Whatcom HEAL (Healing-Centered, Equity, and Leadership)

Creating Conditions for Healing & Racial Equity 

Our work doesn’t stop at planning. After developing the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), Healthy Whatcom transitioned to a supportive role. Our focus? Building community capacity to ensure successful implementation that honors our core principles:

  • Shifting Power to communities of color to lead the way toward a healthier future for all.
  • Focusing on systemic changes to address racial and social inequities.
  • Actively listening to and centering the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) community members, ensuring their voices guide our work.

Leading the Change:

In 2023, we formed a two-year pilot cohort with Bellingham Technical College, PeaceHealth, and Health and Community Services. Together, we participated in Snohomish County’s CARE model, focusing on becoming trauma-informed, anti-racist, and restorative organizations.

Building Whatcom HEAL:

Building on this success, we’re launching Whatcom HEAL in 2025. This initiative aims to equip all organizations in Whatcom County with the skills, resources, and knowledge to be healing-centered, anti-racist, and restorative. 

Community Health Improvement (CHIP) strategies the CARE/ Whatcom HEAL pilot achieves:

  • Put anti-racism into practice by strategically changing organizations’ policies, processes, and decision-making. (groundwater strategy)
  • Increase the representation of client and BIPOC voices within and across agencies for program/process design and review. (housing strategy)
  • Create and share trauma-informed, LGBTQIA, anti-racist, and cultural humility training for parents, caregivers, and professionals who interact with children & youth. (CYMH strategy)