Employee News - March 27, 2019


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From the Hip: Patty Hayes, Director, Public Health – Seattle & King County

Becoming a trauma-informed organization

Patty Hayes, RN, MN is director of Public Health – Seattle & King County. She is responsible for the operations of the 9th largest public health department in the U.S. (ranked by population served); a staff of nearly 1500; six divisions; and delivery of public health services to the more than 2 million people who live in and visit King County. Public Health touches King County communities in untold ways, including disease investigation and control, food safety through restaurant inspections, health and wellness services for low income moms, babies, and families; refugee health, emergency medical services, chronic disease and injury prevention, health services for inmates in King County correctional facilities, and much more. Public Health – Seattle & King County is nationally recognized as a leader in implementing innovative public health services, and has a deeply held commitment to delivering high quality and equitable services to all. One recent innovation that Patty is excited about is transforming Public Health into a trauma informed health department. We sat down with her to learn more.

Patty, what does it mean to be a trauma informed organization?

Understanding the widespread impact on health of intergenerational trauma, racism and oppression is core to effective public health work. The  effect that direct and vicarious trauma has on individual, communities, organizations and systems needs to be recognized as a huge impact to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Knowing the potential paths for healing and recovery means that public health must work to be trauma informed and wellness focused in all of our lines of business. Read more.


Volunteer to be a Ballot Drop Box Closer

Support your community and your commitment to public service in a visible and impactful way by volunteering as a drop box closer. Drop box closers are the friendly face the public sees on Election Day and allow voters to experience the excitement and camaraderie of the voting process.

State law requires that ballot drop boxes close at 8 p.m. Election Day. Drop box closers provide customer service and assistance to voters returning their ballots to a drop box on Election night.

King County Elections has rapidly expanded our ballot drop boxes from 10 to 66 over the last three years. Using volunteers increases our operational capacity and offers King County staff an opportunity to volunteer and serve their community in a new and visible way. For the first step in our pilot program, King County Elections is looking for a small number of volunteers to help with the Special Election on April 23, 2019. Learn more.

Employee Spotlights


“What’s My Job?” Public Health project acts on survey results, allows leaders to shadow front-line employees

During 2017, employees from the Public Health – Seattle & King County Community Health Services Division (CHS) suggested their Leadership Team spend more time with CHS employees getting to know them and their work. After viewing the results from the annual employee engagement survey, this seemed like a great opportunity to help leadership learn about the work being done by front line employees and share more information about roles across the division. 

This project became known as “What’s My Job?” and included a member of the CHS Leadership Team spending up to a half-day on the job with employees – observing, helping, participating or discussing (or all of these). CHS Employees were encouraged to submit a request.

“The project does even more than help us know the employees and their work – we also get to understand clients, and it opens pathways for employees to stay in contact with members of the Leadership Team,” said TJ Cosgrove, Director of CHS Division. Read more.


Public Defense creates new post-conviction unit 

People with criminal convictions who are eligible to have those convictions vacated will get additional legal assistance to do so, thanks to a new post-conviction relief unit at the King County Department of Public Defense. 

The department started its new unit this month, a pilot project funded by King County’s recently passed 2019-2020 operating budget. One paralegal and the equivalent of one full-time attorney will provide the legal help eligible clients need to get convictions vacated. The pilot project also provides funding to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to vacate convictions. Read more.



Last days to have your say in Employee Survey

There is less than three days to join the more than 7,500 employees who have had their say in the 2019 Employee Engagement Survey and help make King County work better for you. 

We're also approaching the finish line for this year’s Speak Up! participation contest. Here are the current leaders as of Wednesday, March 27:


For this contest, all divisions are placed in contest classes with their peers by employee headcount; those with the highest participation or are the first in their bracket to achieve 100% will be awarded prizes. Click here for the breakdown for each category and get real time participation rates here

The survey runs through Friday, March 29, so please take 15 minutes to have your say. This year, employees in all branches and departments of King County are eligible for the employee survey, except employees in Superior Court, District Court, and the Sheriff’s Office, employees who are short term temporary (STT), interns, and employees who have not worked at the county for at least six months prior to the survey period. For 2019, employees must have started before September 11, 2018 to be eligible.


Applications open for Professional Development Scholarships

As a part of the Master Labor Agreement and Investing in YOU, applications are now being accepted for Professional Development Scholarship Awards for training that occurs anytime between May 17, 2019 and December 31, 2019. This is the third of four application periods this year. The final application period will open on July 8, 2019.

Scholarship awards are only available to King County employees who are represented by a union in the Coalition of Unions and who meet additional eligibility requirements.

Scholarships are intended to support employees in growing their careers at King County. Read more.


Public Health Week events available to employees 

April 1-5 is Public Health Week across the U.S. and Public Health - Seattle & King County would like to invite employees to a few events. These events are free and no registration is needed. 

  • Lunch and Learn, Monday April 1, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., Chinook Building, Room 121/123 - Intersections of Trauma-Informed and Equity and Social Justice in Public Health: Perspectives and Approaches: In this one-hour Lunch & Learn, the panelists, including Public Health ESJ Director Rhonda Lewis, Deborah Stanley, Community Health Services, &  Matt Wilson, Environmental Health Service will take a look at actions across our Department through Trauma-informed mini-grants.  These mini-grants are focused on exploring the intersections and integration of our trauma-informed and equity & social justice work. Public Health Director Patty Hayes will kick off the discussion, which will include time for audience Q & A.  
  • Lunch and Learn, Tuesday, April 2, noon to 1 p.m., King County Medical Examiner's Office Conference Room, 908 Jefferson St., 2nd Floor, Seattle, 98104 - Building resilience at all levels—starting with our staff: Samantha Barbour, King County Medical Examiner; Grace Hatt, TB Control Program; Laura Hutchinson, Jail Health Services; and Janna Wilson, Metro Transit will talk about how Trauma-informed mini-grants and Balanced You grants are expanding physically and emotionally supportive environments, enhancing employee wellness and building resiliency. 
  • Public Health Open House! Wednesday, April 3, noon to 2 p.m.Chinook Building, Room 121/123 -  Join units from around the Public Health department in an open house. Engage our employees to learn about the array of services and approaches used by our staff to improve and promote the health of all King County residents! 


Have a say on Clean Water Plan

King County has started work on a new Clean Water Plan. The plan will guide the County’s work to protect water quality, public health and our environment for decades to come. This is your chance to learn about what we are doing to protect Puget Sound, lakes, rivers and streams and tell us what your priorities are for the future. King County is committed to an inclusive process and will involve all kinds of people. We are going to be sending messages out about our progress, events and workshops. We hope you will want to keep track of what's going on and be involved. Your participation and feedback will help us make the right investments at the right time.

Read more about the project or subscribe to the mailing list

Training Spotlight

Conflict Awareness in the Workplace, April 18: We all encounter difficult people. Whether you are a supervisor, a customer service professional, or have a challenging co-worker, it's important to know how to rise above your initial emotional reaction and turn negative situations into positive outcomes. Topics include understanding why we label people as difficult, types of difficult people, tools and techniques for resolving issues, coping strategies for dealing with the effects of difficult people, and conflict management strategies. Register and learn more.

Introduction to Organizational Performance Measurement, May 8: Have you ever struggled to create measures for your program? Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the sea of measurement jargon? Do you ever wonder why we even measure organizational performance? If you find yourself answering "yes" to any of these questions and have a desire to improve your skills and knowledge of organizational performance measurement, this course is for you. Register and learn more.

View more learning and development opportunities at www.kingcounty.gov/learning

Tech Tip: OneDrive Sharing: No more anonymous access 


KCIT has removed the ability for anyone to create anonymous links within King County OneDrive sites, document folders and documents. This change aligns with Microsoft’s security enhancements for OneDrive and helps ensure our external customers authenticate when accessing information shared with them from OneDrive.  

From now on, external customers who have had data shared with them from OneDrive will need to have a Microsoft Live account or an Office 365 account from their company to connect to any OneDrive data shared with them.   

Existing, anonymous links shared earlier will no longer work.  

Please contact KCIT’s Customer Support Services (CSS) at 206-263-HELP or https://helpdesk.kingcounty.gov if you have any questions. 

Kudos! DHR employee makes new employees feel comfortable and welcome! 

The following kudos was received in praise of Kristy Hampton, Senior Human Resource Analyst with the Department of Human Resources (DHR): 

“I’m writing to let you know how much I greatly enjoy working with Kristy Hampton! She is a stellar analyst; she makes the process comfortable for the employee, actively listens, asks thoughtful questions, etc. She has a very approachable style and is very pleasant.   

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Kristy on at least five+ occasions in the last several weeks.  She consistently provides top notch service. You’ve  got yourself a superstar in Kristy!” 

Kudos Kristy for going above and beyond in welcoming new employees! 


Pet of the Week: Buster

Crossposted from Tails from RASKC 

Buster is a 4 ½ year-old, brown brindle, Pit Bull mix. His personality color is RED, meaning he is a spirited dog with a fun-loving personality. Buster is an energetic guy who would love to be your hiking partner. He would also make a great cuddle buddy and he just adores belly rubs! Read more.

Featured Job: Fiscal Specialist 3

Salary: $23.75 - $30.24 Hourly

Location: Seattle, WA

Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week

Department: DES - Executive Services

Job Number: 2019JI09612

Closing: 4/8/2019 11:59 PM Pacific

King County Records and Licensing Services is looking for a Fiscal Specialist 3 to join our dynamic team in licensing services! This position will give you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge in a variety of areas, including workflow processing, accounting reconciliations, coding and maintaining data. This is an exciting opportunity to be a leader in service excellence, committed to building an enduring legacy of continuous improvement and employee engagement. 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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