Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Public Health Colleagues!

Dorene Hersh, Chief of Nursing

Dorene Hersh, Chief of Nursing

As you have read in the year-end email communications from our leadership, Public Health has had an exceptionally productive year.  On July 1st, the Nursing Office began our 4 year, 2.8 million dollar grant to prepare the next generation of ambulatory care nurses.  We are leveraging the work of this grant across the department to support the training and development of our nursing and medical assistant staff. Look for more information and sharing of this resource in 2019 and beyond.

Thank you for another year serving the residents of King County.  We have the privilege of working in this amazing organization, making a difference in the lives of many.  I am very proud to support you in the care you provide to our community.  Have a safe, happy and healthy 2019.

The Washington Center for Nursing has just released their nursing workforce report. It made me curious to know what our internal statistics were in comparison.  I’ve highlighted interesting data from the report below, with our data at the end of this blog post.    Continue reading

Welcome to Public Health-Seattle & King County Office of Nursing

Dorene Hersh, Chief of Nursing

Dorene Hersh, Chief of Nursing

Welcome to the Nursing Office blog!  This is a safe space created to celebrate the art of public health nursing. It’s written by members of the Nursing Office Team at Public Health – Seattle & King County, with contributions from the many experts in our field. We’ll be highlighting stories of nurses who work in public health, nursing students entering their careers, and everything in between. There are dozens of opportunities to use your nursing knowledge, in and out of direct patient care. Learn how other nurses are making a difference in our community. Searching for a new employment opportunity at Public Health?  We will feature opportunities to join the Public Health team. Want to see what a day in the life of a Public Health nurse looks like? Check us out! We hope to connect nurses to nurses! Our goal is to leave you inspired and proud to be a nurse, proud to be a nurse who works for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

We welcome your participation. This space is a work in progress, and as we build and add new voices, we welcome you to share your feedback, as it will work to make this a positive community. Please sign up to receive notifications directly to your inbox.  You won’t want to miss a single post.



The Next Decade of Nursing: NAM Town Halls Explore How New Roles, New Tech, and Social Needs Are Transforming the Field

In King County, as is true across the nation, we face major barriers to achieving health equity and social justice. Barriers include historical and current underinvestment in the social determinants of health, and severe fragmentation in the delivery of health care, social, and public health services. One promising solution for addressing these barriers is the rise of cross-sector partnerships that aim to bridge clinical and community settings. In order to be successful, such partnerships typically require some level of information sharing across partners, but the current state of data fragmentation makes this difficult. As expert negotiators with a practice grounded in person-centered care and cultural humility, nurses can serve as effective cross-sector data sharing champions. Learn more about this topic by watching a Future of Nursing 2030 Seattle Town Hall presentation at https://nam.edu/event/future-of-nursing-2030-seattle-town-hall/ (Panel 2: Eli Kern).


Why are you a Public Health Nurse?


Found on janesoceana.com

This was a question that was recently asked of the audience at the annual conference of the Association of Public Health Nurses.  There were many inspiring answers, but one common theme, to make a difference in the lives of others.  It’s been my experience that nurses who work in public health aren’t here because they “need a job”.  It is a much deeper commitment to our community, especially the under-served. 

One thread of the conference was the notion of public health nurses “going back to the future”.  It was suggested that we connect with the historical nursing practice of Lillian Wald, who brought a voice to marginalized populations.  As nurses, we have intrinsically known about the impact of social determinants of health, regardless whether or not these phrases and concepts were developed at the time we graduated nursing school.  It was through our lived experiences, and our work as nurses that gave us insight on how to correct health inequities.  We see the struggle of our communities.  Even as we move “upstream”, public health nursing is still very much the same. 

I am inspired every day by the expert care you provide to our communities.  It is through a strong nursing workforce that we will change the disparities in our communities.  The Nursing Office wishes each of you a peaceful Nurses Week.  Please enjoy this slide show from the Henry Street House in New York City.  Join us in going back to the future.



Public Health – Our Health

During Nurse’s Week 2018 the Office of Nursing launched a blog to bring about awareness to the important role that Public Health plays in the care of our community. In the spirit of friendly competition we decided to invite our nursing group to send in suggestions for our official “Name Our Blog Contest”.  After recieving many deserving entries the Office of Nursing is thrilled to announce our winner, Paul Kunkel. His entry was simplistic and to us, embodied our mission at Seattle & King County Public Health. Here are Paul’s thoughts surrounding his entry:

“I suggested that our Nursing Office blog be named “Public Health – Our Health” because I have worked in Public Health for over 27 years – 15 with Chelan-Douglas Health District and 12 with Seattle & King County.  When most people discuss health care, they focus on primary care, procedures, and hospitalizations.  For those of us who work under the radar in Public Health, we know that everyone benefits from the safety net we have built.  Our focus is on prevention and holistic health.  We provide nurturing prenatal, pediatric and family planning care.  We prevent epidemics, strive to diminish community health problems and are prepared to provide services during catastrophic events.  Public Health programs provide a solid foundation for everyone’s health – our health.” ~ Paul

Please join us in celebrating Public Health – Our Health and the extraordinary work that our Nurses do to improve the health of our community!

Blog Winner

Paul Kunkel, Public Health Nurse (left) and Amy Curtis, Nurse Recruiter (right) at Columbia City Center for Public Health

Her Passion Now: “Preparing Nurses To Build Resilience In Our Community”

Cross-posted from Public Health Insider

This article was originally posted on campaignforaction.org. As the chief nursing officer at Public Health Seattle-King County, Washington, Dorene Hersh, MSN, RN, is responsible for clinical practice oversight for over 350 public health nurses employed in management, supervisory, advanced practice, field nursing, ambulatory care, and correctional health roles. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation…

Read more of this post at https://publichealthinsider.com/2018/08/03/her-passion-now-preparing-nurses-to-build-resilience-in-our-community/


Continue reading

Nursing Office receives HRSA grant!

image003By Dorene Hersh

I am very pleased to announce that the Nursing Office has been awarded a 2.8 million dollar grant over the next 4 years.  Our grant is titled: Ambulatory System Supported by Education and Training (ASSET).

Our goal is to establish Public Health as a training center of excellence for community-based primary care nurses.  We will create a formal programmatic partnership with Seattle Pacific University (SPU) nursing program in order to train baccalaureate nursing students in the provision of evidence-based, trauma-informed primary care to medically underserved populations (MUP).

Year 1: Develop standard work for all positions in our ambulatory care clinics.  We will next develop a Nurse Residency Program to fully train and orient new nurses in public health to work at the top of their licensure.  Curricula will include chronic disease, substance use, behavioral health and trauma-informed care.

Year 2: We will provide senior clinical practicums to 7 SPU nursing students (per year) using the “Dedicated Education Unit” model.  It will bolster the education of students and RNs practicing in these settings, and will result in broader and lasting outcomes for patient care, nursing practice, and health status indicators.

Years 3 & 4: Extend the program into our community with other schools of nursing and community health centers.

This grant will develop the infrastructure to maximize our learning management system and SharePoint across Public Health for all divisions.  Dorene Hersh will be the Principal Investigator, and Shayla Holcomb is the Project Liaison.  We have an evaluation component and will periodically update you with our progress through this blog and our SharePoint site.

We look forward to the learnings associated with this wonderful opportunity. It is a gift for our organization and community.