Posted by Diane Gallegos on Jun 24, 2019
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Today’s Program: Mental Health in Washington State
Meeting Called to order: Dan Lehuta @ 12:25 pm
  • Invocation by: Tom McLean
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: Maureen Considine
  • Song: God Bless America, led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Nick Schmidt
Visiting Rotarians
  • Bill Brown, Vashon Island, Insurance Broker
Guest of Rotarians
  • Tom McLean introduced Lisa Heaton, Office of Insurance Commissioner
  • Bill Lahmann introduced his wife Mickey
  • Caroline Manger introduced Renee Washburn, outbound student to South Korea
Happy Bucks – hosted by Judy Henderson
  • Maureen Considine - Announced the return of Rotary exchange students Rosemary (from Chile) and Elinor (from Colombia). We look forward to hearing from them at an upcoming meeting. Mo also shared that she is a new grandmother to little boy Fin.
  • Sam Bovard - Announced that Pub Night Monday July 1 at Boston Harbor after inducting Colleen as our new president. She is buying the first round-nice way to start her term as president!
  • Bill Brown – (From Vashon Island Rotary) played some blues on his harmonica and encouraged us to support their Blues and Brews fundraiser.
  • Dick Cushing – (Who has a beach cabin on Vashon and attends many of their Rotary meetings) oversees the parking for Blues and Brews – but you can come free if you help park!
  • Jim Leonard sent around a signup sheet for volunteers to serve as the Happy Bucks host.
  • Nick Schmidt informed the club that there were still mile markers available for the Olympia Lake Fair Races.
  • Steve Bean auctioned off Joe Scuderi’s neighbors’ eggs won by Sam Bovard for $14.
  • Bob Wubbena provided tickets for the August 20 Seahawks vs Oakland game. The winning bidder was Colleen for $190.
  • There was another announcement encouraging support for the Vashon Rotary Blues and Brews.
Program: Mental Health in Washington State
Jim Larson introduced our speaker, Cheryl Strange.  Cheryl is the secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services.  Prior to that, she served as chief executive officer of Western State Hospital since April 2016. Before coming to Western, Strange was assistant director for the DSHS Mental Health Division, where she managed the state's public mental health system, including the state’s three hospitals, and community outpatient mental health services.
Strange also has served as vice president of the Behavioral Health Division at a privately-operated mental health service provider and as assistant secretary for Health Services and as deputy secretary at the state Department of Corrections. She holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and a master’s in public administration from Seattle University, a certification in management and leadership from the University of Washington School of Social Work, and a certificate in healthcare policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
DSHS is Washington state’s largest agency, serving 2.5 million people each year with 17,500 employees engaged daily with the state’s most vulnerable residents. They are known for innovative approaches to social services and belief in strong partnerships with communities and solid government-to-government relationships with Native American tribes. Adult Protective Services is experiencing the fastest growth and they went from handling 19,000 calls to 60,000 in just three years.
For Washington residents with mental health and substance abuse issues, it can be a challenge to get all their needs met by the health care system. Secretary Strange stated that the opiate crisis is eating away at the fabric of society – and mental illness is added on top of that. They are also overseeing the staged construction of a new hospital to replace Western State Hospital which has been fraught with problems for years. It has a 400 person wait list and lack of access to early treatment has a very high cost for the person and society. Gov. Jay Inslee announced forming a sub-cabinet to bring together state agencies to work on multiple system reforms, including physical and behavioral health integration, mental health and our state response to the opioid crisis.
Mr. Snappy
Suzi Kent won a $25 gift card to Red Robin, donated by Steve Bean
Meeting Adjourned: 1:30pm by Dan Lehuta