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Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
The Kittitas County COVID-19 Health Equity Coalition Mini-Grant Application period is closed.
View the Award announcements
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The Kittitas County Public Health Department’s vision is that everyone in our community has the "freedom and ability to pursue healthy lives in a healthy environment". Achieving health equity means providing the resources necessary for everyone to reach their full health potential.
Social drivers of health are the conditions found in the places people live, work, learn, and play that have an impact on a person's health, well-being, and quality of life. Social drivers of health fit into five domains, including:
Examples of social drivers of health in real life include:
The Kittitas County Health Department Health Equity Committee meets monthly and is composed of KCPHD staff members from various divisions. The purpose of this group is to develop and update existing policies and procedures to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity for all Kittitas County residents.
The COVID-19 Health Equity Coalition (CHEC) was created in January 2022 in response to a grant awarded to the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) by the Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH).
To advance health equity in Kittitas County and work collaboratively to reduce COVID-19 related health disparities among rural and underserved populations.
Members in the coalition were invited to join based on their employment/organization’s sector, and its direct impact on social drivers of health.
At this time, all mini grant subcontracts have ended. Over $187,000 was spent to help communities in Kittitas County build connection and resiliency after isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A youth project to help build connection and resiliency after isolation from COVID-19. Creating healthy habits and relationships with new friends through fitness. All sessions are free of charge. This project ended May 31, 2023. There are plans for the program to start again in the fall.
For more information visit: : Amigos Atléticos
Register for the program here
NBC Right Now News Article
CWU Observer News Article
Comprehensive Healthcare is expanding an existing program. Previously, Kittitas County did not have a Mental Health First Aid certified instructor. So, Comprehensive Healthcare sent a staff member to get certified and they will soon begin providing trainings to the Kittitas County community, with a focus on agricultural and hay production workers.
Mental health first aid is an eight-hour training program that prepares community members to identify, understand, and respond to people exhibiting signs of mental illness. It helps reduce stigma and provides community awareness and support.
A project providing opportunities for Native American/Alaskan Native youth and families to foster connection and resiliency after isolation from COVID-19. All sessions are free of charge. Youth and their parents connect through social and cultural gatherings, while gaining cultural knowledge through Tribal Elder teachings.
Gallery One is distributing free Art to Go Kits, which include all the materials for an art project, closed caption video instruction, as well as English and Spanish written instructions. The goal of Art to Go Kits is to build resiliency and support mental health because of isolation and trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic. Distribution is focused on individuals who may otherwise not have access to art instruction.
KCELC provides free education and socioemotional learning tools to parents and families for use at home, to help build resiliency and school readiness after isolation from COVID-19. KCLEC is also offering in-person, play-based parent-child events.
The Kittitas County Health Network is an expansion of an existing program. They have promotores de salud (community health workers) coordinating COVID vaccine clinics and focusing on connecting the Latinx population to services that address health disparities and support social drivers of health. They’ve successfully built a rapport with the Latinx community in Kittitas County and focus on delivering culturally appropriate care. Clients have reported feeling supported by the advocacy efforts and their warm connection, or warm handoffs, to services.
Promotores de salud often meet people where they are at, such as their homes, neighborhoods, and environments that promote inclusion. Making appropriate referrals and reducing barriers to accessing appropriate care and services.
Quiet Cadence is a newer, non-profit organization focusing efforts on improving the wellbeing of healthcare professionals affected by COVID-19; using mind-body exercise and peer support groups to care for those who provide healthcare to our community, so they can continue to care for us all.
Thorp School District is focusing on supporting students with well-being programs, peer support groups, and resiliency support because of isolation from COVID-19. Staff are being trained in Suicide and Social Emotional Learning to help better address students’ needs. Peer support groups are helping to address students’ social skills, depression, anxiety, disruptive behaviors, emotional regulation, and suicidal thoughts.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.