The Deadly Opioid Ravaging Thurston County is Creating Twin Public Health and Criminal Justice Crises
'Off-Year' 2023 Elections to Shape Community Leadership and Future Races for County and Port Commissioner, City Council and School Board on the ballot
THURSTON COUNTY CHAMBER GROWING A PROSPEROUS ECONOMY & VIBRANT COMMUNITY
David Bayne, Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services and Co-Chair of the Thurston County Opioid Task Force
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THURSTON COUNTY CHAMBER VOICE MAGAZINE
Visit ThurstonChamber.com and click on the Events Calendar for the latest information regarding Chamber events.
Join our host, Cheeky Martini Lounge at 406 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98501 on Thursday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. for the Thurston Young Professionals Monthly Networking Event. Enjoy bites and beverages as you expand your network! All are welcome –feel free to invite other 20 to 30-year-olds so they can expand their networks! Thurston Young Professionals is proudly sponsored by Cash Oasis/Media Drive and KGY 95.3 Radio.
On Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 11:30 a.m., our keynote speakers, Darin Goss, CEO of Providence Health and Services Southwest Service Area, and Will Callicoat, President of MultiCare Capital Medical Center will share national trends, challenges and opportunities for the health care sector. The March Forum event will take place at The Norman Worthington Conference Center at Saint Martin's University, 5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503. Register at thurstonchamber.com/events. Thank you to our sponsors, South Sound Behavioral Hospital, P3 Cost Analysts, and DispatchHealth.
Join our Business After Hours host Fieldstone Memory Care at 810 Fieldstone Drive, Olympia, WA 98502, on Thursday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m., for mingling and networking with other business professionals, a door prize business card drawing, beverages and appetizers. Business After Hours is a great opportunity to expand your network. ROXY 94.5 and Pacific Source Health Plans proudly sponsor Business After Hours.
In This Issue...
Fentanyl: The Deadly Opioid Ravaging Thurston County p. 6
Fentanyl is causing a surge of overdoses, as it is hard to detect and often mixed with other drugs.
Jon Tunheim Talks Public Health in Addressing Addiction p. 8
Prosecuting Attorney shares how fentanyl changes the approach to substance use disorder (SUD).
2023 Elections Will Shape Community's Future p. 11
"Off-year" elections will shape community leadership with races for county and port commissioner, city council and school board on the ballot.
DISTINGUISHED LEADER AWARDS
The 21st annual Distinguished Leaders Awards (DLA) celebration will take place on Tuesday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake. DLA recognizes leaders who demonstrate outstanding initiative, inspire others, and significantly impact our community and beyond. The evening begins with a reception, dinner, and program. Learn more at thurstonchamber.com/events
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Caught in the Lens p. 18
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Together, We Can Address the Fentanyl Crisis in Our Community
by David Schaffert, President/CEO, Thurston County Chamber
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is causing a surge in overdoses and deaths in Thurston County, Washington. As the Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services and co-chair of the Thurston County Opioid Task Force, David Bayne notes, Fentanyl is hard to detect and is often mixed with other drugs, making it even more dangerous. This is further compounded by the fact that street versions of the drug are made in unregulated labs, and the Fentanyl found on the streets is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
Kurt Hardin, the Director of Thurston County Emergency Services Department, warns that the Fentanyl crisis is straining EMS and hospitals, with bed capacity becoming increasingly limited. The emergency calls increased to over 40,000 in 2022, and the Fentanyl crisis compounds this already existing problem. At the state level, between 2016 and 2022, Fentanyl deaths have increased ten-fold.
Thurston County public health agencies are taking a dual strategy to prevent and respond to Fentanyl overdoses. The first strategy is to raise awareness of the increased risk of Fentanyl and dispel any
misinformation around it. The second strategy involves increasing the use of Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The spray is a significant benefit for the public, allowing them to administer something immediately that can help someone breathe.
However, public health agencies cannot do this alone. Access to Narcan is critical to preventing overdoses and death, and businesses should have policies and procedures in place to make Narcan available. Moreover, we must remove the stigma around opioid use, so it is safe for individuals to acknowledge their addiction and seek treatment.
As members of the business community, we have a crucial role to play. We can make a significant difference in preventing overdoses and saving lives by making Narcan available and removing the stigma around opioid use. Opioid use affects everyone, regardless of their background or occupation. Let's take a stand against Fentanyl and show our support for those struggling with addiction. Together, we can make a difference and save lives.
The Thurston County Chamber is committed to addressing the Fentanyl crisis, and I urge you to join us in this effort.
magazine COPYRIGHT All material appearing in the VOICE Magazine is copyright unless otherwise stated or it may rest with the provider of the supplied material. The VOICE Magazine takes all care to ensure information is correct at time of printing, but the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information contained in the text or advertisements. ©2022 VOICE Magazine, Thurston County Chamber. PUBLISHER Thurston County Chamber of Commerce EDITORIAL David Schaffert 360-357-3362 email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS David Schaffert Doug Mah Natasha Ashenhurst ADVERTISING Sales & Marketing: Krystal Barkus Elizabeth Bretschneider Ashley Chandler Marianne Judd SUBSCRIPTIONS 360-357-3362 firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN Ben Hawkes Mosaic Marketing Studio COVER David Bayne. Cover photo by Shanna Paxton Photography PRINTING Print NW CONTACT THE CHAMBER 809 Legion Way SE Olympia, WA 98507 360-357-3362 email@example.com thurstonchamber.com BUILDING COMMUNITY PROSPERITY SINCE 1874 THURSTON COUNTY CHAMBER
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The Deadly Synthetic Opioid Ravaging
by Natasha Ashenhurst
Fentanyl is causing a surge in overdoses and deaths in Thurston County, Washington. According to David Bayne, the Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services and co-chair of the Thurston County Opioid Task Force, Fentanyl is hard to detect and is often mixed with other drugs, including counterfeit prescription pills and heroin.
The street version of the drug is made in unregulated labs, making it even more dangerous. Bayne notes that the Fentanyl found on the streets is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
Kurt Hardin, the Director of Thurston County Emergency Services Department, adds that the Fentanyl crisis is straining EMS and hospitals, as bed capacity is becoming increasingly limited. He reports that emergency calls increased to over 40,000 in 2022, and the Fentanyl crisis compounds this already existing problem. At the state level, between 2016 and 2022, Fentanyl deaths have increased ten-fold.
Bayne explains that public health agencies in Thurston County have a dual strategy to prevent and respond to Fentanyl overdoses. “The first strategy is to raise awareness of the increased risk of Fentanyl and dispel any misinformation around it. The second strategy involves increasing the use of Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose,” he said. The spray is a huge benefit for the public, allowing them to administer something immediately that can help someone breathe. The agencies encourage individuals to call 911 first and then administer Narcan, instead of forgetting to call for help.
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PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
David Bayne, Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services and Co-Chair of the Thurston County Opioid Task Force. Photo by Shanna Paxton Photography.
Kurt Hardin, Director of Thurston County Emergency Services Department
Hardin reports that emergency calls increased to over 40,000 in 2022, and the Fentanyl crisis compounds this already existing problem. At the state level, between 2016 and 2022, Fentanyl deaths have increased ten-fold.
Hardin adds that EMS is providing first responders and dispatching for drug overdoses. However, one challenge they face is that they don’t know what someone has ingested, as Fentanyl can be laced in a different product, making it difficult to know what someone is consuming. “We encourage individuals to seek treatment programs, and the county has put in place wraparound services to help individuals with their addiction process, as behavioral health issues often come along with any treatment,” he said.
Bayne reports that key workgroups at Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, including Treatment, Prevention, Overdose, Pregnancy, and Parenting, are working on awareness building, community education, and overdose awareness days. The state has also implemented an opioid settlement, which provides funding for prevention and treatment programs. Bayne believes this will be a significant part of Thurston County’s role in addressing the Fentanyl crisis.
Bayne emphasizes that access to Narcan is critical to prevent overdoses and death, and businesses should have policies and procedures in place to make Narcan available. Additionally, he stresses the need to remove
the stigma around opioid use to make it safe for individuals to acknowledge their addiction and seek treatment.
Hardin adds that opioid use crosses all socioeconomic levels and is not limited to the houseless community, which is a common misconception. He is looking for innovative ways to partner with stakeholders, and this summer, the EMS hopes to roll out a program to provide Narcan leave-behind kits to individuals who won’t seek treatment.
Fentanyl is a serious public health concern that requires our collective attention and action. Public health agencies are working hard to raise awareness, increase the use of Narcan, and provide treatment programs to those who need them. But we can all do our part in preventing overdoses and saving lives.
Both Bayne and Hardin remind us that by making Narcan available and removing the stigma around opioid use, we can help protect our employees, customers, and neighbors. Opioid use affects everyone, regardless of their background or occupation. We must work together to address this crisis.
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Fentanyl Epidemic Plagues United States: Criminal Justice System Shifts Focus to Public Health Approach in Addressing Addiction
by Natasha Ashenhurst
Fentanyl, a powerful opioid that can be mixed with other drugs, has become a widespread and deadly problem in the United States, according to Jon Tunheim, Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney. In an interview, he describes the evolution of the drug trade, its link to crime, and the new approach that the criminal justice system is taking to address substance use disorder.
Tunheim notes that substance use disorder has always been a major concern for the criminal justice system, with heroin and cocaine being the primary substances of concern in the 1990s. “Methamphetamine emerged in the early 2000s, and enforcement work on meth labs eventually led to their decline,” said Tunheim. “Opioids, such as prescription painkillers, became the next major focus, with regulation eventually cracking down on their use. However, Fentanyl is now the most prevalent and dangerous drug, as it is cheap, powerful, and can easily be mixed with other drugs.”
One of the main challenges with Fentanyl is that it is incredibly easy to overdose, and the dosage is often unpredictable. As a result, the criminal justice system is shifting its focus from treating substance use disorder as a criminal issue to a public health issue.
“The shift from treating Substance Use Disorder (SUD) from a crime and punishment approach to a public health and treatment approach has been evolving for several years, but has accelerated during the opioid epidemic and certainly now with the increase in Fentanyl. Criminal justice, in my
view, needs to be a partner with public health to maintain a holistic approach to this epidemic,” he said.
“By working to create intervention points and pathways to treatment, the goal is to reduce the likelihood of recidivism and provide pathways to treatment for those struggling with substance use disorder,” he said.
Tunheim notes that drug courts are one of the best models for criminal justice and treatment. Focusing on drug trafficking and supplyside enforcement, while working with public health to address the
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demand side, is the key to combating Fentanyl's spread.
While a treatment deficit exists in the United States, Tunheim argues that a collaborative public health approach can be effective in addressing SUD.
Finally, Tunheim explains how important it is that everyone understand what Narcan is and how it can be used in the Fentanyl fight.
“There is a drug out there that can stop the effects of the opioid to prevent the overdose. It is called Narcan. Law enforcement and first responders carry Narcan. There is an order in effect statewide for people to get Narcan—it covers anyone in the state,” he said.
“Our County Health Department has free training. It is safe to use and easy to use and it is looked at as one of the leading strategies to interrupt an overdose in the moment.”
We are proud to partner with Thurston County businesses to create economic opportunities, build a strong community, and improve the health of our environment.
Jon Tunheim, Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney
3 6 0 . 5 2 8 . 8 0 0 0 I n q u i r i e s @ P o r t O l y m p i a . c o m P o r t O l y m p i a . c o m
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Get Ready for a Historic Year: 2023 Local Elections Poised to Shape the Future of Your Community
With no State or Federal elected offices on the ballot, 2023 is considered by some to be an “off-year” election. Voter turnout is typically lower without the flood of advertising associated with races for President, Congress, Governor, or the State Legislature. However, races for county and port commissioner, city council, and school board are on the ballot in 2023, and these local races will impact all corners of our community.
The most significant changes will occur county-wide. Thurston County and the Port of Olympia received voter approval last year to expand their commissions from three to five members.
The four new positions will be on the fall ballots. In addition, the cities of Olympia and Tenino will be voting on the important position of Mayor in 2023.
A majority of Tumwater city council and most school board positions will be on the 2023 ballot. With the two new Port Commissioner positions, a majority of the Port Commission positions will also be on the ballot.
Olympia Mayor Selby and Tenino Mayor Fournier recently announced that they are not seeking reelection, and we need to thank them for their years of service. We should also thank other incumbents for serving in office - regardless of their future decisions to run for re-election. At the same time, we should work to encourage qualified people to run for office. The community needs good leaders. We know that leadership matters
during the good and bad times. Incumbents and candidates will start making announcements and decisions this month. All candidates for 2023, incumbents and new, will need to file as a candidate with the County Auditor sometime between May 15 and 19, 2023. Public Disclosure Commission requirements will kick in for anyone running for office once any campaign-related activities occur.
Voters will have choices to make in the Fall. Is it time for a change in direction? Do the past decisions by the incumbents demonstrated qualities for re-election for another four years? Do candidates reflect voter interests and values? Please take full advantage of opportunities to learn about candidate positions and ideas for the future of our region.
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Doug Mah, Doug Mah & Associates, Public Policy Director, Thurston County Chamber • Photo by Michael DeLorme
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All the local offices, and those we elect, play an essential role in how our community grows and develops. Public policy is made by those that show up and participate. The Thurston Chamber of Commerce, Public Policy Division, continues to engage candidates and incumbents as we work to reduce government hurdles that contribute to the housing crisis, sustain regional economic development and opportunities, and improve equity in our schools.
The Primary Election will occur on August 1, 2023, and the General Election is set for November 7, 2023. Let’s be ready to make informed votes. Here are the positions on the local election 2023 ballot:
Thurston County: Two of five commissioner positions. Commissioners are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• (New) District 4 – currently vacant (1-year unexpired term)
• (New) District 5 – currently vacant (3-year unexpired term)
Port of Olympia: Three of five commissioners. Commissioners are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• District 1 – incumbent: Joe Downing (4-year term)
• (New) District 4 – currently vacant (4-year full term OR 2-year unexpired term)*
• (New) District 5 – Currently vacant (4-year full term OR 2-year unexpired term)*
Lacey City Council: Three of seven positions. Must reside in the city. Elected to a four-year term.
• Position 1 – incumbent: Malcolm Miller
• Position 2 – incumbent: Lenny Greenstein
• Position 3 – incumbent: Ed Kunkel
Olympia City Council: Three of seven positions. Must reside in the city. Elected to a four-year term.
• Mayor – incumbent: Cheryl Selby
• Position 2 – incumbent: Yen Huỳnh
• Position 3 – incumbent: Dani Madrone
Tenino City Council: Two of five positions and Mayor. Must reside in the city. Elected to a four-year term.
• Mayor – incumbent: Wayne Fournier
• Position 2 – incumbent: Elaine Klamn
• Position 5 – incumbent: Rachel L. Davidson
Tumwater City Council: Four of seven positions. Must reside in the city. Elected to a four-year term.
• Position 1 – incumbent: Leatta Dahlhoff
• Position 2 – incumbent: Angela Jefferson
• Position 3– incumbent: Joan Cathey
• Position 7 – incumbent: Charles (Charlie) Schneider
Yelm City Council: Three of seven positions. Must reside in the city. Elected to a four-year term.
• Position 1 – incumbent: James Blair
• Position 2 – incumbent: Joseph Richardson
• Position 6 – incumbent: Ashley Brooks (short + full term)
North Thurston Public Schools: Three of five positions. Directors are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• District 1 – incumbent: Gretchen Maliska
• District 4 – incumbent: Graeme Sackrison
• District 5 – incumbent: Dave Newkirk
* At certification of the General Election, the person receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected to the full 4-year term, and the next highest will be elected to the 2-year unexpired term.
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thurstonchamber.com 14 I March 2023 I Thurston County Chamber VOICE April 14 FIND MORE INFORMATION AT THURSTONCHAMBER.COM/EVENTS COCKTAILS • DINNER • AUCTION • AFTER PARTY Join the Thurston Chamber Foundation for A Night on the Town in Olympia! This annual fundraiser brings together community leaders to raise funds for Foundation programs ...and to party! We are excited to welcome back Rockaroake this year! Sing your favorite hits with a live band behind you! 2300 EVERGREEN PARK DR SW, OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON 98502 Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake PRESENTING SPONSOR A BENEFIT FOR THE
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Olympia School District No. 111: Three of five positions. Directors are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• District 1 – incumbent: Maria Flores
• District 2 – incumbent: Talauna Reed
• District 4 – incumbent: Hilary Seidel
Tenino School District No. 402: Three of five positions. Directors are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• District 2 – incumbent: Ryan Hilton
• District 3 – incumbent: Adam Barr
• District 4 – incumbent: Tamara (Tammy) Schroder
Tumwater School District No. 33: Two of five positions. Directors are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• District 2 – incumbent: Casey Taylor
• District 3 – incumbent: Scott Killough
Yelm Community Schools: Three of five positions. Directors are elected by district and must reside in the district they represent. Unless noted, the elections are for four-year terms.
• District 2 – incumbent: Donna Edwards
• District 3 – incumbent: Denise Hendrickson
• District 5 – incumbent: William F. Hauss
The Primary Election will occur on August 1, 2023, and the General Election is set for November 7, 2023. Let’s be ready to make informed votes.
Cutting-Edge Advances Shaping the Future of Health
Care at Thurston Chamber’s March Forum
Featuring Darin Goss, CEO of Providence Health & Services Southwest Service Area and Will Callicoat, President of MultiCare Capital Medical Center
Don't miss out on an exclusive opportunity to gain insights from Darin Goss, CEO of Providence Health and Services Southwest Service Area and Will Callicoat, President of MultiCare Capital Medical Center! Join us on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. for the Thurston Chamber's March Forum, where Goss and Callicoat will be the keynote speakers. They'll be sharing national trends, challenges and opportunities for the health care sector, as well as providing an update on the state of Providence St. Peter's and MultiCare Capital Medical Center.
Discover the factors contributing to the challenging landscape, including inflation, labor shortage, cost, increased demand, Medicaid reimbursement, post-acute setting investment needed, regulatory issues, state advocacy, and more. Plus, learn about the right place for care, including MultiCare Ambulatory Surgery Center, Hospital at Home, Virtual Visits/Tele-Health, Urgent Care/Immediate Care/Express Care, and Dispatch Health.
Be a part of this informative and engaging forum by registering now! Don't miss your chance to learn from two of the most prominent leaders in the health care industry. See you there! Register today at members.thurstonchamber.com/events!
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FREE Construction Bootcamp Training Program through the Olympia Career Hub
Are you a resident of Olympia interested in a construction career? Do you want to receive free training and receive your necessary certifications? Do you want a living-wage job?
Thanks to funding provided by the City of Olympia, the Olympia Career Hub has spots available in the Olympia Career Hub’s Construction Bootcamp.
• Training starts in March 2023 at the Olympia Armory.
• Training is open to all experience levels.
• Training is free to Olympia residents and members of the Squaxin Island Tribe.
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This program is multi-week. By attending full-time, participants will earn certification in OSHA-10 safety standards, flagging, forklift operating. At the end of the session, students will attend a hiring event to connect with employers. This free training will lead to living-wage jobs! Register at https://bit.ly/3NZtADl.
2023 Distinguished Leader Awards
Congratulations to 2023 Honorees –Kelly Wilson, The Nisqually Indian Tribe and Dr. Timothy Stokes!
DLA recognizes leaders who demonstrate outstanding initiative, inspire others, and significantly impact our community and beyond.
This year, our honorees exhibit unique, impactful leadership styles that go beyond their organizations and shine through their community support and involvement. Leadership Thurston County will recognize honorees through live and multi-media presentations.
The 21st annual Distinguished Leaders Awards celebration will take place on Tuesday, March 7, at the Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake. The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., dinner, and the program at 6:30 p.m. Learn more at ThurstonChamber.com.
When: March 7, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Olympia Hotel at Capitol Lake, 2300 Evergreen Park Dr SW, Olympia, WA 98502
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Scan the QR code to learn more!
Caught in the Lens
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Keep up with the Thurston Chamber happenings – ribbon cuttings and the networking events. Find more at the Chamber's Facebook page – fb.com/thurstoncountychamber.
Photo by Michael DeLorme
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This page: Chamber Forum photos by Shanna Paxton Photography
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Thank You CommunityInvestors
SILVER T & S Cleaning, Inc. AAA Washington Cap City Law, PS Edward Jones –Dirk Farrar, Financial Advisor Express Employment Professionals First Citizens Bank Greene Realty Group Michael White Agency –Farmers Insurance Nicholson & Associates Insurance TAGS Awards & Specialties T-Mobile ULINE Shipping Supply Specialists
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The Thurston County Chamber sends a BIG "Thank You" to ALL of our investors. With members like you, we are able to provide a sustainable business community in Thurston County as well as foster growth and positive change. Only through your support can we continue to fund important community initiatives and lead the way for business.
PLATINUM Apella Wealth Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, PLLC Fieldstone Communities Little Creek Casino & Resort Morningside Olympia Federal Savings Olympic Rental & Landlord Services SCJ Alliance South Puget Sound Community College The Rants Group truit Veteran Security Operations
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PacificSource Health Plans
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Saint Martin's University
South Sound Behavioral Hospital
TwinStar Credit Union Washington Business Bank
Wells Fargo Community Bank