Auburn Public Health employees discuss ideas, challenges with Budget Director 

Dwight Dively, Director of Performance, Strategy and Budget, visited the Auburn Public Health Center on Monday, April 17, to talk with employees about the services they provide and what King County can do to help them serve their clients better.

Staff took Dively on a tour of the facility to showcase some of the services they deliver – such as Family Planning for teens and adults, and WIC nutrition plus maternity support for pregnant women and families. They discussed their work and raised issues they are encountering.

“I really appreciate Dwight making time to come out and see the great work we do here to serve our community at our South King County Public Health Centers,” Karen Russell, Area Manager for Public Health, said. “Staff were able to engage in a discussion on topics that are important to them.”

The tour was followed by a question and answer session with employees. One of the key issues raised was providing ongoing, sustainable funding for the Public Health Centers. Dively spoke about some of the actions the County is taking to try to ensure stable, long-term funding for Public Health, including working with the state on additional dedicated funding.

Employees also asked about the way that funding is distributed in the Public Health budget, how employees can become more engaged in the budget process, and discussed a Lean process to reduce missed appointments by patients.

“It was great to visit the Auburn Public Health Center and learn about the wide array of services they provide our clients. The staff is very dedicated to their work and it was great to hear about the challenges they’re experiencing and their ideas for doing it better,” Dively said. “I learned a lot about our programs, including ways to meet the needs of a diverse clientele and services we provide at satellite clinics and directly in the community.”

In 2014, many Public Health staff and labor partners worked at the grassroots level to help save public health clinics that were proposed for closure due to lack of funding. Executive Constantine created a partnership of funders – including cities, businesses and the Muckleshoot Tribe – to keep the clinic in Auburn open while the County works with the Legislature to create a sustainable funding source.