Kelsey Huwaldt

An Emerging Relationship: Generative AI and Communicators

March  2024

By  Alan Shoebridge, Associate VP  of National Communication, Providence 

In the world of AI, there are “Doomers” who fear the worst and “Boomers” who expect only good outcomes. As a communicator, Alan is cautiously optimistic about AI’s value but also aware of its potential pitfalls.


Generative AI, like ChatGPT, helps refine copy, spark ideas, and assess readability. Healthcare systems, such as Providence, are using AI to enhance various areas, from clinical care to back-office efficiency.


To make the most of AI:

  • Stay informed on developments.
  • Try AI tools to understand their potential.
  • Maintain a balanced view amidst extreme perspectives.

While AI may impact jobs, it’s likely to enhance rather than replace human work. Communicators’ unique skills in judgment and relationship-building remain invaluable.

Read the full article  ‘An Emerging Relationship: Generative AI and Communicators’  here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Meet Our New Board President!

February 2024

With Kennedy Soileau, Chief Communications Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority & HCNW Board President

Meet Kennedy Soileau and learn more about her background in healhcare communication and about her plans for the direction of Healthcare Communicators Northerwest as she steps into the role of Board President.

Read the full article  ‘Meet Our New Board President’  here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Communicators: It’s Time to Shift Into Planning Mode for 2024

November 2023

By  Alan Shoebridge, Associate VP  of National Communication, Providence 

Unlock the secrets to a more fulfilling and successful year in communication! In a world that often feels like a whirlwind of crises and constant demands, discover the power of an annual communication plan.


This article delves into the thrill of effective communication, providing insights on how to avoid the burnout-inducing trap of perpetual crisis mode. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, learn how to ask the right questions, evaluate your goals, and build a roadmap for success.

Read the full article  ‘Communicators: It’s Time to Shift Into Planning Mode for 2024’  here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Community Engagement: The Power of Fostering Wellness through Local Events

August 2023

By  Jordan Frazier, Communications Manager at Oregon Primary Care Association, & Christine Mosbaugh, Population Health and Engagement Manager at Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties

Ever wondered how healthcare communicators are revitalizing trust and forging connections post-pandemic? Dive into the realm of community events and explore how Community Health Centers play a pivotal role in promoting wellness and holistic well-being.

Read the full article here ‘Community Engagement: The Power of Fostering Wellness through Local Events’ here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Office Work in 2023: Are Communicators Ever Going Back for Good?

July 2023

By Alan Shoebridge, Associate VP of National Communication, Providence Health & Services

The Ongoing Debate on Remote vs. In-Office

The pandemic has ignited a debate among communicators about the effectiveness of remote work versus being in the office. Pre-pandemic, office work was standard, but since 2020, remote and hybrid models have gained traction. While some companies mandate a return to the office, others embrace flexibility.

The clash between employees and managers arises from differing values, with employees valuing flexibility and managers prioritizing in-person collaboration. Striking a balance remains a challenge, but understanding and compromise are key to a successful future work environment.

Read the full article here ‘Office Work in 2023: Are Communicators Ever Going Back for Good?’ here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Applying an Equity Lens in Communications

June 2023

By Kennedy Soileau, Chief Communications Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority

Unleashing Equity: Revolutionizing Organizational Structures for Inclusion

Organizations are embracing a transformative perspective: the equity lens. The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) leads the way, mandating employees to apply this lens to their work.

With the Health Equity Lens Toolkit, HCA empowers staff to consider the impact on marginalized groups. Applying the equity lens to their Plain Language policy, HCA made strategic changes, reinforcing their commitment to equity. These adjustments have a profound impact and inspire organizations to embrace inclusivity. Together, we can shape a more just future.


Read the full article here ‘Applying an Equity Lens in Communications’ here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

The Value of DEIB in the World of Perioperative Services

March 2023

By Carisa Brewster, Staff Writer and Media Relations, Whitman Partners

Whitman Partners, the talent agency for Directors of Surgical Services, conducted a report on “Diversity Hiring in Healthcare,” which provides data to support DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) initiatives in perioperative services. The report surveyed 100 healthcare professionals across the United States involved in recruiting, hiring, and training individuals in perioperative positions.

Leadership commitment was deemed the most crucial factor for creating a diverse and inclusive organization, according to 71% of respondents. Attracting, retaining, and mentoring staff were identified as leading solutions for increasing the recruitment and retention of BIPOC candidates. Having a diverse workforce positively impacts BIPOC healthcare professionals, staff retention, culture, profit margins, and quality of patient care.

On the importance of having staff who can translate to communicate healthcare information to patients, Kendall Carter, MBA, BSN, RN, said: “Patients want to be respected and valued, and part of that comes from respecting the parts of their culture that we may not normally experience.”

Read the full article here ‘The Value of DEIB in the World of Perioperative Services’ here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Strategic Thinking in a Tactical Environment-How to Live the Comms Dream when Faced with the Comms Reality

February 2023

By Kennedy Soileau, Chief Communications Officer at Washington State Health Care Authority

We often find ourselves working at a pace that requires us to be both tactical and strategic. It can be challenging to balance these two aspects of our work, but there are strategies to stay focused on the big picture while still delivering on the day-to-day needs of the organization. Here are some tips for strategic thinking in a tactical environment. Read ‘Strategic Thinking in a Tactical Environment’ here.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Looking Ahead: What We Know – and Don’t Know – About 2023

January 2023

By Alan Shoebridge, Assoc. Vice President for National Communication at Providence & HCNW At-Large Director

For the last three years, almost every article looking ahead to the new year offered some type of prediction that healthcare would return to what it looked like prior to the pandemic. Nobody is saying that about 2023. Disruption on many levels is here to stay.

What does that mean for the new year? It’s likely that healthcare communicators will again be dealing with periods of opportunity and chaos. Just like the last three years, we will be tasked with helping organizations move through that uncertainty toward the future. Read on about what we know – and don’t know – about 2023 and what communicators can do to be successful.

Kelsey Huwaldt

Insights into Crisis Communications Post-pandemic

August 12, 2022

By Kelly Bantle, Principal at Allegiant Strategies NW and HCNW President

Thrust into an unprecedented pandemic of global scale in our modern time, crisis became a day-in and day-out reality dragging on for years. Within healthcare, the impacts are near countless and immensely profound, affecting operations, staffing, and service delivery, coupled with the health and wellbeing of our patients and communities. The far-reaching disruption and impacts of the pandemic did, however, illuminate many new mindsets and better practices, including around crisis communications. [Read more]

Kelsey Huwaldt

Internal Communications Through A Pandemic: Advancing New Pathways for Greater Engagement and Purpose

June 3, 2022

By Kelsey Huwaldt, Assoc. Dir. of Internal Communications at OHSU & 2022 HCNW At-Large Director

We have all heard: communications should start with your employees. They are your brand ambassadors, your champions, your frontlines. We all believed it and wanted to build strategy that way. But, in 2020, it became more true than ever before.

The guidance and regulations around COVID were changing daily, if not more, as we learned more about this virus. The public looked to health care employees through these frantic moments, and getting employees information, and quickly, became more important than ever. [Read more]


July 2024