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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive names experts, researchers and community leaders to guide implementation of Best Starts for Kids

Summary

Executive Constantine appointed 35 community members to the advisory board that will help implement his voter-approved Best Starts for Kids initiative. The board includes content experts, researchers, educators, community leaders and nonprofit organizations from across King County.

Story

Best Starts for Kids

To learn more, visit the Best Starts for Kids website.

King County Executive Dow Constantine today appointed 35 members of the advisory board that will help implement Best Starts for Kids, his initiative to increase the number of children and youth who reach adulthood healthy and able to achieve their full potential.

“I’m grateful to have a talented, respected and diverse group of experts and community leaders helping guide our initiative to transform the way we invest in our children’s future,” said Executive Constantine. “Together, we will deliver outcomes that put more children and youth in our region on a path toward lifelong success.”

Members of the Children and Youth Advisory Board reflect the cultural and geographic diversity of the county and have demonstrated a commitment to children and youth. They include content experts, community leaders, educators, researchers, and representatives of service providers and nonprofit organizations. Members must be confirmed by the Metropolitan King County Council.

The Board will advise the County on implementation and oversight of the children and youth programs to be funded by the six-year levy approved by voters last month. Board members will ensure that levy funds deliver the prevention and early intervention strategies needed to improve health and well-being outcomes in King County. They will also ensure that Best Starts for Kids aligns with existing County children and youth programs.

See the full list of board members

Name - Organization Geographic Area Ages 
Janis Avery, CEO - Treehouse County 0-18
Janet Cady, ARNP, Associate Medical Director - Neighborcare Health County 0-24
Debbie Carlson, Executive Director - Allyship Seattle 12-14
Rochelle Clayton Strunk, Director of Education Programs - Encompass Rural Northeast 0-18
Ben Danielson, MD, Director - Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, Children's Medical Center Central/South 0-18
Leslie Dozono, Owner/Principal - Elty Consulting Regional 0-24
Abigail Echo-Hawk, Co-Director - WSU, Partnerships for Native Health Regional 0-24
Enrica Hampton, Early Learning Manager - Kindering Eastside 0-5
Karen Hart, President - SEIU 925 Regional 0-5
Katie Hong, Director, Youth Homelessness - Raikes Foundation County 12-24
Shomari Jones, Leader of Graduation Support - Bellevue School District Eastside 5-18
Hye-Kyung Kang, Director of MSW Program - Seattle University School of Social Work Regional 12-18
Barbara Langdon, Executive Director - LifeWire Regional 0-24
Catherine Lester, Director, Human Services Department - City of Seattle Seattle 0-24
Janet Levenger, Consultant, Board Member - Founder of Eastside Pathways Eastside 0-24
Laurie Lippold, Director of Public Policy - Partners for our Children North 0-18
Calvin Lyons, CEO - Boys & Girls Clubs of King County County 0-18
Ed Marcuse, MD, Pediatrician - Retired, Children's Hospital; Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, UW Regional 0-18
Brenda McGhee, Transition Specialist - Interagency, Seattle Public Schools Seattle 12-18
Zam Zam Mohammed, Executive Director - Voices for Tomorrow South County 0-24
Trise Moore, Director of Family & Community Partnerships - Federal Way School District South County 5-18
Roxanna Norouzi, Director of Education & Integration Policy - OneAmerica Regional 0-24
Diane Oakes, Deputy Director - Washington Dental Service Foundation Regional 0-24
Casey Osborn-Hinman, Regional Manager, Mobilization - Save the Children Action Network Regional 0-5
Gary Pollock, Chief Development Officer - Children's Therapy Center South 0-18
Terry Pottmeyer, Executive Director - Friends of Youth Eastside 12-18
Mark Pursley, Executive Director - Greater Maple Valley Community Center Southeast County 0-24
Markeese Rieux, Child Advocate - YWCA Village, Issaquah Eastside 6-18
Sarah Roseberry Lytle, Director of Outreach and Education - UW Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences Regional 0-5
Mary Jean Ryan, Executive Director - Community Center for Education and Results South County 0-24
Brian Saelens, PhD, Health Psychologist - Seattle Children's Center for Child Health, Behavior and Environment; UW School of Medicine, Pediatrics Regional 0-18
Terry Smith, Assistant Director - Bellevue Parks and Community Services Eastside 10-18
Margaret Spearmon, Assistant Dean - UW School of Social Work, Communities in Action South Seattle 0-24
Calvin Watts, Superintendent of Schools - Kent School District South County 5-18
Nancy Woodland, Executive Director - Westside Baby South County 0-5
Sound Cities Association (two positions, names still to be determined)    

“Best Starts for Kids has the potential to be a national model for expanding opportunities for children and youth,” said appointee Dr. Ben Danielson, Medical Director at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. “Executive Constantine is doing what other elected leaders across the country have talked about for years: Transitioning toward a more effective, prevention-oriented approach to services that deliver the best outcomes."

The advisory board will be guided by the King County Youth Action Plan, which establishes the County’s priorities for serving infants through young adults.

Most of the prevention and early intervention programs and services will be provided by community-based nonprofit organizations. Rigorous program evaluation will show how these programs and services help the county achieve the desired outcomes. If a program is ultimately not delivering positive results, the advisory board can recommend changing the funding to invest instead in a program that is helping the county achieve its goals.

Best Starts for Kids is the most comprehensive approach to childhood development in the nation, with a framework based on the latest neuroscience. It will focus investments on birth through age 5 when 92 percent of brain growth occurs. It will sustain the gain by providing intervention services as problems such as serious depression and addiction emerge during teenage years. It will also invest in healthier, safer communities that reinforce progress.

In addition to naming individuals to serve on the Children and Youth Advisory Board, the Executive also sent a plan to the King County Council to transition the Communities of Opportunity Interim Governance Group to become the permanent Governance Group in early 2016. This group will provide oversight to the Communities of Opportunity portion of the Best Starts for Kids levy proceeds.

Communities of Opportunity is an initiative jointly launched by King County and the Seattle Foundation to invest in efforts to improve equity in health and well-being outcomes in several communities around the county.   


Relevant links


Quotes

I’m grateful to have a talented, respected and diverse group of experts and community leaders helping guide our initiative to transform the way we invest in our children’s future. Together, we will deliver outcomes that put more children and youth in our region on a path toward lifelong success.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Best Starts for Kids has the potential to be a national model for expanding opportunities for children and youth. Executive Constantine is doing what other elected leaders across the country have talked about for years: Transitioning toward a more effective, prevention-oriented approach to services that deliver the best outcomes.

Dr. Ben Danielson, Medical Director, Odessa Brown Children's Clinic

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography