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On March 13, 2020 we closed the North Sound ACH office, not knowing when our team would again meet in person. We’ve optimized the heck out of remote technologies trying to stay connected, knowing it add some aspects to our connectivity, and diminishes others (think of all the non-verbal ways we communicate, from fidgeting, shrugging, or just sensing someone’s mood change in a room.) The team has done remarkable things, yet we still miss being in common space with each other.

I can’t help but think of the powerful song in the play “Rent” called Seasons of Love.

“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure? Measure a year?”

The pandemic soared beyond what we could imagine, and systemic and structural racism was illuminated in places where it wasn’t seen or discussed before. In that same vein, we found ourselves trying to find ways for the ACH as a regional entity, to leverage change in terms of the pandemic response. Most of those conversations happen between the team and the 60+ regional partners who do such important work in the community; recently this has expanded to the North Sound ACH Board of Directors. Please take a few minutes to read this recent blog post from our Board Chair, Kim Williams. The board has been discussing equitable vaccine distribution, and felt it was imperative to weigh in on the the successes and mistakes around access to COVID testing and rollout of the vaccines.

And, as we mark the past year, there is still more we keep in mind … like the death of Breonna Taylor, which was also one year ago. And we see how much we’ve accomplished in a year: identifying a virus, finding a means to test for it, developing vaccines, having so many people already vaccinated. We have both opportunity and challenge, advancement and struggle. They both can – and do – exist at the same time.

We appreciate all you do. Please know you are in our thoughts and hearts.

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