Submitted by the Office of Governor Jay Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee today announced members of Safe Start advisory groups with focus on health systems and public health, social supports and economic readiness.

“These groups include a diverse group of voices, from community leaders in labor, business, government and nonprofit organizations,” Inslee said during a press conference Tuesday. “They represent a broad cross-section of Washingtonians from east and west of the Cascades, different generations and a focus on different impacts from the pandemic on our state.”

Each advisory group constitutes a forum for the community to consult with the governor’s office and state agencies on next steps as Washington moves forward. The members of these community leader groups are in touch with communities around the state and will inform decision-making.

The three community leader advisory groups will be led by state cabinet officials:

  • Public Health and Health Care System led by Department of Health Sec. John Wiesman
  • Safe Work and Economic Recovery led by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown
  • Social Supports led by Department of Social and Health Services Sec. Cheryl Strange

These groups do not substitute for legislative involvement. Cabinet leads and the governor’s office staff will report out to the local elected officials and the legislature on the progress and status of the state’s efforts.

Public Health and Health Care System Community Leaders Group

The Public Health and Health Care System group will be led by Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman and will look at broadening testing efforts, preparing for a second wave and preparing for treatment or vaccine distribution.

Members include:

  • Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Tribal Leader, Anacortes (Group Lead)
  • Ben Danielson, clinic chief and senior medical director, Odessa Brown Medical Clinic, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle
  • David Fleming, vice president, Global Health Programs, PATH, Seattle
  • Jane Hopkins, executive vice president, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, Renton
  • Hiroshi Nakano, vice president of value based initiatives, Valley Medical Center, Renton
  • Carlos Olivares, CEO, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Yakima
  • Alison Poulsen, executive director, Better Health Together, Spokane
  • Mary Selecky, former Washington state secretary of health, Colville
  • Sabine von Preyss-Friedman, medical director, Issaquah Nursing & Rehabilitation Center; president, Washington State Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Issaquah

“This provides a great opportunity for important perspectives from across the health care industry to come together to discuss the next steps within the health care system and the health of Washingtonians,” said Alison Poulsen, of Better Together, Spokane.

Safe Work and Economic Recovery Community Leaders Group

The Safe Work and Economic Recovery group will be led by Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown and will advise on recovery plans, guidance for maintaining health standards during re-opening and assistance to Washington’s workforce.

Members include:

  • Jessyn Farrell, senior vice president, Civic Ventures, Seattle (community member lead)
  • Jesus Alvarez, president, Southeast Central Labor Council; Teamsters Local 839, Kennewick
  • Larry Brown, president, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Seattle
  • David Giuliani, David Giuliani, CEO Washington Business Alliance; Sonicare inventor, Friday Harbor
  • Latisha Hill, vice president for community and economic vitality, Avista, Spokane
  • Junus Khan, founder, Carbitex, Kennewick
  • Tina Morrison, secretary-treasurer, Spokane Regional Labor Council; American Federation of Musicians, Spokane
  • Ryan Pennington, senior director of communications and corporate affairs, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville
  • Mark Riker, president, Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, Olympia

“We truly appreciate the opportunity to offer our perspective to the Governor regarding the difficult decisions ahead as Washington transitions to a more open economy,” said Larry Brown, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Job ?1 for the labor movement is to ensure that workers are safe when they return to the workplace.”

“The Washington wine industry is among the state’s leading value-added agricultural products, and is also a major economic contributor in our hospitality and tourism sectors. Our industry also spans the entire geography of our state; supporting jobs in our rural communities, commerce in our cities, and trade through our ports. The impacts of COVID-19 for our industry have been sudden and severe, but we stand ready to get back to work — as soon as we can safely do so — for the benefit of our workers, their families, and our communities,” Ryan Pennington, Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Social Supports Community Leaders Group

The Social Supports group will be led by DSHS Secretary Cheryl Strange and will offer perspectives on the increasing need for social services because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including food security and safe shelter and housing. It will look at recovery through an equity lens to defend the state’s most vulnerable and make sure that every Washingtonian is part of the recovery.

Michael Byun, executive director, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Seattle. Photo courtesy: Office of Governor Inslee
  • Sonya Campion, president, Campion Advocacy Fund, Seattle (Group lead)
  • Michael Byun, executive director, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Seattle
  • Jodi Daly, president and CEO, Comprehensive Healthcare, Yakima
  • Stacy Dym, executive director, Arc of Washington, Olympia
  • Toni Lodge, CEO, The Native Project, Spokane
  • Steve Maher, director, Our Valley, Our Future/Nuestro Valle, Nuestro Futuro, Wenatchee
  • Estela Ortega, executive director, El Centro de la Raza, Seattle
  • Thomas Reynolds, CEO, Northwest Harvest, Seattle
  • Loria Yeadon, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Seattle, Seattle

“Thank you Governor Inslee for your leadership during this unprecedented time of crisis. We are forever changed as a society and I look forward to us finding new ways to think about what is important. I am grateful for the opportunity to approach this recovery effort with boldness and, ironically, a focus on inclusion in this new world of isolation and distancing. Many of us were socially, politically, and economically fragile and excluded before this crisis, and now some issues are more acute. The impact is unevenly felt by many diverse groups on this advisory panel. We look forward to prioritizing a research-based approach to some pressing and enduring social justice issues with a focus on equity,” Stacy Dym, Executive Director of The Arc of Washington said. “For many people with disabilities, underlying conditions make them more at risk for the severe consequences of this virus and more vulnerable to the effects of isolation and distancing that cut them from needed services, supports, and personal care to stay healthy and safe. I look forward to some rich conversations about where we go from here, together.”

“I’m pleased the governor will be hearing from all parts of the state and from all constituencies and all walks of life. While each community in the state is different, we need to tackle reopening the economy, recovery efforts and the likelihood of a second wave later this year as one united front. We need to be creative, inclusive and collaborative, and mindful of all who are suffering economically and socially.” Steve Maher, Director, Our Valley Our Future

The creation of these advisory groups are part of the governor’s recovery plan that he first announced last month. The groups will work in tandem with ongoing conversations with local and other state governments, stakeholders and community partners to make sure Washington can re-open safely for everyone.

“I thank each of the members of these groups for helping inform the critical work we are doing to protect our public, economic and social health,” Inslee said.

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