An Interview with Astrid Newell on Envisioning the Best Possible Future for Children

Over the last decade, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of early childhood.  In Whatcom County, community leaders have prioritized a focus on young children and families as part of the Whatcom County Community Health Improvement process, recognizing that investing in our youngest children from the start is the most effective approach to improve health, reduce disparities, and advance health equity. Organizations, community leaders and individuals in Whatcom County have heard the call to action to invest in young children and have responded.  The Opportunity Council and Whatcom County Health Department sponsored a Future Search Conference to focus participants on identifying future aspirations and determining what they are ready and willing to do individually and collectively to support young children and families in Whatcom County. Astrid Newell, Community Health Manager for the Whatcom County Health Department sat down with us to share about the conference and Generations Forward: Envisioning a Future Where All […]

CHF is Now Accepting Grant Applications Due by October 1st

We are currently accepting grant applications for our October 1st grant cycle. We seek proposals for projects and programs which benefit the people of Whatcom County and show active partnerships with other organizations on an identified community health need that leverages the impact of our support. If your organization is interested in applying for a major or strategic impact grant, please submit a letter of inquiry outlining the basic proposal (one page) to Sue Sharpe by September 20th, 2017. If there is mutual interest in pursuing the proposal, completion of a formal grant request will be recommended. The following are a few examples of programs and projects that have made a meaningful impact: support grieving children, teens and families, housing for homeless youth, end-of-life caregiver support, avalanche safety equipment, opiate abuse prevention education materials, and school drop-out prevention programs. For more information on grants awarded during our April grant cycle visit […]

CHF Awards $258,00 to Fourteen Local Nonprofits

A total of $258,000 was awarded to fourteen local nonprofits as a part of CHF’s April 1st grant cycle. Grant recipients were selected due to the vital services they provide that strengthen and advance individual and community health throughout Whatcom County. Interfaith Coalition received a $20,000 matching grant to support Family Promise, a shelter and support program for local families who are experiencing homelessness. The Coalition’s vision is a community of many faiths working together to eliminate homelessness and poverty in Whatcom County, to fill gaps in human services and to meet housing and other needs of marginalized people. Family Promise is a national network committed to addressing the needs of a growing number of families experiencing homelessness and the factors that perpetuate poverty. The Family Promise model is active in 200 communities. The grant awarded supports Interfaith Coalition’s goal of establishing a day center for up to 14 family […]

Dear Friends

In 2015 and 2016, Chuckanut Health Foundation invested more than $800,000 to advance the critical health needs of our community. This Annual Report highlights some of the programs and partners that strengthen and advance community health. By joining us in this work you are supporting: Healthy, Children, Youth & Families – Because our future depends on it; Healthy Living Grants – Even small lifestyle changes make a lifelong difference; Healthy Aging Initiatives – Because we all deserve aging options that support our independence, health and wellbeing; Community Emergency Service Response – Because being prepared can’t wait; Health Services Access & Capacity and Health Education & Scholarships – So caring professionals are there for you, your family and your community We are inspired by the programs and partners in our community that we work with daily to achieve a healthier Whatcom County and are grateful for the the friends and supporters […]

Two Feet, One Breath

Taking a moment to ground yourself with two feet firmly on the ground and breath before moving on to a task has been proven as an effective method of mindfulness. The “Two Feet, One Breath” technique was developed for physicians to take a moment to stop before entering an exam room. It allowed doctors an opportunity to think about the person on the other side of the door and be present. Unless you are well skilled in maintaining mindfulness throughout your day, we all find ourselves tending to one task while our minds are somewhere else or attempting to multitask on a consistent basis. These habits are universal. In the case of palliative care, the specialized care for people with serious illness, when the person’s medical care team, family and friends practice mindfulness it can result in a truly supportive environment. We are a culture of always looking for a cure when […]

Is a Food Prescription Program on the Horizon in Whatcom County?

There is a long line stretched out the door and around the corner. Some people standing by themselves, others with another family member, all there for the same reason. The staff and volunteers are busily taking inventory, refilling bins or assisting with quantity allotments all with a friendly demeanor and smile. I’m standing in the middle of a large room that looks like a grocery store except with less dry goods and advertised product placement screaming for attention. There is a refrigerator with milk and eggs along the wall, on the outside of the refrigerator door is a sign with no words but color coded numbers. Along the perimeter of the room are proteins and dry goods each with the same color coded numbers. In the center, much like a grocery store, are bins with fresh produce. The Bellingham Food Bank (BFB) serves 3,100 people from Bellingham every single week and the need to provide food […]

The Many Faces of Stroke

Stroke patients come in all sizes, ages, genders, and levels of health. Abbe Rolnick, local author and Chuckanut Health Foundation Board Member, interviews two local Whatcom County Stroke Patients Mark, a teacher, musician, husband, and father of three young children, had a stroke in 2015. A runner and active participant in his community this wasn’t on his list of to dos. At 52 he figured his life was in front of him. With a wry smile and a readiness to laugh, the story unravels slowly as Mark recounts what he remembers of the events. “I was sound asleep and woke up feeling funny. Lights were going off on the right side of my head, and I couldn’t make my right arm and side work. My wife woke and remembers the exact time as 4:20 A.M. She thought I had a seizure or something until she looked at my face, which […]

Be a stroke hero and help save lives

Heather Flaherty, Director of RiverStyx Foundation, is helping us kick off our Stand Up To Stroke: Act FAST Campaign this year. Join us in reading her story: My dad recently had to stay in the hospital for a little over 3 weeks. He went in to the ER for a throat infection and the Doctor said “I can’t let you go home.” His infection was threatening to block his airway and the Doctor needed to make sure if that happened, it would happen where my dad could receive care quickly. My dad hadn’t been to see a Doctor in over 30 years – no dentist, no primary care, and maybe most surprising, no chronic or acute issues that forced him to emergency care until this throat infection. During his stay in the hospital we had a chance to talk about health care and medicine “nowadays.” He made a comment that stuck with […]

April brings tulips and SAAM

If you have been feeling like we have this spring (cold, soggy, ready for more than two days in a row of sunshine) perhaps you have also welcomed the warmth of fresh cut flowers into your office. Vibrant tulips in April, especially on gray days, bring a form of clarity and reassurance that summer is on its way. April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and at Chuckanut Health Foundation we are committed to the sexual violence public health approach to reduce the affects of sexual violence in our community. We believe we can all have a role in preventing sexual violence by promoting a norm of consent and respect. When we collectively hold attitudes, and values that consent is the norm, we can decrease the likelihood of sexual violence behavior in our community. Recently, we came across a study that shows high awareness among U.S. Adults on what constitutes Sexual Assault. The study […]

Of all the hours this was the happiest!

Yesterday, we celebrated our 2016 grant recipients with a happy hour gathering. What a turn out it was! The room was filled with supportive, collaborative and passionate individuals who through their organizations work tirelessly for community health. We believe that time is our greatest resource, how we spend it and with who we spend it really matters. The gathering yesterday reaffirmed that belief. Connections were made, potential collaborations were developed and some professional and social circles grew. Some conversations would have been difficult to arrange or potentially never never taken place at all. Our intention for the gathering was three fold. First and foremost, to celebrate the programs of our grantee partners that strengthen and advance individual and community health. Second, to facilitate networking and collaboration building. Third, to promote a better understanding of what type of programs we fund and what connections exist. Our 2016 grants supported six different focus areas: Healthy Children, Youth & Families; Healthy Living; Healthy […]