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March 27, 2024

Key messages

  • You can watch last week’s Opioid Summit online.
  • See how Clover Park students are showing empathy about opioid misuse and encouraging their peers to know the facts.
  • Keep an eye on our social media to learn more about National Public Health Week.
  • Learn how budgeting—as a community—can help public health.
  • Find out what you will see at next week’s Board of Health meeting.


Annual Opioid Summit focuses on stopping stigma

At the March 21 Tacoma-Pierce County Opioid Task Force Summit, stakeholders came together to talk about how to stop the stigma of opioid use. They also heard about what’s happening with state and local opioid settlement funds, and more.

  • If you missed the conversation, you can watch the entire event online!
  • The Task Force is a partnership between the Health Department, Pierce County, Elevate Health, and City of Tacoma.
  • Together, we work year-round to reduce stigma, improve health, raise awareness, and remove barriers for people with substance use disorder.

Want to learn more or get involved? Email Chelsea Amato at

Clover Park students craft powerful fentanyl awareness messages

You’ve likely seen our youth fentanyl prevention ads locally and online at Last week, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier highlighted videos featuring student voices from the Clover Park School District as part of this project.

  • Clover Park is one of 8 youth-serving organizations we awarded grants to for creative projects to support our campaign. Students in these videos encourage their peers to show empathy about opioid misuse and to know the facts about fentanyl.
  • Organizations used our fentanyl messages in projects that were meaningful to them—like short films, posters, a podcast, mentoring, even a Health Sovereignty gathering!
  • Check out the videos of Clover Park students, and Dammeier’s thoughts in his blog.

National Public Health Week kicks off April 1

National Public Health Week is an important reminder it takes each of us to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. April 1-7 is National Public Health Week and the theme is: Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health.

  • Public health is making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink. It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected.
  • When we all come together to support public health, all of us—every person, each family, every member of our community and all of us working in public health—can improve community health. When it works well, you may not see it.
  • National Public Health Week is a chance to make public health visible and celebrate all public health professionals who help keep our communities healthy and safe.  
  • Keep an eye on our social media next week as we celebrate our public health professionals and spotlight important partnerships and priorities we are working on in our community.
  • Every day, we will highlight a theme:
    • Monday, April 1 – Civic engagement.
    • Tuesday, April 2 – Healthy neighborhoods.
    • Wednesday, April 3 – Climate change.
    • Thursday, April 4 – New tools and innovation.
    • Friday, April 5 – Reproductive and sexual health.
    • Saturday, April 6 – Emergency preparedness.
    • Sunday, April 7 – Future of public health.

Questions? Email our Communication Team at  

Budgeting as a community to improve public health

Did you know budgeting—as a community—can help improve public health?

  • Participatory budgeting puts community members in charge of spending funds. That means they:
    • Think of ideas to improve their community.
    • Develop the ideas into project proposals.
    • Vote on which project to fund.
  • Our own Benjii Bittle wrote about participatory budgeting for the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, and he talked with Governing last week about the link between budgeting and good health.
  • We see participatory budgeting as an innovative way to help provide a voice to people most affected by a policy or plan.
  • National organizations like County Health Rankings and Roadmaps and Public Health National Center for Innovation (part of the Public Health Accreditation Board), have helped us spread the word about this innovative public health approach.  

Questions? Email Benjii Bittle at

Here’s what you will learn at next week’s April 3 Board of Health meeting

You can hear a few updates next week, April 3, at our regular Board of Health meeting. You’ll:

  • Hear from our new Director of Public Health, Chantell Harmon Reed, during Comments from the Director.
  • Learn more about National Public Health Week in our presentation: Partnership: Public health in Pierce County. You’ll hear about our valuable community partnerships with organizations like:
    • Puyallup Tribe of Indians.
    • Acts Pharmacy and Healthcare Services.
    • NAS Cut Landscaping LLC.
    • Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

Questions? Email Pat Darden at

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Stay informed on many health topics affecting you, your family, and your community. Let’s work together to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County.

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