Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Recent Posts

Visit the Your Reliable Source Blog page

From books to gardens to public markets, we work with you for healthy communities.

Dr. Chen reads to kids in Carbonado

One recent morning, Carbonado Elementary kindergarten students sat for story time.

It was a special occasion. Our Director of Health, Dr. Anthony L-T Chen, was in class reading “Even Superheroes Have Bad Days.”

When he was done, he asked a question: What are good ways to deal with anger?

The responses came fast.

“Punch a pillow.”

“Snuggle your favorite stuffy.”

“Tickle yourself!”

Great answers, kids!

The book was one of hundreds about behavioral health we sent to schools, family support centers, food banks and other locations. We paid for it with CARES Act funding we received to support mental health.

“This was just one of the many ways we interact with and serve the county daily.” said Marcy Boulet, our Coalitions Liaison and Communities of Focus Coordinator. “We’re out in the community, where you are.”

Of course, handing out books is a very small part of our work. As we all learn to live with COVID-19 in Pierce County, it’s a great time for an ongoing conversation about what we do and what you need from us.

Not just books in East Pierce County.

Up the road from the school you’ll find the Wilkeson Community Garden. Funded by the Rural Development Initiative in partnership with the Health Department, the garden provides a place to gather. Some still talk about the day the community came together to build it.  

“Residents got to decide how to spend a $5,000 grant and they chose to install the community garden,” Boulet said. “Local leaders now hope to engage students in growing food in the garden.”

The garden led to other ideas. In nearby South Prairie, we used grant funds to install playground equipment. And at the Buckley Public Market, we provide grant funding to stock fresh meat and produce for families facing food insecurity. 

“A lot of these programs lost interest or gusto when COVID-19 hit,” Boulet said. “It’s time to remind people about them.”

You can help shape our work to build healthier communities. Our new Health Connection Pop-Up events will help you learn more about:

  • Family resource centers.
  • Maternal and parenting support.
  • Mental health.
  • How to keep your family and home healthy.
  • Free and low-cost dental services.

Find upcoming events at

You can join this work. The White River Partnership meets monthly to plan for better community health. For more information about that or our Communities of Focus health equity initiative, email Marcy Boulet at

You may not have thought much about us before the COVID-19 pandemic. But building a safer, strong community is what we do. And we’re better at it when you tell us what you need!

Subscribe to the Your Reliable Source blog for our latest info.