The following address to Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) employees was reproduced with permission from HCA.
Dear HCA team,
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protection for abortion access. This is via a case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
We will likely have customers who are fearful or confused about what this ruling means for them and their families. We also may very well see individuals coming to Washington from other states to seek abortion services.
It is very important that each of us as HCA employees understands and communicates the facts about coverage for abortion services in Apple Health (Medicaid), Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB), and School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) programs.
Abortion remains legal and covered by health care insurance in Washington State. That includes coverage purchased by HCA.
If you don't qualify for Apple Health (because you are a resident of another state) you may qualify for the Northwest Abortion Access fund https://doh.wa.gov/you-and-your-family/sexual-and-reproductive-health/abortion
Finally, I want to acknowledge that this court decision will bring up strong emotions for many of us. For me, as a nurse, I believe access to comprehensive health care services, including abortion care, is a health equity issue and I am grateful abortion remains legal in our state. Some may have personal experiences that bring up emotions today. And for others, there may be religious or other beliefs that guide their reaction. If you need any support navigating this issue, the Employee Assistance Program is available with free and confidential services. As always, I expect we are all kind, compassionate, and professional in any conversations we have on this topic with our coworkers.
I hope you have a restful and healthy weekend.
From the City of Olympia to BUILD:
The City has launched a community-led process to ensure our public safety system works for everyone. This process is being led by a Community Work Group who is hosting a series of Listening-and-Learning Sessions during April and May.
We invite you BUILD and members of your community to join us on the evening of April 28, 2022, between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. PST for an in-person conversation on:
The City of Olympia is dedicated to deeper exploration of racism, and specifically anti-Black racism. Marginalized communities such as people with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community and specifically people who are transgender or non-binary, immigrants, people in poverty, and many others also have important concerns.
Together, we’re committed to a better understanding of these to ensure that everyone in our community feels that the public safety system works for them. To do that, we need to hear from People of Color community members. The listening-and-learning sessions are brave spaces for honest sharing and conversation about what’s important to you, your experiences, and your ideas for reimagining public safety for our community.
Together, we’re committed to ensuring that everyone in our community feels that the public safety system works for them. To do that, we need to hear from you. The listening-and-learning sessions are brave spaces for honest sharing and conversation about what’s important to you, your experiences, and your ideas for reimagining public safety for our community.
While recognizing that many far-reaching societal factors (education, housing access, racism, etc.) can influence public safety, this process takes a closer look at specifically the City’s public safety system, which includes areas like policing, crisis response, corrections, prosecution, defense, courts, and medical and fire response.
This effort is being led by a Community Work Group made up of nine community members who represent a cross-section of Olympia’s demographics, expertise, and experiences. The members are dedicated to listening carefully to community members, with an emphasis on voices of people that have often been excluded from decision-making. Using what they learn, they will work together to prepare recommendations for the Olympia City Council that represent the needs of our community.
The work group’s intention is to provide a facilitated opportunity for safe, intimate discussion. However, please share this invitation with specific members of your community who you feel would be an asset to this important conversation.
To learn more about this process, including how to register for the listening-and-learning session, and view helpful pre-discussion materials, visit engage.olympiawa.gov/publicsafety.
By Sherina James.
Ms. James contributed to this article in her personal capacity. The views expressed do not
represent the views of the Washington State Department of Corrections, the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence, or the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. This article was originally published in the Fall 2014 issue of Ending Our Silence, a newsletter of the African American Domestic Peace Project (AADPP).
Birth Equity Fund request for applications—Opportunity for Pierce County community-based organizations
Washington State Department of Health developed the Birth Equity Project to invest in community programming to improve birth outcomes for Black, African American, Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaska Native women and infants in Washington. DOH is offering funds for projects that serve and benefit black birthing families.
Hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the economy. The federal eviction moratorium expires this week, on July 31st.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) partnered on a housing assistance website to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic.
Puget Sound Energy has recently relaunched our COVID Bill Assistance Program to help residential customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. This opportunity is designed to help get our customers back on track and we can use your help sharing the message and application to apply for financial support.
This program allows customers to receive:
Additional details for this program can be found in the attached PDF or by visiting pse.com/assistance
This is a timely message and we hope that this opportunity can reach customers to apply by August 1, 2021.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and Teen Peer Advocates Program (TPAP) is hosting a series of virtual presentations by youth advocates on topics surrounding gender based violence. These presentations are free and open to the community, but RSVP is required. Please share widely! A zoom link will be shared out to all registered participants.
In the military it is instilled in you that the person to your left and right may one day be responsible for saving your life. The worst-case scenario is you could be on the battlefield and must depend on someone you don’t know to help you survive. That’s powerful and it stays with you long after you leave service. I believe this is an unspoken bond, unique to Veterans. And in my opinion, that this is why the effects of sexual violence in the military are even harder to overcome; Veterans often struggle long after they leave the service.
The Disability Inclusion Network (DIN), a fellow statewide business resource group, is excited to announce the availability of an Inclusive Virtual Meeting Planning guide and checklist published on their website.
The following is reprinted with permission from the author, John Vassall, MD.
Black Americans are reluctant to take the coronavirus vaccine. When the Pfizer vaccine became available at Howard University Hospital on December 14, only 600 of approximately 1,900 employees had signed up for the 725 doses received. Howard University is one of the oldest and finest historically Black colleges, reverently referred to as “The Mecca” by Te-Nehisi Coates. Anita Jenkins, CEO had her shot administered publicly in an effort to change the minds of the 70% of workers in a November hospital survey who either did not want to take the vaccine or did not want it immediately. If you find yourself hesitating to take the vaccine, you are not alone. I offer information to help you make your decision.
For immediate release: December 9, 2020 (20-239)
Media contact: Public Information Desk
Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Assistance Hotline, 1-800-525-0127
OLYMPIA – Today the Washington State Department of Health is announcing a new service to help people who have to isolate or quarantine at home after testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed.
Care Connect Washington, working with local health jurisdictions and their partners, will provide critical resources to people who need support when they’re staying home. Care coordinators will connect people to community-based services such as medication delivery, health care, help applying for unemployment, local housing agencies, food banks, childcare providers and more.
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with our COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts.
Today we posted our interim vaccine distribution plan. Now, as one component of a larger engagement strategy, the department is seeking additional feedback to help us understand the best ways to equitably distribute the vaccine as the department moves forward.
A message from the Washington Immigrant Network - www.washingtonimmigrantnetwork.org:
The Washington Immigrant Network needs your help making the Food for Diversity-Cultural Recipe Book. We need your recipe as well as volunteers to help collect the recipes, publish, and distribute the book. If you have recipes to share and or interested in joining the Food for Diversity committee, please email us at email@example.com
We have the following main ideas about the project:
BY KAREN JOHNSON OLYMPIAN BOARD OF CONTRIBUTORS, OCTOBER 16, 2020
Internationally acclaimed actor Chadwick Aaron Boseman mattered. Boseman studied directing at Howard University, a historically Black university, landed his first major role as a series regular on “Persons Unknown” (2010), gave a breakthrough performance as baseball player Jackie Robinson in the biographical film “42” (2013), starred as singer James Brown in “Get On Up” (2014), and as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in “Marshall” (2017).
Gov. Jay Inslee announced today the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund is now open for applications.
The relief fund will provide $40 million in federal funds allocated by the state to assist Washington workers who miss work due to COVID-19, but are unable to access federal stimulus programs and other social supports due to their immigration status. While the fund is operational, eligible recipients will receive $1,000, with a limit of $3,000 per household.
"The term disability justice was coined out of conversations between disabled queer women of color activists in 2005, including Patty Berne of Sins Invalid (and Mia Mingus & Stacy Milbern, who eventually united with Leroy Moore, Eli Clare, and Sebastian Margaret) seeking to challenge radical and progressive movements to more fully address ableism."
Read more at their site.
BUILD Membership Mingles are one-hour, focused opportunities for BUILD members to network, discus important cultural issues, and build community outside of the monthly BUILD meetings. These are hosted by the BUILD Membership and Engagement Sub-committee.
Register by clicking on the hyperlinks.
Register on our events page!
Questions or ideas for future membership mingles? Email BUILD@ofm.wa.gov
BUILD supports accessible video calls.
Accessible meetings are effective meetings. Whether you’re catching up with a friend or discussing the latest project at work, accessibility ensures that everyone can fully engage and participate.
Funded by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Wastewater Treatment Division and the Coal Creek Sewer Upgrade Project.
More info is at rootedinrights.org
This and more info is on BUILD's resource page.
Featuring experts and self-advocates on disability and race, this panel will explore life at the center of multiple oppressed identities.
The Reduced Cost Services Guide, published by DSHS, highlights a variety of products and services available in or near Washington state that are offered at reduced cost for people meeting certain income levels.
Governor Inslee’s Poverty Reduction Work Group (PRWG) was created via Directive in November 2017. PRWG is co-led by the state departments of Commerce, Employment Security, and Social & Health Services, in partnership with tribal and urban Indians, state racial and ethnic commissions, employers, community-based organizations, legislators, advocates, and philanthropy. A steering committee made up of 22 people reflecting the demographic and geographic experience of poverty provides critical oversight to PRWG and contributed substantially to the development and prioritization of recommendations. The groups have met monthly since their inception. Full documentation of all PRWG meetings can be found on Governor Inslee’s PRWG issues page.
Read more on the Dismantling Poverty in Washington site.
Read the executive summary and the 10-year plan.
Kelsey McGarry of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and Monique Brown of FOB Hope organized and co-led four Racial Caucus Affinity groups with King County providers within homeless and veteran services. The focus of the conversation was to discuss racial disparities, racial bias, the killing of Black people by police, White supremacy, and the actions steps we can take to make changes in King County.
The African American Studies Institute at PGCC presents: Black Culture Matters : A virtual lecture-discussion series.
Black Culture Matters is a series hosted by the African American Studies Institute (AASI) at Prince George's Community College, revolving around this year’s theme: Resisting De-humanization through the Humanities.
The Washington State Broadband Office and state Public Works Board has launched a comprehensive mapping initiative to identify gaps in high-speed internet service and areas of broadband infrastructure needs. This is part of the state's effort to ensure universal broadband access in Washington by 2024.
Our blog includes but is not limited to events, insights, and highlights to augment basic education.