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 […]

Acts of kindness and making things happen

Have you ever wondered what our world would be like if every single one of us gave without ever expecting anything in return? Do you wonder what our world would be like if we all gave selflessly? Over the last thirty-five years, Chuckanut Health Foundation has had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know very generous people in our community. They are philanthropists in the truest sense of the word. These are the kind of people that see a need, find out what it would take to solve the problem and then make it happen. They are the individuals that can inspire others to give without ever needing to hear a success story or get a thank you. One person who has had that kind of impact is Mike Hammes, CEO of RAM Construction in Whatcom County and a board member at Chuckanut Health Foundation. The video above (orignally aired on King 5 news) shares the story […]

Connecting with supporters and pushing the pause button…some New Year reflections.

When we think about new year’s resolutions we often think about our personal goals. It is a time for “self” care. We identify things in ourselves that we want to improve and then vow to achieve that improvement. Throughout the year we often lose momentum and sometimes even forget what it was we wanted to work towards in the first place. By the end of the year, we repeat the introspective analysis and allow ourselves to make new resolutions or renew old resolutions for the coming year. Nonprofits can make the same organizational self-care resolutions. Chuckanut Health Foundation values the work that our partner programs accomplish. We are invested in working with them for a healthier community and by doing so, we want our nonprofit partners to succeed. The end of this year has brought a lot of conversation about how best we can work together to accomplish our goal of making a healthier […]

Homelessness on Winter Solstice, longest night of the year

As you know, December 21st marks the first day of Winter, the Winter Solstice which is the shortest day of the year and longest night of the year. This day can be a day of celebration for many knowing that tomorrow starts the beginning of days with more sun, as the sun will begin to set a little later each day. For others, the longest night of the year can be difficult. In an effort to bring about awareness to homelessness the National Health Care for the Homeless Council has called on constituents to organize a memorial service on December 21st to remember those that have died due to homelessness. The Whatcom County Coalition to End Homelessness will host our local candlelight vigil at Bellingham City Hall at 5pm tonight. Whatcom County currently has 719 individuals experiencing homelessness. There are a number of local non-profits that are working towards bringing about awareness, […]

Chuckanut Health Foundation awards $18,000 in scholarships to 12 Nursing Students

  There is sincere gratitude for the generous donations that make scholarships possible for our Lois Jean Roberts Nursing Scholarship recipients. For these students some of the financial burdens lifted while they dedicate their education to helping others. At Chuckanut Health Foundation, we are privileged to be able to provide nursing scholarships to so many nursing students. This is not possible without the donations from you, our community. Often donors don’t get the opportunity to hear the impact it has on the individual that received the money. We are excited to share a few of the scholarship recipients’ expression of gratitude and provide an opportunity for you to become better acquainted. Your financial generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal and has inspired me to help others by giving back to this community that I love so much” Amy Niebruegge’s commitment to the community and to […]

Our Treehouse supports children, teens and families grieving a loss of a loved one

At Chuckanut Health Foundation we have been a proud supporter of the very important programs that Our Treehouse provides for our community. Our Treehouse is a safe environment where children and their families grieving a death can share their experiences and help them heal. We believe in the mission of Our Treehouse and the community health impact it has on Whatcom County that falls under our Healthy Children & Families strategic priorities. This video created by Real World Media Inc., tells the story of why Our Treehouse is such an important program for children, teens and families who have lost a loved one. Visit their website to learn more about Our Treehouse.