NowPow, the personalized community referral platform powering care across the nation, is expanding its digital footprint in the state of Washington. NowPow is launching a new, first-of-its-kind partnership with Educational Service District (ESD) 105, a state agency serving 25 public school districts and over 20 private and tribal schools. The company is also furthering its work with Ideal Option, one of the nation’s largest outpatient medication-assisted treatment providers for substance use disorder.
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Washington State Skyline – Powering Communities With Knowledge (Graphic: Business Wire)
This means hundreds of thousands of Washington residents can now be connected with personalized services that are highly matched to both their health and social needs, as well as age, gender, eligibility, location, languages spoken, and insurance coverage. ESD 105 and Ideal Option will also work closely with community-based and government organizations to “close the referral loop,” utilizing NowPow to track engagement throughout the process so that providers and community-based partners are able to monitor the outcome of referrals and follow-up as needed.
“Often the biggest obstacle to resource access is a knowledge gap. People don’t know what’s available to them or how to find it. Our mission at NowPow is to support community health and wellness by powering those connections,” said Rachel Kohler, CEO, NowPow. “Thanks to these unique cross-sector partnerships, NowPow is now able to connect vulnerable populations, like students and people with behavioral health needs, to community-based organizations throughout Washington.”
NowPow’s partnership with ESD 105 has the potential to connect more than 66,000 K-12 students and their families to behavioral health resources in the community. Even before the pandemic, 93 percent of school districts in the state had insufficient systems to address behavioral health needs, which have now been compounded by the crisis. After the initial launch, ESD 105 also plans to utilize NowPow’s referral network to address things like food and housing insecurity.
“During these unprecedented times, it is critical that our students have access to behavioral health services to facilitate learning and support overall wellbeing,” said Kevin Chase, Superintendent, ESD 105. “Our partnership with NowPow will help our students and their families address social risk factors and overcome systemic barriers to these critical resources.”
“Knowing the available resources is a challenge. NowPow makes this an easier and more personalized process,” added Chris De Villeneuve, Division Director, Behavioral Health and Integrated Care, Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington.
Ideal Option has seen the value of the NowPow platform at work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Ideal Option and its sister company, Ideal Balance, have leveraged NowPow’s platform to administer comprehensive screening to more than 420 patients with opioid use disorder in the Greater Columbia region and match them to more than 3,600 critical community resources like housing and job assistance. On the heels of this success, Ideal Option brought the NowPow referral network to patients in five more counties in the North Puget Sound region.
WASHINGTON — This year’s flu season has been very mild, and state health officials would like to keep it that way.
The Washington State Department of Health has announced a new program, offering free flu shots to uninsured adults at 23 participating Albertsons and Safeway pharmacies across the state.
To qualify for a free shot, patients must be over 18 and uninsured. No proof of residency or immigration status will be required. Flu vaccines are already being offered and the program will run through June of 2021.
Participating Pharmacies in Western Washington
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1546)
221 West Heron Street Aberdeen, WA 98520
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #0531)
101 Auburn Way S Auburn, WA 98002
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #3285)
1275 E Sunset Drive Bellingham, WA 98226
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1467)
900 N Callow Bremerton, WA 98312
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #0474)
1715 Broadway Everett, WA 98201
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1484)
4128 Rucker Ave Everett, WA 98203
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1294)
210 Washington Ave S Kent, WA 98032
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1464)
3215 Harrison Avenue NW Olympia, WA 98502
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1492)
110 East 3rd Street Port Angeles, WA 98362
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1563)
200 S 3rd Street Renton, WA 98057
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1508)
3820 Rainier Avenue South Seattle, WA 98118
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #3213)
15332 Aurora Ave N Shoreline, WA 98133
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #0329)
1112 South M Street Tacoma, WA 98405
Safeway Pharmacy (Store #1437)
1302 E 38th Street Tacoma, WA 98418
Learn more about the program from the Washington State Department of Health’s website.
Washington’s top health officials say, in the middle of a pandemic, the last thing our medical system needs is an influx of flu patients.
“The potential for a severe influenza season, or even an average influenza season, compounding the COVID outbreak is very, very disturbing and worrisome,” said King County Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin.
Read more: Health Experts: Now ‘More Important Than Ever’ To Get Flu Vaccine
The flu shot is recommended for everyone six months old or older. Patients over 65 should consult with their doctor first.
The Washington State Department of Health says there are several changes patients should be aware of for the 2020-2021 flu season:
All children under 19 can now receive flu vaccines and other recommended vaccines for free.
Most insurance plan cover the cost of the flu vaccine for adults.
Adults without insurance may qualify to recieve the vaccine at no cost. Find more information on free vaccination from your local health department.
Guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows the best time to get vaccinated is between September and October, though if the flu season persists past October it’s never too late to get the vaccine. Receiving a vaccine too early, like in August or July, can leave it
This year’s blood supplies aren’t quite keeping pace with the needs of local hospitals around the Seattle area, according to Bloodworks Northwest officials.
Bloodworks officials noted requests for blood donations are up 120% of normal as of early October, particularly for type O blood. As need increases, so too does pressure on the current supply for even common surgical procedures, making the need for more donors relatively urgent this month within Pacific Northwest hospitals.
As healthcare workers throughout the country continue to battle coronavirus, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle confirmed Friday an outbreak in a surgical unit has infected four patients, killing one. Ten Harborview staffers have tested positive for the virus, and 30 more are in quarantine after possible exposure.
Chances remain low, however, that a vaccine for the virus will be approved before Election Day — and on Friday, pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc. announced it cannot request emergency authorization of its vaccine before the third week of November.
Throughout Saturday, on this page, we’ll post updates on the pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Friday are here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.
The coronavirus pandemic sidelined many Seattle-area food trucks. Here’s how the survivors made it
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to a food truck in a global pandemic, swing by Chop Kitchens in White Center.
Before COVID-19, the commercial commissary was a bustling mother ship for nine food trucks. The vendors prepped their meals in the big commercial kitchen, raced out to crowded spots like South Lake Union or a farmers market or a festival and returned a few hours later — often just as others were leaving for evening shifts. “It was just nonstop,” recalls Avery Hardin, who launched his Layers Sandwich Co. truck with his wife Ashley at Chop Kitchens last fall.
All that changed when COVID-19 came to town this spring. Office parks became ghost towns. Festivals canceled and diners hunkered down at home. The food truck bubble collapsed like a mishandled soufflé.
Today, just four of Chop Kitchens’ 10 current tenants take their trucks out with any regularity, say owners Vatsana Nouanthongme, 53, and Montanee Suthanasereporn, 44, two former truck vendors who opened the commissary in 2017 in an old Dairy Queen. Most of the rest of the big trucks, each of which can represent investments of $75,000 or more, now sit in the commissary’s big, fenced lot waiting for better times.
Chop Kitchens is probably a microcosm of the larger food truck business.
In King County, the official tally of “health-permitted food trucks,” which includes both trucks and trailers, fell from 460 in January 2020 to 327 as of September, according to the Washington State Food Truck Association.
It isn’t clear how much of that decline is pandemic-related — but it’s also unclear how many of those 327 are actually operating. Anecdotally, vendors say, many trucks are either temporarily parked or working just a few days a month.