Public Health outreach approach hailed as statewide model 

access-and-outreachThe County’s Department of Public Health Access and Outreach team has earned designation as a Washington Connections Community Partnership Champion!

Washington Connection advances health and reduces inequities by helping people access medical, food, and other types of assistance, and Public Health’s team was recognized as a leader by the state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

“This recognition is extremely gratifying because our goal is to improve the lives of King County residents, and Washington Connection is one of the tools to help us do this,” said Daphne Pie, Access and Outreach Program Manager. “Being recognized as a champion allows us to model the way for our community partners so they, too, can be successful helping their clients.”

To earn the Champion designation, the Access and Outreach team needed to not only demonstrate success in enrolling clients through Washington Connection, but also earn the respect of colleagues and our communities as experts in the field.

“The A and O team works to eliminate all barriers to enrollment in public benefits.  We don’t just submit applications, we follow-up for approval. When clients are unfairly denied, we advocate for them so they can obtain their benefits.  In addition, we build strong lasting relationships with our State DSHS partners so we can work together to help our residents,” added Daphne.

In addition to helping members of the community enroll in classic Medicaid programs, the Access and Outreach team also helps enroll them in Basic Food, Cash Assistance, various childcare programs, and Medicare assistance programs.

The designation doesn’t bring any additional funding, but it does allow our Public Health department to represent Washington state DSHS at special events, and to train and help other community partners in the understanding and use of DSHS rules and policies.

Public Health’s Access and Outreach site explains the program in detail, and provides contact information by location and language.