​ JOINT NEWS RELEASE: Spokane Regional Health District Joins Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, in Ushering in New Era of Public Health

​ JOINT NEWS RELEASE: Spokane Regional Health District Joins Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, in Ushering in New Era of Public Health

Jul 11, 2016

Several additional key leaders attend day-long Public Health 3.0 dialogue; spotlight innovative approaches to advance health, vitality and economic prosperity

For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or

SPOKANE, Wash. – July 11, 2016 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) officials today joined Acting Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Karen DeSalvo, as well as approximately 155 local, state and national leaders for a day-long dialogue to embark on a new journey to advance health, vitality and economic prosperity here and across the nation. 

The event, deemed Public Health 3.0, was held at Gonzaga University’s McCarthey Athletic Center and spotlighted the ways in which public health advocates are working across sectors to build partnerships with a common goal of improving health outcomes. 

 “At a time in this country when, too often, your zip code can be the most accurate determinant of your health, we must work together toward solutions – empowering local leadership and building strong, community-based coalitions,” said Dr. DeSalvo. “Public Health 3.0 is a chance to bring people from across sectors, like the terrific leaders here in Spokane, together for a discussion on how we can build healthier communities throughout America.”   Also on hand to open the event was Secretary John Wiesman, Washington State Department of Health. “Today’s event showcased the importance of partnership and collaboration in advancing public health in our state.” 

Leaders from all sectors—federal, state and local public health; business; nonprofit; education; health care; environment; housing; local government; and urban planning communities—were also present, representing seven states. They came together to work on enhanced leadership and workforce skills, cross-sector partnerships, accreditation and infrastructure, data and analytics, and funding. 

“This event is testament to how seriously we all take the fact that the health of many individuals in our communities is not nearly as good as it could be,” said Torney Smith, SRHD Administrator. “There are many pockets in Spokane and beyond where rates of preventable disease and premature death are unacceptably high. Public Health 3.0 is a step toward addressing this stubborn challenge.” 

Spokane was the fifth and final community selected for Public Health 3.0 activities. The county was chosen for its growing reputation as a pioneering American community using an expansive approach to community health. Federal officials took note of this work due in part to Spokane’s recognition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a Culture of Health prize in 2014. 

Additional Public Health 3.0 activities today included several presentations from local community members touched by former or current prevention work in the community:  

Andre Wicks – THEZONE Project

  • Wick expressed how the local project he oversees, THEZONE, which focuses on helping Spokane reach its full potential, from within, benefited from the type of cross-sector collaboration being touted as the foundation for Public Health 3.0. He spoke of his excitement for how these collaborations could fuel transformational change community-wide.

Kathleen Harper - Community Health Worker

  • Harper shared with audiences how she as an individual, and how her
    community, witnessed positive change associated with her work as a community health worker for the health district and the power of public health’s unconventional partnerships. She is hopeful that the visibility of Public Health 3.0 will lead to further growth of Spokane’s community health worker model.

Jennifer Hansen – Neighborhoods Matter

  • When it comes to community engagement, Hansen has boots on the ground in
    some of Spokane’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods as part of her work in SRHD’s Neighborhoods Matter program. Hansen especially sees the value of working across sectors to improve health outcomes in these areas, citing her work with businesses and neighborhoods to incite real change. She noted the commonality in this thinking as it relates to the vision of Public Health 3.0.

For more information on Public Health 3.0 in Spokane, go to For information from federal partners go to ###a href=""> Follow the hashtag #ph3Spokane or become a fan of SRHD on Facebook or follow on Twitter @spokanehealth