2013 has been a year of great growth for the programs and community investments of the Verdant Health Commission. With 50 active programs, run by 39 organizations, the reach of these investments is both broader and deeper than it was in 2012.
The approximately $3.5 million invested this year nearly doubles the amount from the previous year. In 2012, which was Verdant’s first full year of funding programs, the commission invested approximately $1.86 million.
“Looking back, we are very excited about all of our partnerships and the increasing opportunities for our community members to access resources that will help them live healthier lives,” said Carl Zapora, superintendent of the Verdant Health Commission.
Program investments in 2013 ranged both in size and dollars, from one-time events like health fairs to multi-year program commitments like the Center for Healthy Living, which is run by Senior Services of Snohomish County and offers aging and disability resources, wellness programs and more. The dollar amounts associated with those programs ranged from a one-time expense of $2,000 to an annual expense of $560,000. Learn more about Verdant’s programs on its website.
In addition to investing in programs run by outside organizations, Verdant also initiated several programs and projects in 2013 to the benefit of the community. Here is a summary of those highlights:
Community Health Needs Assessment
At the request of Verdant’s Board of Commissioners, Verdant conducted a health needs assessment in 2013 that drew upon community health data, focus groups and phone or web-based surveys. The executive summary and report narrative is available to download (PDF). The key messages can also be viewed on Verdant’s website. Verdant will rely on this research and analysis as it moves forward with prioritizing Verdant-led initiatives in the future.
Verdant staff coordinated two programs, including 6 Weeks to a Healthier You and a Whooping Cough Education and Outreach campaign.
This was the second installment of 6 Weeks to a Healthier You, which is a community wellness program facilitated by Joe Piscatella, one of the country’s leading experts on lifestyle and health. With roughly 320 people participating in the program, including pre- and post-program biometric health screenings, Verdant saw improvement in the test results of participants and will offer the program again in 2014.
Also in 2013, Verdant completed its Whooping Cough Education and Outreach campaign, which began in the fall of 2012. This program included several techniques to increase knowledge and encourage vaccination against pertussis (whooping cough).
The new verdanthealth.org website launched in 2013 as a community resource and health access portal. In addition to information about Verdant and its programs, the website features local health events and classes, health tips and information and links to helpful resources for people trying to navigate through the healthcare system. Viewable in multiple languages and on mobile devices, this site is a free resource focused on South Snohomish County and its residents.
Community Center for Wellness Purchased
In 2013, Verdant also purchased a building along 196th Street SW in Lynnwood that will be renovated to serve as a community resource center for wellness when it opens in mid-2014. This building will house classes, workshops, health fairs and more, and it will also serve as Verdant’s office. Learn more about this building purchase on Verdant’s website.
About the Verdant Health Commission
The Verdant Health Commission works to educate and empower the community to make healthy lifestyle choices, while protecting the ownership of the community hospital for future generations. For nearly 50 years, Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County’s commissioners governed and managed our community hospital. Since reaching an agreement with Swedish Health Services in 2010 to operate the hospital, the Board of Commissioners shifted its focus to prevention and wellness, creating the Verdant Health Commission. Learn more at verdanthealth.org.