2017 WSPHA Annual Conference

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, during Breakfast


Colleen Echohawk

Colleen Echohawk

Colleen Echohawk is an enrolled member of the Kithehaki Band of the Pawnee Nation and a member of the Upper Athabascan people of Mentasta Lake. Ms. Echohawk is the Executive Director of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit dedicated to the needs of AI/ANpeople who are experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Chief Seattle Club provides a safe and sacred place to rest, revive and nurture the spirit of urban Native people. They serve approximately 100 urban Native people a day, 7 days a week, providing services such as hot meals, clothing, laundry, showers, resources for sobriety and wellness, and cultural programming. She is also the founder of the Coalition to End Urban Native Homelessness. Her education has been focused on organizational development and leadership; helping brilliant people do better work for the greater good.

A tale of Inequity: Two Nations Separated by Injustice

Among the disparities that exist for various populations, one crucial inequity often overlooked is the profound difference in homelessness among AI/AN populations. Homeless environments are often portrayed in negative terms, omitting the understanding and effects of urbanization, which has created polarizing beliefs and biases against indigenous peoples. Ms. Echohawk will discuss the deeper root causes of homelessness, and explore the genocide, forced assimilation, culture/language suppression, and oppression which happened long ago to indigenous populations.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, during Lunch


India Ornelas

India Ornelas, PhD, MPH

Dr. India Ornelas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington (UW) and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is also the Research Director for the Latino Center for Health at UW. She currently teaches and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in public health, on social determinants of health, health disparities and community engagement. Dr. Ornelas’ research focuses on understanding how social and cultural factors influence the health of vulnerable populations, especially Latino immigrants. She also collaborates with communities to develop and test culturally relevant interventions in the areas of mental health, substance use and cancer prevention.


Esther Lucero

Esther Lucero, MPP

Esther Lucero (Navajo/Latina) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board. She is a trained digital storytelling facilitator and is the founder of the NAHC Media Center, in Oakland, CA, where the use of culturally specific digital storytelling has been instrumental in changing the public view of urban American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Ms. Lucero has dedicated her work to promoting policy change for urban AI/AN using a multi-media approach. Her passions include Indigenous policy advocacy, transformative approaches to research and evaluation for Indigenous peoples, Native Science, federal Indian law and policy, and reproductive justice for Indigenous women.


Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor, MPA

Adam Taylor is the Executive Director of Global to Local (G2L), a non-profit based in SeaTac/Tukwila with a mission to bring global health strategies that have worked overseas to address health disparities in our local communities. Adam is responsible for the strategic guidance and management of the organization, along with partnership development and organizational expansion. At G2L Mr. Taylor draws on best practices in global health to address health disparities at home. During his presentation Mr. Taylor will discuss the role of Community Health Workers, how to address social determinants of health in a primary care setting, the use of mobile phones to manage chronic diseases, leadership development among under-represented groups, and linking health with economic development.

Engaging Underserved Communities Across Washington State

The panel of experts will discuss the unique opportunities and challenges of working with underserved communities, including refugees, Latinos and American Indians/Alaska Natives. Emphasizing on the importance of community collaboration, the panel will share strategies to reduce health disparities while building on cultural strengths and resilience of our diverse communities.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, during breakfast


Ben Danielson

Ben Danielson, MD

As Medical Director of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Dr. Ben Danielson upholds the clinic’s enduring tradition of growing wellness through quality care with dignity, community engagement, honoring culture and sustaining trust. Calling himself an “Equity Pusher”, Dr. Danielson participates in community advocacy and serves on the state’s health benefit exchange, the state’s commission on African American health affairs, King County’s board of health, and community groups dedicated to health issues. We are excited to hear Dr. Danielson speak on how communities are the heart and core of public health.

Your Turn

In today’s society, voices are elevated, from the highest offices to the front lines of communities. Yet there is a void in the din. We lack a shared understanding of what connects us and promotes wellness for all of us; just when we are most in need of insight. Each and every one of you working in public health are in a unique position to bring sane, compassionate, pragmatic solutions to the discourse. Our communities need you, right now. We need your knowledge, your wisdom, your voice. We need your listening skills and your translational skills. You are the key to promoting connected conversations across communities, across this state. Washington needs to hear you; it’s Your Turn.



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, during lunch


Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH

Secretary of Health Dr. John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH

Secretary Wiesman was appointed to his role by Governor Jay Inslee in 2013. Major efforts underway at the Department of Health under Secretary Wiesman’s leadership include: End AIDS Washington, Healthiest Next Generation, Foundational Public Health Services, reducing suicides and preventing firearm injuries and deaths, and addressing climate change. With more than 22 years of local public health experience, he focuses on whole systems approaches to improving health. Secretary Wiesman’s leadership is instrumental in efforts to build a healthier Washington.

The State of Washington’s Health

In his presentation, Secretary Wiesman will speak to the changing dynamics in our state health system, the impacts of policy at both state and federal levels, and key need-to-know information for the upcoming legislative session. Beyond these broader trends, Secretary Wiesman will also discuss how we as both individuals and organizations can build partnerships and become effective agents of change in our communities for this upcoming year.

Platinum Sponsors

Wenatchee Valley Medical Group University of Washington School of Public Health
Washington State Dept of Health
United Healthcare Providence St. Joseph Health

Gold Sponsors

Washington State Nurses Association Kaiser Permanente Foundation for Healthy Generations
Northwest Center for Public Health Practice WSALPHO


Silver Sponsors

Seattle Indian Health Board Molina Health Care Coordinated Care
Pediatric Transforming Clinical Practices Initiative Alliance for Gun Responsibility Washington State Hospital Association


Bronze Sponsors

Professional and Technical Employees Local 17 MultiCare Seattle Children's Hospital


Contributing Sponsors

DH Washington Center for Nursing