King County is dedicated to building innovative and intersectional climate solutions that support community resilience and limit the climate burden on low-income households and communities of color. The FUSE Executive Fellow will explore opportunities to create a strategic framework that works to support the integration of climate and health equity priorities between PHSCK and local healthcare systems. This framework will help King County actualize its goal of reducing public health risks associated with climate change.
Fellowship Dates: October 24, 2022 – October 23, 2023
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE Corps is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and able to effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. Throughout their fellowships, they receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
A recent consensus statement signed by more than 200 medical journals noted climate change represents the greatest threat to global public health of the coming century. Institutional racism and the legacy of historical injustices in our country have resulted in low-income households and communities of color bearing a disproportionate burden of these impacts (e.g., higher rates of diseases like asthma) as well as having less access to resources and opportunities required for resiliency (e.g., less access to healthy food and quality healthcare).
King County is dedicated to building innovative and intersectional climate solutions that support community resilience and limit the climate burden on these frontline communities. The County’s 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan (SCAP), is a five-year plan for the County’s climate actions, integrating climate change into all areas of County operations. Under this plan, Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) is committed to improving equity and building community resiliency, while considering social justice as first and foremost in its climate policy and planning.
In addition, PHSKC works with the King County Hospitals for a Healthier Community (HHC) collaborative to jointly produce a King County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report. While prior reports have not included the impact of climate change on public health, PHSKC will be working in partnership with hospital members to identify climate change-related data to incorporate in the upcoming 2024/2025 CHNA report.
King County will partner with FUSE Corps to explore and identify opportunities to align work on climate change and health equity across the health care sector. The FUSE Executive Fellow will: collect and analyze data around climate change’s impact on community health and equity, engage with interested health care partners (local hospital/health systems), and develop a strategic framework for health care systems to mitigate the impact of climate change. This may also include engaging with the 10 hospital/health systems that are members of the HHC to explore strategies and planning related to climate change and the county-wide CHNA report that informs each hospital/health system’s individual health improvement strategies. Ultimately, this work will help King County actualize its goal of reducing public health risks associated with climate change, thereby creating more resilient and equitable communities.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Beginning in October 2022, the FUSE Executive Fellow will engage with PHSKC, HHC members, local healthcare operators, and community stakeholders to explore, research, and design a climate impact mitigation and community climate health equity strategic framework that can be implemented in King County healthcare system. Through these efforts, PHSKC hopes to support and partner with healthcare systems to serve as models for how other sectors can mitigate climate change with the goal of reducing the health, social, and economic risks associated with climate change – building more resilient and equitable communities in King County.
The Executive Fellow will begin by researching best practices from similar models around the nation, with an emphasis on hospital systems of communities with similar size and needs, particularly ‘safety-net’ hospital systems. The Executive Fellow will help determine how these successful strategies can be incorporated, expanded, and fine-tuned for implementation for a healthier King County.
The Executive Fellow will then collect and analyze data to construct a strategic framework that describes opportunities to integrate climate change mitigation strategies within the heath care sector. These opportunities may include but are not limited to: recommendations around how health systems can take an active role to increase equity and reduce climate change’s impact on communities in partnership with Public Health, hospital Community Benefit programs, health improvement strategies, and/or sustainability planning efforts that will help the County and area hospitals address the effects of climate change through a public health lens. Possible focus areas for the framework will include:
1) Mitigation: support a coordinated and cohesive approach and accounting for hospitals’ plans to de-carbonize and reduce waste, lessening the county’s contribution to ongoing climate change impacts in communities they serve; 2) Set climate goals: communicate commitment to climate preparedness, adaptation, and mitigation through the routine reporting of healthcare sectors ; 3) Leverage payers: align payment for healthcare services and programming with climate and health equity indicators; and 4) Health trends: establish collaborative efforts to measure health impacts and trends. This framework will emphasize efforts at hospitals and safety-net clinics (the providers serving communities disproportionately affected by climate change; 5) Provider and patient education: participate in the health communications and training work that PHSKC is developing for the region to increase climate literacy among health care providers and communities.
This framework for the health care sector will focus on both mitigation and adaptation. In the next phase, the Executive Fellow will outline goals for climate event mitigation and sustainability measures and creating achievable tiers of mitigation that varying healthcare providers and facilities can commit to achieving in a timely manner in line with County carbon neutrality goals from SCAP. This will require building relationships with local community and nonprofit stakeholders as well as experts from healthcare facilities in order to identify champions in the healthcare space that can help facilitate implementation of the plan. In line with the Sustainable and Resilient Frontline Communities section of the SCAP, the Fellow will also establish a set of recommended best practices for the health care community to reach climate adaptation goals related to health equity in the face of our changing climate. This will include researching and outlining specific community benefits, private sector benefits, and funding options that may incentivize participation in the program.
By October 2023, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
- Conduct a thorough landscape analysis- Review national and local models to identify successful strategies; engage with all relevant stakeholders, including other departments, staff members, private and public healthcare systems, and community members to better understand their perspectives, priorities, and concerns with regard to climate mitigation and sustainability goals for public health; review the current King County CHNA report as well as each hospital/health system’s individual CHNA report (as applicable) and accompanying community health improvement strategies; and identify, collect, and analyze data related to climate change’s impact on public health in King County
- Form a comprehensive strategic framework- Build strategic recommendations for local healthcare facilities, providers, systems and PHSKC to integrate climate healthy equity and impact measures into their operations, ensuring community needs, perspectives, and equity are centered in all strategies; determine overall objectives and methodology for goal setting, evaluating, reporting, and initiating the framework; establish a timeline for implementation aligned with the County’s goals; identify additional opportunities to facilitate future program implementation
- Executive Sponsor – Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health– Seattle & King County
- Project Supervisor – Brad Kramer, Program Manager – Climate + Health Equity Initiative, Public Health – Seattle & King County
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a background in healthcare system management, particularly safety net systems, and an awareness of climate implications on public health is strongly preferred for this project. Must demonstrate a commitment to work that achieves health equity and centers on community collaboration.
- Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
- Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
- Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
- Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies, and other processes.
- Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing and excels in both active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
- Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
- Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
FUSE Corps is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.