Skip to main content

What we do

Our activities include assuring Public Health’s commitment to values outlined in Racism as a Public Health Crisis (RPHC) and implementation of King County’s Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan.  

COVID-19 and Health Equity (CHE) Community Advisory Group

In the Fall of 2020, we were awarded the COVID-19 Health Equity (CHE) Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant aims to address the persistent and disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on higher-risk and underserved communities across the country. 

We are using this grant to support and prioritize community-centered and anti-racist work within the department. This work is aligned with King County’s 2010 Equity and Social Justice ordinance and Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan, which call for the use of a racial equity lens and community partnerships in PHSKC and all County work. 

CHE prioritizes investments to build and strengthen internal infrastructure and mobilize community partners to address COVID-19, health inequities, and future public health emergencies. We invest and strengthen the community-facing infrastructure that supports staff who can co-design strategies with communities close to the issues of concern. 

Community-facing infrastructure includes support for:

  • Staff and stipends for advisory groups and task forces
  • Implementation workplans with dedicated resources for community consultation and revisions
  • Funding and technical assistance to contracted community-based organizations

CHE strategies work towards building a workforce at all levels of the department that reflects the county we serve, and a collaborative mindset that does not assume that we have all the answers. 

For more information about the CHE Community Advisory Group, contact Halima Lozano

Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group (PARCAG)

In early March 2020, we convened representatives from various community, business, and government sectors in King County to help slow the spread of COVID-19 with the goal of accelerating the use of the recommended and required community mitigation strategies. 

Committed to two-way communication, the Advisory Group helps share information and urge action within their respective networks. They also inform us on what they are seeing on the ground – both challenges and opportunities. Together, we work to help prevent, interrupt, and respond to misinformation and stigma. 

Learn more about PARCAG.

Community Engagement and Partnerships Team

Community Navigators Program

Co-created with trusted community representatives, The Community Navigators Program convenes trusted messengers and community leaders to educate, equip, and serve as representatives of their communities with the goals of: 

  • Providing culturally responsive information and resources on COVID-19
  • Addressing social determinants of health
  • Providing guidance to us to align with the needs of our communities 

Community Navigators speak and serve over 45 different communities and represent the communities most impacted by COVID-19: 

Black – Congolese – Indigenous of the Americas (Ireta P’urhepecha, Kichwa, Garifuna) – Khmer – Ethiopian – Garifuna – Samoan – East Indian – Latinx – Marshallese – Korean – Iraqi – Tongan – Fijian – Chinese – Afghan – Vietnamese – Filipino

For more information about the Community Engagement and Partnerships team, contact Jennell Hicks.

Equity Response Team (ERT)

What is ERT?

ERT addresses racial equity and social justice issues raised by PHSKC teams, community members, and partner agencies through thought partnership, guidance, and advocacy.  Created early in the COVID-19 response, the ERT has been supporting the explicit incorporation of equity within PHSKC’s operational structure.

Who is ERT?

ERT members have represented different areas of subject matter expertise to include civil rights, LGBTQIA+, youth, community, faith, including tribal members and a bioethicist, as well as city and county staff. The ERT intentionally engages partners with the aim to decolonize the public health system, to recognize intersectionalities and the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and to center our department’s work to focus more on accountability with communities most impacted by inequities, and communities experiencing hate and bias.

Language Access Program

What are Community Language Access Services?

Language access services are equity in action. We partner with Snohomish, Tacoma-Pierce, Chelan-Douglas, Kittitas, Okanagan and Grant Counties to provide timely, culturally responsive, and accurate information to regional communities on a multitude of social determinants of health. Services include translation, community review, interpretation, voice over, and health literacy and language access basics for staff. Our Community Language Service Providers (CLSP or Contractors) are contracted individuals and agencies that use personal lived experience and community based, fluent language skills to provide these high-quality services.

For more information about the Language Access program, contact Amanda Kay.

Priority Populations teams

The Priority Population Teams consist of Public Health staff and community partners addressing health inequities in the following communities: Black, African Immigrant, Native/Indigenous, Latinx, Pacific Islander, Asian, South Asian, and LGBTQ+.

Past programs

Place-based strategy team

The Place-based strategy team supported the COVID-19 vaccine response by serving as a connector for communities as COVID-19 resources and guidance changed quickly. Active areas of focus included: 

  • East African communities in Kent
  • Latine/Hispanic communities in Kent and Tukwila
  • Youth and young adults in Federal Way and Kent
  • Ireta P’urhepecha in south King County
  • Black/African American communities in Renton and central/south Seattle
  • Pacific Islander communities in Auburn, Federal Way, Burien, and Seattle
  • East African Muslim communities in SeaTac
  • Congolese community in south King County

COVID-19 and Health Equity and Capacity Building Team

The COVID-19 and Health Equity Capacity Building Team gave presentations with the latest information, resources, and guidance on COVID-19 to interested communities. They worked to provide culturally relevant presentations and answer questions for communities, businesses, and organizations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This program supported, designed, and implemented internal PHSKC initiatives and community-based initiatives aimed at eradicating inequities in social determinants of health.


2022: 149 presentations, 64,404 participants

2023: 37 presentations, 7,384 participants

The Training and Capacity Building program ended on May 31, 2023.