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The King County Behavioral Health Advisory Board is a volunteer citizen board formed in April 2016 in support of the new Behavioral Health Organization (BHO). It reviews services for the King County BHO - mental health and substance use disorder services - to provide input and counsel to King County on priorities, policies, budgets and programs for the residents of King County.

The board works to promote the importance of prevention, treatment, recovery and the de-stigmatization of mental illness and addiction. The board was created in RCW 71.24.300 and is recognized in King County Code 2.32.010. The board reviews services in the public behavioral health (mental health and substance use disorder) system and provides feedback about how the system could be made better. Board responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing and providing comments on plans and policies
  • Local oversight on activities of the BHO including service delivery and outcomes
  • Reviewing and approving recommendations from subcommittees
  • Providing information to the residents of King County on system change issues
  • Promoting de-stigmatization of mental illness and addiction
  • Legislative advocacy related to behavioral health, including identifying and promoting issues of importance in prevention, treatment and recovery
  • Serving as liaison between service provider boards, Chief Executive Officers, and clients.

Upcoming Meetings

September 2, 2021
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m

via Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 990 1574 2933

Passcode: 232303

For any questions or concerns, please contact: Hollis Whitewater:

COVID-19 Update: Until further notice, in-person meetings have been put on hold. All meetings will be held via Zoom. 

Meetings are held the first Thursday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the King County Chinook Building located at 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle WA, 98104, in a first floor conference room. Meetings are open to the public.

For any questions or concerns, please contact:

Hollis Whitewater

2021 Meeting Materials

Month Meeting Materials

Meeting Minutes

February Agenda
Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes
Behavioral Health Bill Tracker

Meeting Minutes
MIDD Rural Engagement Presentation

BSK Renewal Briefing


Meeting Minutes
2021 Legislative Summary



Meeting Minutes

KCRC SUD Presentation

Trueblood Presentation







 September  Agenda

Bylaws have been established for the new Behavioral Health Advisory Board.

The board is made up of a 15 volunteer members. The law requires that the board be broadly representative of the diverse populations that live in the county and of the persons served by the public behavioral health system. Representation from King County’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity is actively sought. People with a lived experience with mental illness or substance use disorders now in recovery and family members of people who have received services in the public behavioral health system must make up at least 51% of the board. The board also strives to achieve broad countywide representation. Length of term is three years, which is renewable. See bottom of the page for a list of board members.

We currently have openings and are recruiting for certain districts. Please contact our board liaison listed below for more information.

Hollis Whitewater, Board Liaison
401 5th Avenue, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104

Both the previous Mental Health Advisory Board and the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Administrative Board were disbanded the end of March 2016 as the new Behavioral Health Advisory Board was activated with the implementation of the Behavioral Health Organization on April 1, 2016. 

Board Members

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Orisade Awodola,  M.A., Ph.D. is a Root Psychologist, Author, Lecturer, Researcher.  Her former background as journalist and Investigative News Reporter led to a career in Mental Health. She has an extensive clinical and academic background in psychology and mental health approaches. She is a MIDD professional (mental illness and drug dependency) formerly known as (co-occurring disorders) and the founder of the Institute of African Centered Thought (IACT), where she created and teaches Root Psychology, Ancestral Healing and African Spirituality based on the Ancestral Healing Identity Theory.
Nancy-DowNancy Dow resides in Council District 6. She has served as a peer support specialist at Harborview Mental Health and Addictions Services (HMHAS) for 16 years. In that role, she has provided a full range of mental health services and developed the evidence-based “Illness Management & Recovery” program at HMHAS. Since 2013, Nancy has worked on the Harborview Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit in the Peer Bridger Program, providing peer support and recovery services and short-term follow-up support after discharge from the hospital to reduce or prevent future hospitalizations. She also trains psychiatric inpatient staff in Trauma Informed Care and other recovery-related topics, and presents at statewide conferences. Nancy has represented peer and provider interests on the King County Mental Health Advisory Board since 2004, serving as Chair of the Board twice, and representing the Board on the MIDD Oversight Committee. She enjoys gardening, photography, do-it-yourself home projects, volunteering, and providing sound services for community musical theater.
Kristin-HouserKristin Houser ​resides in Council District 2. She is an attorney at the Seattle law firm Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender, which represents individuals in personal injury, disability, and employment claims. Prior to working at the firm, she was an attorney at Evergreen Legal Services in Seattle, specializing in public benefits programs. Her more recent work has included representing Governor Christine Gregoire in the national litigation regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. She served on the board of Harborview Medical Center for twelve years and currently serves on the University of Washington Medicine Behavioral Health Steering Committee. She is also a founder of the free Legal Clinic at El Centro de la Raza. She chaired the King County Mental Health Advisory Board from 2013-2015. Kristin is married to retired King County Superior Court Judge Steve Scott; they have two grown children.

Melody McKee resides in Council District 8. She is a counselor/case manager and grant manager for the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Northwest Indian Treatment Center. She has worked in the field of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders for over 11 years in a number of capacities including counseling, case management, grant facilitation and management, support staff, supervisor, and educator. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington, and is currently working on a Masters of Science. Ms. Starkey is in long-term recovery and her lived experience with behavioral health issues keeps her motivated to give back to the recovery community and the community at large. She is also a member of the Washington Recovery Alliance.

Lucas Sherman, 

​more information coming.


Kathryn-ObermeyerKathryn Obermeyer , B.S.N., resides in Council District 2.  She is a retired registered nurse who has worked in nursing education, transplant, and biotechnology studies.  She has also worked as a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital and in a private hospital setting, and as a volunteer jail counselor at the Cowlitz County jail.  Since retirement, she has been active with Immanuel Community services and served as board president from 2008 through 2012.  Supporting the homeless while working toward ending homelessness are important goals for her.  She is passionate about improvement of the behavioral health system, as she has two close immediate family members who struggle with mental illness and obtaining services.  Ms. Obermeyer served as a member of the King County Mental Health Advisory Board since 2015.

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0583