WSHA director of rural health programs selected for new national leadership program to build health equity 

October 2, 2017

Jacqueline Barton True selected to join Culture of Health Leaders

Jacqueline True_0093-10-07-2015 croppedWashington State Hospital Association Director of Rural Health Programs Jacqueline Barton True has been selected to join Culture of Health Leaders: a program co-led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and CommonHealth ACTION with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She will join leaders from across the country to collaborate and innovate to solve persistent challenges and advance a Culture of Health: one that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.

As part of the program, Barton True will focus her work on building Washington’s rural communities and advancing health equity across the state. Along the way, she will develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, mentoring, networking and an advanced leadership curriculum. While participating in the program, she will continue working full-time at WSHA, applying new knowledge and leadership in her workplace and community.

“I’m honored to be selected for this program and bring support for this meaningful work to Washington state,” Barton True said. “Socioeconomic status continues to play a large role in physical health, especially in our rural communities, and I hope to use this opportunity to further work toward remedying this. The goal is to get to a point where everyone in the state is able to access the care they need at the right place and time, and be able to live a healthy life, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

“We’re thrilled to have Jacqueline selected to join Culture of Health Leaders,” WSHA President & CEO Cassie Sauer said. “Her selection is a testament to her commitment to her work, and her commitment to the communities of Washington state. Her work will go toward making people’s live healthy in our state.”

“We’re excited to welcome the second cohort of Culture of Health Leaders, who are authentically engaging with communities to elevate their voices and create an equitable, healthy nation,” said Brian Smedley, Culture of Health Leaders co-director and executive director and co-founder of the National Collaborative for Health Equity.

Natalie Burke, Culture of Health Leaders co-director and executive director of CommonHealth Action notes, “These leaders demonstrate a willingness to engage in the deep, transformative work necessary to strengthen their leadership and their communities while creating opportunities for all people to achieve their best possible health.”

The 40 selected leaders join the efforts of the first cohort of Culture of Health Leaders and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to build a Culture of Health. These leaders — who come from a range of different fields, including social policy, community development, public health and government — will explore a diversity of pressing issues in health and equity, such as addressing the legacy of structural violence and denial of access to basic needs for marginalized communities; using physical design and other traffic calming measures to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists; and spearheading a new community garden that teaches kids about culture, race and poverty.

Program partners providing training and coaching to leaders include: American Planning Association, Build Healthy Places Network, Center for Creative Leadership, Institute for Alternative Futures and Leadership Learning Community.

Culture of Health Leaders is one of a number of leadership development programs supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). These programs continue RWJF’s legacy of supporting the development and diversity of leaders. Initially focused on health and health care, the programs have been expanded because the foundation knows that building a Culture of Health requires all of us in every sector, profession and discipline to work together. The next application period for many of these programs will open in early 2018. Additional information is available at


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