Increasing home-visiting services so more parents and caregivers have the support they need

A wide range of support services for expectant mothers, parents, and caregivers – funded by Executive Dow Constantine’s Best Starts for Kids initiative – are increasing parents’ knowledge and confidence, strengthening parent-child bonding, and improving school readiness throughout King County. The services – delivered during home visits by community-based partners – provide parents and caregivers with support for a healthy pregnancy, free screenings for developmental milestones, information on breastfeeding, referrals to treatment for maternal depression, models for healthy parent-child interactions, and more. “We created and strengthened partnerships that provide parents and caregivers… Read More

King County uses ACS data to help older Americans with housing affordability

King County uses the American Community Survey data in many ways to support our residents.  The following story from King County Assessor John Wilson was featured in the ACS User Data group; which includes users from cities and counties around the nation.  This story was put together by the assessor’s office, the Executive Office, and Public Health staff; including Chandler Felt and Susan Kinne. When I became King County Assessor in 2016, real estate values had been jumping at a double-digit pace annually and housing affordability was headed towards a crisis level—especially… Read More

Teams trying to save ailing orca practice feeding live fish off Lummi Nation boat and SoundGuardian

The King County SoundGuardian was featured in a recent article by the Associated Press, highlighting its participation in efforts to save a sick orca whale in Puget Sound. Teams taking drastic measures to save a young, ailing killer whale loaded up two boats with fat live salmon as the sun rose Friday and rushed to waters off Washington state’s San Juan Island, preparing if needed to test-feed the critically endangered orca a day after injecting it with medicine. By early afternoon, it appeared the 3½-year-old female orca called J50 was too far north… Read More

The importance of STEM

KCIT Chief Information Officer Tanya Hannah delivered a baccalaureate address July 25 to graduates and students attending Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Seattle. Hannah urged the young people to consider careers in STEM fields, noting that artists, geographers and writers can combine technology with their passions for well-paying, absorbing careers. “It’s all part of STEM. STEM careers offer fun, compelling, important work,” Hannah said. “It’s work that pays well. It’s work that can change the world. And it’s time people of color take their rightful place at the technology table to help… Read More

King County launches SoundGuardian to join emergency Puget Sound orca recovery effort

On the morning of Aug. 5, King County’s research vessel, SoundGuardian, departed its Seattle homeport on its way to northern Puget Sound to take part in an emergency effort to save ailing members of the endangered resident orca population. “Orcas are the Salish Sea’s most iconic residents, and we all share the responsibility of protecting these beloved animals,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are doing whatever we can to help the orca now, and fulfill long-term goals to improve the health of local waterways and the Salish Sea.” Operating with… Read More

Funding victory gets staff back to doing what they do best

When funding for a major five-year study of Public Health’s pioneering FLASH sexual health education program was restored last week, employees who work on the program took a collective sigh of relief. “We were starting our third year of the project when we received notification that our study, which is funded by the Office of Adolescent Health’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, was going to be terminated two years early, so we weren’t going to have the final two years of our funding to complete the study,” Andrea Gerber, Health Educator and… Read More

Get to know Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer

Executive Constantine recently launched a Get to know the Senior Leadership Team video series with a video featuring Chief Performance Officer Gary Kurihara. In this second video, we spotlight Chief People Officer Whitney Abrams, what she is working on, and what brought her to King County. Click the image above to watch the video. If you missed Gary’s video you can catch it here, and look for the full series of videos over the next couple of months as we feature Budget Director Dwight Dively, Chief of Staff Rachel Smith and Chief… Read More

With investments by Amazon and City of Seattle, King County Metro will offer more frequent, reliable service on some of its most popular routes

King County Metro will offer more frequent and reliable bus service on some of its most popular routes beginning this fall thanks to significant investments by Amazon and the City of Seattle. Amazon’s investment will provide 22 additional weekday trips for two years across some of Metro’s busiest routes serving West Seattle, Shoreline, Ballard, and Capitol Hill. The additional service provides room for roughly 1,700 weekday boardings, and includes the RapidRide E Line and C Line, and Routes 8, 40, 62, and 63. The additional service hours will be part of Metro’s… Read More

Proudly in defense of breastfeeding, in King County and everywhere

Crossposted from Public Health Insider Statement from Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health—Seattle & King County, responding to news that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services aggressively attempted to water down international support for breastfeeding through the World Health Organization. “The notion that any national or international health agency would not completely support breastfeeding is truly shocking. Breastfeeding is broadly endorsed by both the medical community and nutrition community – and for very good reasons. Decades of research have demonstrated benefits such as: Breast milk supplies antibodies, which lowers the… Read More

It’s Electric! Brand new battery bus charger debuts as study touts climate, health benefits of electric transportation; King County Executive Constantine honored with award

Crossposted from Metro Matters By Jeff Switzer It’s another first at Metro and in the country: A fast-charging station for battery electric buses debuted at Bellevue Base this week, newly installed in a bay where buses are cleaned and fueled each day. Having a charging station installed above the service bay makes it unique in North America, according to electric battery bus manufacturer Proterra. The move makes for efficient and effective maintenance and recharging. It also replaces a slow-charge old-school plug that maintenance staff used to use to recharge battery electric buses…. Read More