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Verdant Health Superintendent Robin Fenn stepping down


Last updated 10/24/2019 at 11:08am


Verdant Health Superintendent Robin Fenn is leaving after three years.

After three years at the helm of the Verdant Health Commission, Superintendent Robin Fenn is stepping down in November.

Fenn replaced Edmonds resident Carl Zapora.

The Verdant board plans to appoint Jennifer Piplic as interim superintendent. Piplic has served as Verdant's director of marketing and communication since 2011 and will work with Fenn during a transition period, according to a news release.

In her time at Verdant, Fenn has led the Verdant Health Commission and Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County, and to date in 2019, Verdant has invested nearly $6.5 million in community health and wellness program grants.

These programs focus on disease and injury prevention, health education, and access to health care services.

According to the news release, highlights of Fenn's tenure include leading the behavioral health focus of the organization's work during a time when the visibility of community mental health and substance use needs has increased.

Fenn spearheaded the creation of the Chronic Utilizer Alternative Response Team (CHART) in south Snohomish County to help reduce costs and get appropriate care to frequent utilizers of the south Snohomish County crisis response system.

In addition, Fenn developed an evaluation process to better measure the impact of Verdant's programs and classes. She created standardized objective grant scoring criteria and provided trainings to grantees and community partners on conducting evaluations of their programs.

Her leadership roles on a number of community boards and committees included the North Sound Accountable Community of Health, Leadership Snohomish County, and the YMCA of Snohomish County.

Fenn was integral in writing and working with legislators to amend RCW 70.44.007 to expand the ability of public hospital districts to focus on injury and illness prevention.

"I am particularly proud of this community's ability to collaborate and work together to tackle difficult issues," Fenn said. "From government, education, and health care to social services and other nonprofits, we care about one another, and I am very proud of the collective work we have accomplished."

The Board of Commissioners will soon begin a search for a new superintendent. Current commissioners are Deana Knutsen, Karianna Wilson, Jim Distelhorst, Fred Langer, and Bob Knowles.

Distelhorst in on the November ballot to fill a two-year unexpired term. He is unopposed.

Knowles faces competition from Susan Schoeld for another six-year term.

Verdant, also known as Snohomish County Public Hospital District No. 2, serves more than 240,000 residents in Edmonds, Woodway, Brier, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and portions of Bothell and unincorporated Snohomish County.

Verdant is a program of Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County, which, for nearly 50 years governed and managed the former Stevens Hospital in Edmonds, now Swedish Edmonds.

While continuing to own the hospital property, in 2010 the Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with Swedish Health Services to operate the hospital. The Board of Commissioners then shifted its focus to prevention and wellness, creating the Verdant Health Commission.


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