WA Health Transformation – Art of Participatory Leadership

January 19-21 2016, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

(January 19 – Executive one day option – see ‘Tuition’ below for more details)


Growing Accountable Communities of Health
to drive innovations and investments in HEALTH


Washington State is in the midst of multiple important simultaneous shifts in the health system.  Health leaders in the private, public, and community sectors from across the state are being asked to collaborate and engage diverse organizational and community partners in transformational changes that result in the triple aim of better health, better care, lower costs.

The Washington Health Innovation efforts call for:

  • whole person health by integrating clinical health and community health, including prevention, trauma informed, and social determinants of health
  • outcome based payment systems and integrated service delivery
  • integrating NEAR Sciences (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, ACE’s, and Resilience) in health strategies to address chronic health conditions and create healthy life trajectories
  • creating regional partnerships, plans and health data systems to help us understand and design solutions that improve health for individuals, families and communities.

All of these efforts call us to create new partnerships, engagement strategies, and cultures of innovation at all levels of our health systems. The recently created Accountable Communities of Health across Washington State bring together healthcare providers, insurers, public and community health advocates, and community leaders for this purpose.

Register Today

Why a Capacity Building Retreat?

Hospitals administrators, insurers, health plan providers, public health officials, community leaders, and health advocates all must learn how to work better together amidst these times of rapid change, uncertainty, and increasing complexity. The stakes are high. Washington state residents are counting on leaders to shift systems that have evolved over decades in ways that will impact current funding streams, delivery systems, and how health is defined.

In order to do this work, health leaders from all sectors need to be in leadership together differently. The Art of Participatory leadership skills, frameworks, and worldviews can help our meetings, projects, and shared initiatives move forward in a healthy way. It will help us work through inevitable conflicts and differences, as well as build leadership and ownership at all levels across organizations.

Participatory leaders know how to foster collaboration by articulating the questions and designing or hosting the conversations that are essential for the changes underway. These changes ask a lot of us personally as well – how can we restore our own visions, sense of purpose, and the inner knowing that will help us to navigate change with more ease, creativity, humanity, and care. We are creating a new paradigm of health – our best creativity, clear thinking, and genius is required.


Why Now?

This fall has been an intense time of planning and launching regional health improvement efforts across the state. Accountable Communities of Health (ACH) have been identified and are getting up to speed across the state led by the backbone organization designated in each region. Now they ready to engage the next layers of leadership and partnership in the efforts to create community health. This January leadership retreat is an opportunity for health leaders and partners in each of the ACH regions to build on what you are already learning and apply participatory leadership skills in your own unique local circumstances.

This Training Will Support You To:

  • Frame and navigate the multi-layered changes taking place in the Washington State health systems:  Build both your understanding of the big picture AND capacity to move local, regional and state partnerships to the next level.
  • Enhance your skills and abilities to work within complexity, uncertainty and change. Develop leadership confidence for facing challenges that don’t have obvious solutions. Use wise process design for small and large-scale initiatives. Plan and host strategic conversations.
  • Engage in community-to-community learning and problem solving: Receive and provide peer coaching and support from other health leaders in the region and state who are creatively addressing the challenges at hand.  Understand how other communities are stepping up to the complex health, community and systems issues.
  • Build Stronger Teams and Partnerships: Broaden the skillset within your ACH region to work more effectively and enjoyably together, and learn how to engage teams, organizations, and community stakeholders in meaningful conversations that promote resilience, belonging, innovation, and wise action.
  • Contribute to the common agenda – better health, better care, lower costs:  Become intimately familiar with the terms and conditions of the collective impact framework, and how you can locally and regionally organize around your common purpose, mutually align your activities, agree upon shared measures, foster continuous improvement and communication, and appreciate the unique role of backbone organizations. Washington is leading the nation in many ways related to health and community engagement. 

Register Today

Join this group of innovative leaders to help support the transformation that is underway!

Who Should Attend?

Leaders committed to HEALTH from across Washington including: Public health providers, hospital administrators, health insurance providers, clinical providers, health funders, health regulators, philanthropists, community leaders, and others committed to building partnerships and transforming HEALTH in Washington.

Phil Cass Webinar: How To Be A Leader in Health Transformation 
January 5, 2016 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Join Phil Cass, CEO of the Columbus, Ohio Medical Association for a free 1-hour webinar to hear him describe his personal leadership learning journey as well as some of the many successes that have been achieved in Columbus and beyond. Register for the free webinar. Learn more about Phil’s approach to leadership.

Aligning our strategies and efforts to create truly accountable communities of health across Washington State will require not only changes in the way we do business together but in how we think about and engage as leaders. This challenge invites us to consider and practice new ways of thinking of organizations and networks as living systems and working more effectively across historic silos, including leadership and engagement at the community level on up through state policy.

Your Design and Hosting Team


Phil Cass, Ph.D. is a CEO of four affiliated not-for-profit health corporations (the Columbus Medical Association, Columbus Medical Association Foundation, Physicians Care Connection and Central Ohio Trauma System), a host/ facilitator/trainer and consultant, a constant advocate for community and a life-long student.  In his work as CEO he is responsible for strategic direction, operations management, human resources management, policy development, government relations and community relations.   He has worked to develop a unique corporate culture of participatory leadership in all his efforts.  This real world experiment in serves to inform the hosting, training and consulting he does with other organizations.  He enjoys working with the executive leadership of organizations to support them in developing organizational cultures that help their organizations thrive and that also support their staffs to realize their highest possibilities.


chase-napierChase Napier is the Health Care Authority’s Community Transformation Manager, leading Healthier Washington’s Accountable Community of Health (ACH) effort.  Over the last two years, Chase has collaborated with regional partners to develop ACHs statewide, including strategies to engage multiple sectors in community planning processes to create non-traditional partnerships.  Chase work focus on a bottom-up approach to improve state and federally funded programs and services, including past experience as the director of local multi-sector non-profit coalition working on community health priorities.


judy-hallJudy Hall has over 20 years of experience in the public sector working in the areas of strategic planning, partnership development, program development, program evaluation, performance and continuous improvement.  She currently serves as the Performance Officer for the Washington State Department of Health where she supports agency alignment, innovation and partnership. She is passionate about healing the systems that support the people and communities of Washington state.


paul-horton-smallPaul Horton is a partner with the Athena Group, a mission driven consulting firm that helps people think, learn and achieve together.  Paul is a facilitator, strategy coach and community development and organizational change professional with 23 years of leadership-level experience working with the public, private and non-profit sectors. He has provided leadership training, facilitation, and strategy support for local and state health leaders throughout Washington State. Recent clients have included the Washington Secretary of Health, the Thurston County Health Department, and Cowlitz on the Move (a multi-stakeholder health initiative).  Paul is committed to harnessing diversity, building community, fostering shared responsibility, and working across boundaries to implement collaborative approaches to organizational change.


teresa-posakony-smallTeresa Posakony’s work has led her beyond the bounds of high-tech leadership and organizational development into the arena of community engagement and collective leadership/impact. Teresa works nationally and globally with communities and organizations committed to social change.  Since 2003 she has been involved in the statewide efforts to reduce ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and toxic stress generation to generation.  This has included work with the Family Policy Council, training leaders in participatory leadership, facilitating a statewide Early Learning Symposium, AND the 2014 NEAR Sciences Think Tank (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, ACEs and Resilience), and working with organizations integrating NEAR into their efforts.   She is dedicated to helping groups work together to bring about change by tapping into our innate creativity & wisdom. (www.EmergingWisdom.net)


faith-trimble-smallFaith Trimble is the CEO and President of the Athena Group, a mission driven consulting firm that helps people think, learn and achieve together.  For the last 15 years, she and her colleagues have worked with federal, state and local lawmakers across the aisles, managers and administrators across public, private and plural sectors, and clients along the Pacific Rim to find their common purpose, work differently together, and achieve measureable results.  Faith is passionate about her own community, and is thrilled to be professionally and personally a part of Thurston Thrives community health initiative, mobilizing hundreds of people and millions of dollars around strategies targeted to improve health – both clinical and social determinants of health – in Thurston County, WA.


tenneson-woolf-smallTenneson Woolf is a facilitator, workshop leader, speaker, and writer. He designs and lead meetings in participative formats. To help people be smarter together, and often collaborating across traditional boundaries — learning together, building relationships, and focused on projects. His focus has always been on the health of systems, stemming back to his 20+ years of work with Margaret Wheatley and The Berkana Institute. His clients in health systems have included public health community partnerships, hospital associations, medical foundations, and university student retreats. He is a long time steward in the Art of Hosting community of practitioners. (www.tennesonwoolf.com)




We are meeting at Pacific Lutheran University Chris Knutzen Hall (Directions). Registration and Networking begins Tuesday at 8:00 am with some beverages and a continental breakfast.  Our formal start time is 9:00.

Each day we will offer breakfast from 8-9. For many, who step forward into the experiential learning opportunities of HOSTING our daily processes, this will be your time to prepare for the day! Our first day we will see who signs up for each day’s “hosting opportunities” and meals are one of the good times to prepare. It’s a great way to dive deeper into your learning. You’ll have coaching and other resources available to help your team step up to the challenge!

Our session ends by 5:30 Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thursday by 5:00.

Reception Tuesday Night: Hors d’oeuvre and beverages served at 5:30.

Dinner Wednesday Night: We have reservations Wednesday for those who wish to join us!


  • $750 per person
  • $700 per person with Team Discount – available for teams of 3 or more
  • $250 (DAY 1 ONLY) for Healthcare Executives

Note: Some partial scholarships are available thanks to our generous sponsors. We are working to include the diversity of our ACHs and partners in the training.

One day option for Executives:  Our goal with this Art of Participatory Leadership is to support ALIGNMENT within existing systems and organizations.  This alignment is essential for transformation and change to be effective.   We encourage all participants to attend the 3 day training AND we know this is not always possible for Executive staff, thus we created a Day 1 option.   The first day will focus on transformational leadership – bringing in the worldviews, mental models, practices for leading adaptive change in healthcare.  We’ll also look at the challenges ahead and the key questions that need to be engaged in our organizations and communities.  Days 2 and 3 we will build on Day 1 engaging HOW we will move from plans and ideas into our work of transformation in community.


Contact US

If you have questions, need more information, or want to be in scholarship conversation contact:

  • Paul Horton | paulh@athenaplace.com | (360)-918-1079
  • Teresa Posakony | Teresa@emergingwisdom.net | (206)-372-3405



Here is a list of the hotels closest to the PLU Campus (click here)



If you cancel with more than 30 days notice – cancellation fee is $100. If shorter notice is given, the amount of return depends on our ability to find another participant to take your place. If a replacement is found – only $100 will be kept; if no replacement is found, all funds will be kept. This policy is negotiable in cases of personal emergency.



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