Why Does Oral Health Matter?

It’s not a secret that your oral health affects your overall physical health, but the connection is stronger than most people recognize. In this panel you’ll hear about connections between chronic diseases and oral health, and what healthcare and other stakeholders can do to improve the integration of care.
– Sue Yoon, DMD, Director of Dental Services, Community Health Center of Snohomish County
– Glenn Puckett, MPA, Director, Health Systems Integration, Arcora, The Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington

10:15-11:05 a.m.  — The “How” — Trauma Informed Practice in Schools

Research shows that adverse childhood experiences and trauma can have profound and lasting health impacts. This panel will provide insight into what one local school is doing to build trauma-informed practices into its work and how other community groups can support these efforts.
– Brian Stewart, Principal, Alderwood Middle School
– Julie Hornung, Dean of Students, Alderwood Middle School
– Wendy Bertram, School Counselor, Alderwood Middle School

10:15-11:05 a.m. — The “Now What?” — Social Determinants of Health: The Truth About Immigration and Health Outcomes

The health of immigrant children, youth and families is affected to a large degree by their living conditions and factors that are outside the clinical setting. These social determinants of health are related to the places and conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play. Social determinants include employment, education, housing, early childhood development, and communities.
Join us to discuss the relationship between immigration and health, and what health professionals can do to help.
– Giselle Zapata-García, Co-Chair, Latinos Promoting Good Health
– Jesús Reyna RN, BSN, LCDR, U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Region X Regional Minority Health Consultant

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Lunch Presentation — Details Coming Soon!

Details for the lunch presentation and community awards given by Verdant are being confirmed. Stay tuned!

12:25-1:15 p.m. — The “Why” — What is Best Practice?

What is an evidence-based practice? How do you know if you’re doing it right? Examples in this session will come from those who are doing it on what works, what doesn’t and where to find the best information.
– Rachelle McCarty, ND MPH, Research Scientist Center for Health Workforce Studies, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington
– Lesley Steinman, MSW, MPH, Research Scientist, Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington
– Michelle Reitan, MSW, Enhance Wellness/PEARLS program, Edmonds Senior Center

12:25-1:15 p.m. — The “How” — Non-opiate Treatment of Pain: A Team Approach

Overprescribing of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain, and the growing prescription opioid and illicit opioid overdose epidemic has had a devastating impact on the lives of patients and the community of Snohomish County. Evidence-based medicine has supported multidisciplinary approaches to pain management, many of which include non-opioid interventions. Hear about an innovative, team-based, biopsychosocially based treatment approach that helps to make patients active participants in the management of their pain. A panel of interdisciplinary professionals from Swedish Pain Services will discuss their comprehensive structured program that integrates medical management, physical and occupational therapy, pain psychology, relaxation training, exercises, and nursing education. The panel includes Dr. Steven Stanos, Medical Director of Swedish Pain Services, and Swedish team members, occupational therapist Sonja Braasch, and pain psychologist Sharon Hsu. Explore one patient’s journey to recovery and self management.

12:25-1:15 p.m. — The “Now What?” — Case Studies in Advocacy

How do you make the biggest impact on the issues you’re passionate about? Come hear from professionals who successfully advocate in our communities. Hear their advocacy journeys and learn how they listen to, learn from, and collaborate with others. Hear what they found less successful, too. You’ll come away with valuable knowledge and tools to effect the change you’re fighting for.
– Jefferson Ketchel, MA, RS, Administrator, Snohomish Health District
– Megan Mittelstaedt, Community Connections Coordinator, The Arc of Snohomish County
– Stephanie Simpson, Executive Director, Bleeding Disorder Foundation of Washington

1:25-2:15 p.m. — The “Why” — Brain Health

What can we do to have a healthy brain as we age? With over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s an important question. In this session, we’ll learn about the different brain diseases, who is at risk, as well as what can be done to treat these conditions. Caregiver resources will also be shared.
– Pamela M. Dean, PhD, ABPP, Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology, Mental Health Service Line, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Division

1:25-2:15 p.m. — The “How” — Mindfulness for Preventing Burnout

Mindfulness meditation is a research-based approach for stress reduction. Research has shown that regular practice can increase self-awareness, improve emotional health, and promote adaptive problem-solving. Join us to learn more about what mindfulness is, the benefits of regular practice, and how to practice mindfulness in your daily life. Dr. Hsu will lead a brief meditation in session. Resources for meditation practice as well as interpersonal communication will be provided.

1:25-2:15 p.m. — The “Now What?” — The Many Voices of Community Health

Listen to stories of members in our community tackling the challenges of access to health care. Hear about what works, what doesn’t work, and how community members are using their knowledge and their skills to navigate the complex landscape of health and social services.
– Ray Corona, Community Member (identifies with LGBTQ, immigrant [DACA], youth, and Latinx communities)
– Catalina Angel, Community Member (identifies as a Latina immigrant-first generation, married and mother of a child with Down syndrome and other disabilities, and professional social worker in the field of human services)

2:25-3:25 p.m. – Closing Keynote — Shelly Virva, LCSW, National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs within the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers

Verdant is pleased to announce closing keynote speaker Shelly Virva, LCSW, joining us from the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs within the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. Virva serves as expert faculty on addiction and behavioral health for the National Center. Her passion for social justice and caring for vulnerable patients spans more than 20 years working as a licensed clinical social worker.In her current role, she provides coaching, training, and assists with co-designing interventions for vulnerable patients through several technical assistance contracts with health systems including FQHCs. Her devotion to working with complex patients continues to fuel her drive for educating health systems on addiction and early life trauma as well as improving health care access and delivery. We look forward to hearing from Virva about strategies she sees working, and challenges she’s come across, with community-based collaborations to support complex patients and high utilizers of our healthcare system.

  • Sponsors:
  • Premera Blue Cross

  • Coordinated Care

  • Everett Clinic

  • Kaiser Permanente

  • Amerigroup

  • Community Transit

  • Edmonds Community College

  • Foster Pepper

  • The Herald

  • Molina Healthcare

  • Pacific Art Press

  • Puget Sound Kidney Centers

  • Swedish Edmonds

  • University of Washington