Health Care Briefs – February 2021

Covid-19 vaccine data available now online

The Washington State Department of Health, in partnership with Microsoft AI for Health, has added vaccine data to its Covid-19 dashboard, where pandemic-related statistics are published online.

The addition will help track progress in getting the Covid-19 vaccine to Washington residents. The dashboard provides county- and state-level views of infection rates, as well as the number of doses delivered to providers. As vaccines are given, it will show the percentage of the population vaccinated against the viruses that causes Covid-19.

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Cancer center offers Zoom cooking courses

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is offering a series of cooking classes on Zoom led by Chef Kyle Thornhill of Tsunami Catering.

The meal prep courses cover the cancer-fighting properties of ingredients. Each session focuses on a specific meal.

Classes are held from 5:30-7 p.m., Wednesdays, March 3 and 17.

The cost is $60 for individual sessions. Fees include the “One Bite at a Time” cookbook, an apron, insulated freezer bag and main ingredients. Go to for program details.

State’s insurance commissioner reopens uninsured health enrollment

Washington health insurers are accepting new customers through May 15 during a special enrollment period ordered by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

The move echoes President Joe Biden’s executive order to reopen the federal health insurance marketplace over the same period.

The special enrollment period applies to the 600,000 people in Washington state without health insurance. Anyone can buy a plan directly from an insurer or through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Plans purchased through the exchange may be eligible for federal assistance to pay premiums.

Those who already have a health plan may not change their plans.

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New care position to provide help to homeless

The Kadlec Foundation and Kadlec community health division are joining together with the Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission and Grace Clinic to offer a new service to help the homeless population.

Work is underway to hire a nurse or care coordinator to work at the mission’s men’s shelter with patients who have been discharged from the hospital.

Kadlec is contributing $80,000 through its community benefit funding along with the Kadlec Foundation. Recruitment is underway to hire for the position, which will be employed by the mission and work out of the men’s shelter in Pasco.

“The homeless medical respite program is a key step in improving access to care for some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Mark Brault, volunteer chief executive at Grace Clinic. “Our free clinic can help, but this program provides service where it’s needed most, at the homeless shelter.”

Grace Clinic director joins Kennewick hospital board

Mark Brault has been appointed to serve on the Kennewick Public Hospital District Board, a taxing entity with a mission to fill service gaps in health care.

The district is pursuing a project to convert the former Kennewick General Hospital into a detoxification and rehabilitation center.

Brault is director of Grace Clinic and a past Kennewick Man of the Year. He formally joined the board on Jan. 28.

Meetings are published via

Foundations unite to expand cancer care navigation

 The foundations of Kadlec Regional Medical Center and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center are teaming up to hire a nurse navigator to help ease the way of oncology patients during their treatment.

The new navigator will work primarily with patients in active treatment with oral chemotherapy.

This position would be added to the team of navigators already working within the cancer center and Kadlec Hematology and Oncology.

Cancer care on the cancer center campus is becoming more closely integrated with operations being brought under one operational organization within Kadlec.

Each foundation will contribute more than $100,000 to support the addition of the nurse navigator focused on a patient base that currently numbers more than 200.

To support the work of these nonprofit community foundations, go to: Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation at or Kadlec Foundation at


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