Making a CHOICE to Make a Difference

Cambia Health Foundation awards CHOICE Regional Health Network one-year grant

By Rob Goodman
Cambia Health Foundation recently awarded a one-year grant to CHOICE for $87,500 to support a pilot program that helps children with unmet behavioral health needs get the services and support they need. On March 9, at the monthly CHOICE Regional Health Network council meeting, the Council publicly acknowledged the Foundation’s grant to support the program. While making donations is a wonderful activity, understanding the impact that these grants have on people’s lives is the real story.
Julie Nye is one of those rare individuals who makes a significant impact on the lives of many children every day. Julie is a registered nurse who works at Monticello Middle School in Longview, Washington. She is the care coordinator for the Cascade Pacific Action Alliance (CPAA) Youth Behavioral Health Coordination project, which is part of CHOICE, where she helps coordinate services for students facing physical and behavioral health challenges. Over the years she has helped thousands of students, who otherwise might slip through the cracks in the system, get the medical attention they need.
For example, one student was referred to care coordination services by the school counselor after the student’s mother made a comment about needing medical attention. The parent had been having trouble with health insurance enrollment, and Julie was able to get in touch with the Health Benefit Exchange and get the family’s record squared away. She was also able to get more information about the student’s behavioral health and physical health needs. By doing so, she helped the student get into the Child & Adolescent Clinic in Longview, where the student ended up being scheduled for an urgent surgery. The student was also able to access additional behavioral health services. Without the care coordination made possible through the school project, this student would have been in grave danger. But because there was someone available at the school to talk with the parent in person and connect them with community medical and behavioral health services they so desperately needed, this student was able to get their medical needs met just in time.
The work with CHOICE underscores the Foundation’s commitment to placing the consumer’s needs at the center their health care experience, especially in rural communities. The Cambia Health Foundation salutes Julie Nye for the outstanding work she is doing on behalf of CPAA.
Rather than printing a “big check” to present to grantees, the Foundation commissioned hand-painted plates from Albertina Kerr’s Art from the Heart. The Portland-based art center and gallery serves adults with developmental disabilities and promotes awareness of the cultural contributions from people of all abilities.
Sue Cameron, Director, Wahkiakum County Health & Human Services, graciously accepted the gift from the Foundation.