Although we overshot the legislative session deadline by a bit, this year ended without the extended negotiations we saw last year. We are grateful to the legislators who made some difficult compromises in order to conclude on time.
As a former member, I have been somewhat involved in WSHA’s policy work for a long time. But being on the inside of the organization has given me a whole new appreciation for what the policy team does, and how they do it. There are Super Bowl conference calls, early morning meetings and late night bill reviews. Even the babies know the pace of the work! Chelene Whiteaker, our policy director for mental health, telemedicine, federal advocacy and more, had a beautiful baby girl just days after sine die.
Every year I am more impressed with the work and commitment of the policy team. Their passion for working with members to improve health care in this state is tremendous. This year’s top priority was mental health, and the legislature makes significant new investment in services, focused particularly on stabilizing the state’s psychiatric hospitals. (Read more in Inside Olympia.)
That is a big achievement and a huge credit to the hard work of our staff, our partners and our members. I’m grateful for the progress we made in health care this year, and thank you all.
President and CEO