Nicole is the Chief Operating Officer for the North Sound ACH and has been with the organization since 2017. She is responsible for overseeing the internal operations of the team and regional network building with public health, social services, health systems and community-based organizations. She has worked in this region for over 15 years, in county public health and as an epidemiologist and informatician. She gained valuable academic knowledge of equity and systems change but it wasn’t until coming to the ACH that she was able to put the theories into practice. Through the ACH’s mantra of “fail forward,” she has the opportunity to challenge inequities and actively participate in implementing solutions.
Recently, her role in the regional COVID response has been some of the most trying and uplifting experiences in her career. Beginning with the distribution of 2 million masks to community organizations in March 2020 to working directly as the Strategic Planning Lead for Whatcom Unified Command, the health disparities of COVID were visible and the ACH was able to expand our focus to testing and vaccination access alongside kindred organizations. COVID response has shown her how vital community trust is in emergency response and reignited her drive to ensure equitable response in emergencies.