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Blue Ribbon Committee

In 2015, a King County Community Health Needs Assessment report was released with data showing that south King County, including Auburn, was among the most negatively impacted areas in the state for health, housing and economic opportunity.

The report concluded, "Overall King County rankings on measures of quality of life, socioeconomic status, and health are among the highest in the country. As with poverty, however, these averages mask stark differences by place, race and income. People of color, people living in poverty, and those living in communities with few opportunities also experience the health-related impacts of inequity. Any efforts to improve the health of the community and to successfully achieve the triple aims of better health, better care, and lower healthcare costs will require strategies that acknowledge and tackle these disparities."

The data showed that average life expectancy in south King County was 13 years less than other areas. It showed Auburn as having some of the highest rates of behavioral/mental distress, obesity, smoking, diabetes, low income, and unemployment.

Read the full King County Community Health Needs Assessment report


The Blue Ribbon Committee for Auburn - The Healthiest City in Washington - 2020

To address these concerning findings, the Blue Ribbon Committee was formed by Mayor Backus with the goal of transforming the City of Auburn into the healthiest city in Washington by 2020.

The committee consists of a large body of volunteers with representatives from our clinical partner, MultiCare Health System, and seven major stakeholders: Auburn School District, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Green River College, Valley Cities Mental Health, Auburn Valley YMCA, HealthPoint, and Seattle-King County Public Health-Auburn.

At their first meeting in April of 2016, The Blue Ribbon Committee developed their vision - "Healthy Auburn for Life," and their mission "To optimize the health and well-being of all through education, participation and innovation."

Nine major health issues were identified by the committee as top concerns for Auburn, based on the Community Health Needs Assessment:

  1. Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases
  2. Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
  3. Healthy Weight in Adults and Children
  4. Behavioral/Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  5. Special Populations: Homeless, Aging, and the Military
  6. Access to Healthcare, Quality Healthcare, Insurance, Costs & Primary Care
  7. Maternal and Child Health
  8. Cultural Diversity, Quality Care, Communication Circumstances
  9. Violence and Injury Prevention

Of these nine health issues, the Committee identified three critical issues to begin plans of improvement:

  1. Healthy Weight in Adults and Children
  2. Behavioral/Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  3. Maternal and Child Health

After choosing these three health issues to begin plans of improvement, the committee developed sub-committees for each item with the task of identifying projects of focus to begin this important journey toward improved health for the Auburn community.

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