Kitsap Co.

Port Gamble S’Klallam tribal representative joins Kitsap Public Health Board

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The Kitsap Public Health Board has added a tribal representative, completing a restructuring process required by a state law passed in May 2021.

Jolene Sullivan of the Port Gamble S’Klallam tribe joined the board for its January meeting.

She joins three community members and one tribal representative who joined the board in September 2022.

Jolene Sullivan
Jolene Sullivan

Sullivan is the tribe’s health services director and manages its health clinic, dental clinic, behavioral health clinic, community health services clinic, and business office, according to a news release from the health board. Her service includes program development and oversight, grant management, program and community organizing, and administration of multiple programs.

According to the bio for Sullivan listed in the news release: She has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington and is currently a doctoral candidate in Integrated Behavioral Health Management at Arizona State University. She has more than 15 years of experience working in social services within the tribe, including Child Welfare, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Child Support, Youth prevention services, and Behavioral Health. She has held her position as program director for the past 15 years. She is a delegate on the American Indian Health Commission and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.

“Ms. Sullivan is an enrolled member of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. She has worked to incorporate tribal culture in all aspects of her programs,” the release states. “She provides training and guidance to new staff on S’Klallam values and traditions. Her ongoing leadership as the Health Department director includes educational presentations at multi-level meetings, consultation to other Tribal programs, and participation in Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal government.”

Sullivan was appointed to the health board by the American Indian Health Commision for Washington State and the tribe, in accordance with the new state law.

With Sullivan’s appointment, the health board is now made up of 10 members, concluding the expansion and restructuring process that began in early 2022 to comply with Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1152, which requires that local health boards must include an equal number of elected and non-elected members, the release states. The health board expanded from seven to 10 members to comply with the law. The board now is made up of one elected county commissioner, four elected city officials, three non-elected community representatives, and one nonelected representative each from the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish tribes. The four non-elected members were appointed to the board last fall.

The Kitsap Scene

The Kitsap Scene is an online news magazine covering everything in Kitsap County.

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