Our Town South: Nov. 1, 2021

Page 4

Helping Hands

Helping Hands


Santiam SIT expands

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Kim Dwyer named new coordinator

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Santiam Service Integration recently underwent leadership changes. As Melissa Baurer steps into her new role as Program Director of Disaster Services and Community Engagement, Kim Dwyer steps into Baurer’s former Kim Dwyer position of Service Integration Coordinator. “Santiam Service Integration expanded their role to provide direct services to those who were affected by the 2020 wildfire,” said Baurer, explaining the changes. “One person cannot continue the original role of service integration, facilitating the three teams and lead the Disaster Services. For the success of the program, there needs to be one Service Integration Coordinator.”

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Baurer will continue to co-lead disaster team management with Tanni Swisher as well as working closely on implementing community health workers into Santiam Hospital. The hospital is the umbrella for the SIT program. In her time as coordinator, Baurer developed and implemented throughout the Santiam Canyon the Service Integration program which includes three teams: Santiam Canyon, North Santiam and Cascade.

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“We have a model that stands out to organizations and leaders throughout Oregon,” Baurer said. “Each team is very successful, and the community recognizes the vetting that goes into each request. Because we have a good model, the community is involved in meeting the everyday needs of our neighbors.”

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The model allowed for SIT to expand to meet the disaster needs of survivors of last year’s wildfires, she said.

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“We have a lot of momentum right now,” Baurer said. “I would like to see Kim Dwyer continue to build relationships

Auto • Home • Farm • Dwelling 4 • November 2021


with our team members, bring in team members who have not been a part of the Santiam Service Integration Team. We want to see a training program implemented for SIT members, develop a Scio Service Integration Team, and further strengthen the relationships amongst team members.” Dwyer started attending SIT meetings in 1998 when Polk County launched the program. The Western Oregon University graduate worked in juvenile detention and an alternative education program for youth on probation before becoming a Polk County juvenile probation officer for almost 24 years. “The SIT meeting was by far my favorite meeting to attend,” Dwyer said. “What drew me in was the connection and relationships created. We weren’t just talking business.” Dwyer’s relationship with Service Integration has been as a community or family advocate, making her familiar with the needs and processes of the organization. “I know that we must work together building relationships among one another to help our community,” she said. “I know the process of submitting a request and the leg work that the advocate must do. I know that not all requests get approved. And I know there is a vote.” That knowledge combined with her SIT experience, both as an advocate and a community member, will help her transition to the coordinator position. Service Integration is a partnership between Santiam Hospital and Clinics, school districts, faith groups, nonprofits, social service agencies, local clubs/ organizations, government agencies, businesses and community members. SIT also facilitates collaboration among the community partners to provide coordinated resources and information for individuals and families. For more information, call Dwyer at 503-769-9319 or send a message to kdwyer@santiamhospital.org.

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