Congratulations to 2021 Community Health Leadership Award winners!

October 28, 2021

Congratulations to our 2021 Community Health Leadership Award winners: Washington Medical Coordination Center at UW Medicine/Harborview Medical Center, Kittitas Valley Health Care and Kittitas Valley Incident Management Team, Samaritan Healthcare, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and Swedish!

WSHA gave the awards during today’s installment of the Annual Meeting eSeries. We bestow this award annually to recognize members’ work serving the community in innovative ways. This year’s award recipients were recognized for their work guiding their communities through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington Medical Coordination Center (WMCC) is a product of ongoing collaboration between the Washington Disaster Medical Coordination Centers and the Northwest Health Care Response Network. Housed out of UW Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the WMCC was established to triage and place COVID-19 and related patients requiring acute hospital care in an equitable manner across the state. Its goal is to prevent any single hospital or group of hospitals from experiencing significant COVID-19-related resource strain by managing patient transfers.

Kittitas County mobilized the Kittitas County Incident Management Team in March 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg was a key partner, with the health system’s staff serving in various positions of leadership on the team. Throughout the pandemic, the Incident Management Team responded to outbreaks and led mass-vaccination efforts in the community.

Samaritan Healthcare in Moses Lake responded to the pandemic by creating a surge plan that would allow the hospital to quadruple its capacity and launching extensive communications vehicles to keep staff and the community updated on the virus’ local impact. It also partnered with the Grant County Health District and the Grand Coulee Health Alliance to support local vaccination efforts. To date they have administered 15,000 vaccinations, offering educational materials in English and Spanish and live translators speaking Ukrainian and Japanese.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in Seattle developed a vaccination program spanning three counties, eight hospitals and many more clinics and community vaccination sites. Partnering with Amazon, they hosted 25 weekend SuperVax events to vaccinate 3,100 people per day. Partnering with businesses, schools, community organizations and churches, they focused on reaching the most vulnerable with vaccine access, hosting vaccine events at cultural centers, churches in underserved communities, metro-transit locations and school districts. The health system also partnered with Seattle sports partners – including the Seattle Seahawks, Mariners and Sounders – to offer vaccines at sporting locations. Across all venues, the health system has administered 375,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Swedish Health Services in Seattle launched its Mobile COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics to reach underserved communities with COVID-19 vaccinations. They partnered with CellNetix, T-Mobile, Denali, SEIU and YMCA of Greater Seattle to visit 21 sites, including the Ethiopian Community Center, numerous churches and the Pacific Islander Community Association. They also held mass vaccination clinics at Seattle University and Lumen Field. In all, Swedish’s Mobile Clinics distributed more than 9,100 COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more about the Community Health Leadership Award and WSHA’s other awards online at


Tim Pfarr
WSHA Communications Director


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