In October 2018, the Chelan-Douglas Coalition for Health Improvement (CHI) hosted their first special community event, Chelan-Douglas Rides to Work: An Employment and Transportation Forum. Born out of a need to assist individuals exiting treatment programs and looking for work, the Chelan-Douglas CHI has been working on employment-related transportation solutions for nearly a year now. So – what’s happened since the Forum?

Following the Forum, a subcommittee was formed to continue the charge of seeking employment-related transportation solutions across Chelan and Douglas Counties. The subcommittee began by hosting a series of town hall events throughout the counties beginning March through May 2019.

The town halls were held at various community venues in Bridgeport, Cashmere, Chelan, Entiat, Leavenworth, Rock Island, Waterville, and Wenatchee. The main goal of these events was to come together as a community to brainstorm creative solutions for increased access to transportation programs, and to identify resources for workers and job-seekers throughout Chelan and Douglas Counties. This goal was wholly achieved thanks to community members who engaged with committee members at each town hall.
During the time the town halls were taking place, the subcommittee also conducted a Chelan-Douglas Rides to Work survey. Distributed throughout Chelan and Douglas Counties, the survey collected data about employment-related transportation solutions on the issue of employment transportation as a social determinant of health. The subcommittee’s aim was to capture attitudes and experiences as well as identify common themes from those who travel to work or job interviews.
The town halls ended on a hopeful note for the future of transportation in the region. When asked what made this event valuable, one attendee answered, “Hoping that our ideas will help improve local quality of life,”  a sentiment that mirrors the ultimate goal and priorities of the Chelan-Douglas Coalition for Health Improvement.

All photos provided by the Chelan-Douglas CHI Subcommittee (Members: Paige Bartholomew, Action Health Partners; Tanya Gleason, North Central Accountable Community of Health; Brooklyn Holton, City of Wenatchee; Cathy Meuret, North Central Educational Service District; Kelsey Gust, Action Health Partners)

For more information about the Chelan-Douglas CHI or the Subcommittee, please visit or reach out to Kelsey Gust, Special Projects Coordinator with Action Health Partners.