Healthcare Communicators Northwest Roars Back to Life with Creating Pathways Forward Conference


Nov. 4 Conference Welcomes Regional Communicators

November 16, 2022

By Aaron Ragan-Fore, HCNW 2020-22 Communications Director

Healthcare Communicators Northwest thanks everyone who joined us at historic Fort Vancouver on Nov. 4, 2022 for HCNW’s Creating Pathways Forward Conference, our first foray into live events since the start of the pandemic! After a prolonged break, our audience was enormously engaged, both in-person and online (check out our Twitter presence!), and we couldn’t be more proud to convene our community of professional healthcare communicators and advocates.

Photo by Wendy Lawton

HUGE shoutout to our event sponsors, who made Creating Pathways Forward possible… CareOregon, Oregon Health & Science University, and PeaceHealth. The weather outside was stormy that day (to say the least), so it was even more remarkable that all of you opted to join us—starting in the breakfast hour.

Our full lineup of incredible #HCNW2022 speakers is available on the 2022 Conference webpage. We kicked things off with opening remarks by HCNW President Kelly Bantle, then rolled immediately into our first session: a live teleconference with Todd Unger, Chief Experience Officer at the American Medical Association, on activating thought leadership.

In our second session of the day, Dr. Barbara Belk, Kaiser Permanente’s Director of Equity, Inclusion & Diversity for the Pacific NW Market, spoke about efforts to “maintain that 2020 momentum” of incorporating true diversity and inclusion into our communications and operations. Anyone who assumed they could sit back passively during the HCNW Conference quickly learned otherwise from Dr. Belk; her interactive discussion style had attendees out of their seats and sharing best practices.

The final panel of the morning brought together regional crisis communications experts to discuss their organizations’ approaches to addressing both internal and external communications during the pandemic, including successes, missteps, and lessons learned. Panelists included Michelle Brence and Jennifer Smith of OHSU, Kennedy Soileau of the Washington State Health Care Authority, and Brian Terrett, formerly of Legacy Health.

Lunch was catered by our friends at Elephant’s Delicatessen, and we received rave reviews on the enchiladas!

In our final session of the day, public health case studies took the stage. Andres Rodriguez (C+C) walked us through the Washington State Department of Health’s Mentira Mariachi campaign. Cody Romero (Brink Communications) and Dean Carson (Oregon Health Authority) demonstrated the Oregon Health Authority’s Safe + Strong campaign. And finally, Candace Jackson (Pyramid Communications) shared how, through out-of-the box creativity, communicators are leveraging new insights and tools to shift the actions and norms of people within systems.

Again, from your 2022 HCNW Board (Kelly, Rivkela, Becca, Christopher, Aaron, Graham, Kelsey, and Vicki)… THANK YOU to everyone who joined us, and we hope to see you atthe next HCNW event!

Aaron Ragan-Fore is the 2020-22 HCNW Communications Director and serves as Head ofIntegrated Marketing for Membership and Programs at the American Physical Society.


April 2024