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Learning from Local Efforts


Olympic Community of Health reflects on successes heard and lessons learned at recent partner site visits.


This Fall, OCH had an inside look at the collaborative and innovative work being done by implementation partners to further the Medicaid Transformation Project in the Olympic region.


“The transformational work happening in the region is amazing. Our partners are dedicated and passionate about their work and about improving the health of our communities.” - OCH Executive Director Celeste Schoenthaler


While data are important and valuable, it is essential to reflect on the greater impact happening within our communities that might not be reflected in numbers. Many projects are already creating real change in communities across the Olympic region.

Site visits are a valuable way for partners to share both the victories and challenges of their work. Based on partner feedback and discussion, we identified common themes across the region.


Common barriers to transformation:

  1. Health Information Technology - Significant technology barriers still exist across the region and across all sectors. Funding for more comprehensive technologies is limited, and even those with access report difficulties in effectively coordinating care and managing population health. 

  2. Workforce The pool of qualified applicants is limited. Staff turnover between organizations poses barriers and delays to work. 

  3. Financial Integration All partners, across all sectors, are focused on the transition to Integrated Managed Care. Focus on preparing for contracting, billing, and supporting Medicaid members has delayed some other work from moving forward. 

“Traveling from one end of the region to the other aids an appreciation of the incredible beauty and unique challenges in the region.” - OCH Program Manager Miranda Burger


Common facilitators of success:

  1. Access - Many partners, across sectors, are expanding service lines, increasing walk-in services, utilizing telehealth, and seeking other opportunities to reduce access barriers. 

  2. Collaboration - Partnerships continue to form, expand, and formalize. As transformation work progresses there is continued recognition of the value of staying connected across communities. 

  3. Quality Improvement- Since the last site visits in early 2019, partners have formalized quality improvement processes to track progress on transformation activities. A partner reports, “We knew we were doing a lot, but it’s so rewarding to see all the successes outlined on paper.”

All partners are unique in their specific experience with challenges and successes achieved. However, there is more commonality than differences across the region and sectors, the main of which is partners commitment to improving the health and well-being of their communities. 


“Thank you to our incredible partners for taking time to share your successes and challenges with us."

- Celeste Schoenthaler


It is a privilege to sit with partners in their space and share their successes broadly. To learn more about specific projects within the Olympic region please check out our partner spotlight blogs.

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