HSSA Announces Board Vacancy for Gubernatorial Appointment


SPOKANE, Wash. – The Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County has announced one vacancy on its nine-person Board of Directors. This position will be appointed by the Governor of the State of Washington. The Governor’s Office has its own application process at https://www.governor.wa.gov/boards-commissionsat which candidates will apply.

The HSSA Board seeks individuals to fill these vacancies preferably with professional life/health sciences experiences in the private sector and/or academia. Experience successfully starting and operating health/life science businesses is preferred, but not mandatory. The HSSA Board meets quarterly.

HSSA Board members serve four-year terms and this term will be from August 1, 2019 through July 31, 2023. When the term expires there is an opportunity to serve additional terms.

HSSA has invested approximately $5.7 million to date in research and infrastructure in Spokane County. It also has invested about $2.6 million in its annual “Access to Care” grants to promote public health. It has created hundreds of direct/indirect jobs, assisted bringing to Spokane millions of dollars of extramural grant funding, and over $100 million in total economic activity. HSSA was recently reauthorized by the Washington Legislature for 15 years, and Governor Jay Inslee approved the legislation.

Questions about this Board vacancy may be directed to the Executive Director at 509.474.0798 or susan@hssaspokane.org. Interested candidates must apply directly to the Governor’s Office and to Boards and Commission.

HSSA Announces Special Board Meeting Friday, July 12th

HSSA's Board will hold a Special Board Meeting Friday, July 12th at its office at 421 W. Riverside Avenue, Suite 661, at 7:30 AM. There will be one subject on the agenda for this meeting, and that is the discussion of certain payback language for inclusion in its Grant Award Agreement. The public is welcome.

Legislature Grants HSSA 15-Year Extension

What exciting news to receive (even if it was 1:09 AM Sunday morning), but our bill to extend HSSA another 15 years passed the 2019 Washington State Legislature. What an accomplishment for our team! We spent quite a bit of time this session in Olympia urging the passage of our bill, and particular thanks to Nancy Isserlis, Dave Vachon, and Frank Velazquez for delivering our message at hearings and/or directly to legislators. Apparently, the third time is the charm as this was our third attempt to get traction for passage, and we were able to do so with our legislative leadership. Our message about HSSA's return on its investment in the region of over $100 million in economic activity to date and hundreds of well-paying jobs, certainly helped elicit support.

We want to especially thank Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-3) who nurtured out bill through the Senate, bill sponsor Senator Jeff Holy (R-6) who spoke at hearings in favor of the bill in both the Senate and House, Representatives Mike Voltz (R-6) and Timm Ormsby (D-3) for co-sponsoring the House version of our bill, and Representative Marcus Riccelli (D-3) who in his leadership role in the House made sure our bill moved expeditiously through the House and made sure late last week it was pulled from Committee to the Floor for the final vote. All of these leaders played critical roles at critical times during tthe process and deserve our sincere thanks. If you are able to do so, please reach out and thank them for their continued support through to the finish.

We are going to celebrate this passage with a reception/party with everyone from legislators to community leaders who supported our effort. and to lobbyists whose organizations volunteered their help to us on a day-to-day basis in session. They were Becky Bogard representing Life Science Washington and Jim Hedrick representing Greater Spokane Incorported. Others representing Avista, Spokane County, University of Washington, Washington State University and the University District were also supportive during the session, signing in at hearings in favor of our bills (we ran parallel bills in both the House and Senate) or testfiying. More details to follow.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support of HSSA’s important mission in our community and region.

HSSA Announces 2019 "Access to Care" Grant Awardees

The Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County just announced the organizations who will receive nearly $300,000 in total grants in 2019 for the important access to health care work they do. HSSA said it received well over $700,000 in grant requests for its Access to Care grant funds, the highest amount ever requested.

In a unique “Coordinated Health Initiative” promoted by HSSA, three local organizations – Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP), Pioneer Human Services and Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington-- will collaborate to provide community health workers to meet the needs of homeless households presenting for services across these agencies. The three will share a $120,000 grant from HSSA. “We are honored to partner with HSSA to implement a joint program that braids together funding sources, existing resources, and our blended knowledge and skills to improve access to care,” said Cameryn Flynnof SNAP.

Partners with Families and Childrenwill receive $75,000 in 2019 to help it keep meeting the needs of our community’s most vulnerable populations, children who are victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. The funding supports specialized pediatric examinations and physician training, according to Carol Plischke, Executive Director. “Unfortunately, the demand for our services continues to rise, with both medical and forensic services showing an increase of 45% for 2018 over 2017. Of note is the acuity of the injuries requiring hospital consultations, which have increased by nearly 24% this year alone,” Plischke said.

YWCA Spokanewill receive from HSSA $52,927 to grow its mental health services capability for victims of domestic violence. Regina Malveaux, YWCA Spokane CEO, said “these funds are critically important to help us meet the growing demand for in-house psychological support through mental health therapy for victims.”

Spokane Prescription Assistance Networkwill receive $30,000. It is one of the most cost effective programs HSSA has funded in that it has provided more than $21 million in donated prescribed pharmaceuticals in the Spokane region to those who otherwise could not afford their medications, for an 18 to 1 return on investment, says Kelly Armstrong, SPAN Executive Director. HSSA’s grant helps fund full-time employees.

Priority Spokane’sRyan Oelrichsaid his organization will use its $15,000 grant for women currently enrolled in the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program who need housing and support services. “This important funding completes the budget to operate the pilot program,” Oelrich said.

“HSSA’s mission in addition to funding scientific research and infrastructure to grow the life sciences industry in Spokane, includes increasing access to care through innovative and collaborative health care delivery in the County,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, HSSA Board Chair.

HSSA’s grant competition helps to meet one of its strategic goals that is to increase access to health services in Spokane County for at risk populations and represents a fund of about 15 percent of annual revenues designated for this purpose.

“To date we have awarded approximately $2.3 million in this category, providing resources to those organizations in our County who do the important work with people who otherwise would not receive health care services or would seek these services from the area’s emergency rooms and other expensive options,” Isserlis said. “Some end up incarcerated at taxpayers’ expense, so one of HSSA’s intents with its Access to Care grant program is to decrease costs and improve health care services,” Isserlis said.

HSSA’s other strategic initiative is to increase local health sciences researchand the infrastructure that supports it and designates 75 percent of its revenues for that purpose. In the latter case, which are open year-roundfor proposals at any time, HSSA has invested approximately $5 million in health science research and infrastructure grants to date. The HSSA’s authorization concludes in a few years and HSSA will seek reauthorization in the upcoming legislative session, Isserlis said.

Together with its Access to Care grants, the organization estimates that it has created over 450 jobs and over $70 million in total economic activity. This includes over $35 million in extramural federal grant funding to Spokane. More information about all HSSA grants may be found at www.hssaspokane.org.

Life Science Spokane Networking Event Enjoys Great Turnout

A second Life Science Spokane Networking Event had another great turnout of academicians, researchers, business people and students hosted Oct. 11th at Greater Spokane Incorporated. About 100 attended the evening event and simply got to know one another over free food and beverages. Co-hosts were Life Science Washington, GSI's Vision 2030 and yours truly, HSSA.

Overhead among the many conversations were a couple from Georgia who moved to Camas, WA a year or two ago and came a day early for a weekend in Spokane just to attend this event. They were or are involved in the pharmaceutical industry and they really like it here. Could be future Spokanites!

WSU said it now has over $30 million in extramural grant funding that is, frankly, new dollars percolating in our community economy. They suggested HSSA gets credit for this investment. Thank you, WSU!

Very exciting progress at Iasis Molecular Sciences, too, as it seeks additional funding. This is going to be a big hit one day for the founder and for Spokane, but already has been generating great jobs and research training with a local payroll.

Finally, the folks from Jubilent Hollister Stier love our open forum at these events, nothing planned other than meeting one another. It has encouraged Jubilient to become more engaged in our community.

HSSA Announces 2019 $300,000 "Access to Care" Grant Competition

“Tom” had visited the three Hospital Emergency Department in the city of Spokane 176 times last year and as a result was referred to the “Hot Spotters” program, according to Stephen Miller, Volunteers of America adult services director. "The Hot Spotters program (funded by a grant from Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County) works with over utilizers of our emergency services and connects them to the appropriate care for the health issues they are dealing with. As a result of Hot Spotters and its collaboration with over twenty other agencies, Tom has only visited the emergency room four times in 2018 and all for legitimate health concerns. Multiply that 176 visits by the average cost of an ER visit, and you get a sense of the phenomenal amount of money and ER resources that are being saved by this innovative program. Hot Spotters connects people like Tom to primary care doctor, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, housing and numerous other services," said Miller.

“It happens much too often in our community and across the nation, said Miller.

We simply could not keep up with the caseload we experience without the assistance of the HSSA and the cost to the community would continue to rise,” Miller recently said. “If not in emergency costs at our hospitals, then in jail costs.”

One of the most cost effective programs HSSA funds is the Spokane Prescription Assistance Network that has provided more than $17 million in donated prescribed pharmaceuticals to those who otherwise cannot afford their medications, for a 28 to 1 return on investment, says Kelly Armstrong, SPAN Executive Director.

The Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA)of Spokane County is announcing that its annual “Access to Care”grant competition to non-profit and other organizations is open for its 2019 grants. This grant seeks applicants who provide innovative health service delivery and increased access to health care to at risk populations.

The HSSA RFP #14 2019 – Access to Care grant will award up to $300,000 for one or more grants that durably increase the efficiency of health service delivery and that increases access to health care for at risk populations in Spokane County.

Last year, HSSA funded $380,000 to five recipients through its annual “Access to Care” grant, including Volunteers of America mentioned above. Also receiving HSSA grants in 2018 were Catholic Charites/Empire Health Foundation for the “Rising Strong” family-centered treatment and housing project. Partners with Families and Children, the Providence dental program for equipment to serve low income patients, and Spokane Prescription Assistance also were funded.

“HSSA’s mission includes increasing access to health care through innovative and collaborative health care delivery in Spokane County, as well as to improve the capacity of the Spokane region to contribute to advances in health sciences research,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, HSSA Board Chair.

Here are key dates related to HSSA RFP #14 2019 “Access to Care”Grant applicant proposals for funding:

RFP posted date: August 30, 2018

Letter of intent due by 12 noon: September 28, 2018

Final Proposal due by 4 pm: October 25, 2018

Awards announcement: November 30, 2018

Applicants should submit a letter of intent (LOI) on the HSSA website at www.hssaspokane.orgunder the Grants tab and Access to Care. HSSA will acknowledge receipt and for those Applicants who meet HSSA criteria, HSSA will provide a link for the Applicant to use to submit a full proposal. This should expedite the process. HSSA also will coordinate directly with the applicants, if necessary. If the LOI is selected, a full proposal would be due via the HSSA website by 4 pm on October 25, 2018. In addition to the normal requirements of applicants, past recipients should reference in the current proposal the major outcomes in past HSSA grants.

HSSA’s grant competition helps to meet one of its strategic goals to increase access to health services in Spokane County for at risk populations, and represents a fund of about 15 percent of annual revenues designated for this purpose.

“To date we have awarded $2 million in this category, providing resources to those organizations in our County who do the important work with people who otherwise would not receive health care services or would seek these services from the area’s emergency rooms and other expensive options,” Isserlis said. “Some end up incarcerated at taxpayers’ expense, so one of HSSA’s intents is to decrease costs while improving health care services,” Isserlis said.

HSSA’s other strategic initiative is to increase local health sciences researchand the infrastructure that supports it, and designates 75 percent of its revenues for that purpose. In the latter case, the research grants are open year-roundfor proposals at any time, and HSSA has invested $5 million to date in health science research grants.

Together with its Access to Care grants, the organization estimates that it has created a total of 450 jobs and $70 million in total economic activity. This includes approximately $20 million in extramural federal grant funding to Spokane. More information about all HSSA grants may be found at www.hssaspokane.org.


4 Local Health Sciences Companies Receive HSSA Grant-Writing Support

Here are four companies to whom HSSA has recently granted up to $5,000 for consulting on writing SBIR/STTR grants.

  • Preveal Technologies — Dr. Bob Hager, PI - seeks STTR grant for a tablet-based neurofeedback system to improve cognitive function and will use a hardware/software package that will allow an individual to exercise and strength working memory
  • Allele Diagnostics - Scott Sulpizio, Director of R&D - seeks SBIR grant to develop novel genetic test for the rapid diagnosis of sexual development (DSD)
  • Monte Carlo Medical Technologies LLC — Diego Vidal, CEO and Paula Eboli, MD and neurosurgeon - seeks SBIR grant to research and develop its deigned endovascular devices with flourless technology, EB catheters and wires, to reduce x-ray exposure to patients and health care professionals
  • Glucose Revival - Kris Maynard - seeks grant to further research applications and treatments for diabetes, including his medical alert necklace that contains the best available gel to quickly raise blood sugar levels

Our process is such that interested small businesses in need of a federal SBIR or STTR grant in the health sciences may apply online at www.hssaspokane.org by filling out an application at this site. After consideration by key members of the Board, we then agree to provide the small grant or not, and inform the applicant. We provide the names and contact information of the three consultants with whom we work, all of whom have professional experience with NIH or other agencies. The applicant choses with whom he or she will work. The consultant bills HSSA directly for the time spent helping with a grantee’s grant proposal. Fairly simple.

Gordon, Potyk to Serve on HSSA's Board

The Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County recently announced the appointments of two new Board Members to its nine-person board. The two were appointed to four-year terms.

The Board of Spokane County Commissioners has appointed Scott Gordon, Ph.D. Eastern Washington University (EWU) Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs to the HSSA Board.

Spokane Mayor David Condon has appointed Darryl Potyk, M.D., University of Washington (UW) and Gonzaga University (GU) Regional Health Partnership Director of Medical Education, to HSSA’s Board.

Dr. Gordon received his doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee. At EWU he is responsible for overseeing all academic programs and academic administration. This includes all health and allied health programs. He moved to the region last year for the EWU position after having served for more than 20 years at University of Southern Indiana where he had experience with similar boards and initiatives. He is involved locally with the GSI’s Vision 2030 initiative.

Dr. Potyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and his medical degree from the University of Southern California (USC) Medical school. He is a practicing physician with nearly 25 years of experience in graduate medical education (residencies) as well as medical student education. He serves as an Associate Dean for the University of Washington in Spokane. He was tapped to lead the new partnership between the UW Medical School and Gonzaga University last year.

HSSA Announces $380,000 “Access to Health Care” 2018 Recipients


The Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County announced it will fund $380,000 for five (5) community recipients of its annual “Access to Care” grant competition in 2018. The organizations that were selected provide innovative health service delivery and increased access to health care to certain populations.

“HSSA’s mission includes increasing access to health care through innovative and collaborative health care delivery in Spokane County, as well as its on-going efforts to improve the capacity of the Spokane region in health sciences research,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, HSSA Board Chair.

“HSSA received 13 grant proposals totaling over $1.2 million, which certainly speaks to community need and innovation presented in these proposals,” she said.

The 2018 recipients of HSSA’s “Access to Care” grant competition are as follows:

  • Empire Health Foundation/Catholic Charities Spokane “Rising Strong” will receive $100,000 from HSSA for its family-centered treatment with housing for families at risk of child removal due to parental alcohol and substance use disorder. Rising Strong will provide housing, recovery coaching, behavioral treatment and evidence-based programs for the entire family.
  • Partners with Family & Children will receive $50,000 in 2018 to continue its mission to address the specialty child abuse needs for a growing number of children who suffer from physical and/or sexual child abuse, as well as conduct training for new medical personnel.
  • Providence Health Care Foundation will receive $100,000 to establish on-site dental care for low income populations with clinics at Sacred Heart and Holy Family hospitals. Nearly 3,600 dental patients presented to Providence in 2015 for treatment. HSSA’s funding will be used for dental equipment purchased to outfit operatories at Sacred Heart.
  • Spokane Prescription Assistance Network will receive $30,000 to make available prescription drugs for moderate income under-insured people on Medicare and other insurance plans with high deductibles and co-pays. This is the only organization in Spokane dedicated to providing expertise in accessing prescribed mediation on a community-wide basis and claims an $18 to $1 return on investment for its funders, including HSSA.
  • Volunteers of America (VOA) Hot Spotters program will receive $100,000 to provide improved health outcomes for high-need residents who often present to emergency departments, emergency responders, community court system and mental health providers with a complex blend of social, medical, mental health and/or substance abuse matters, sometimes referred to as “hot spotters” for the frequency of their high cost visits to providers.

“We have now awarded nearly $1.9 million in Access to Care grants in our County to organizations who do the important work with people who otherwise would not receive health care services or would seek these services from other expensive options,” Isserlis said.

HSSA’s other strategic initiative is to increase local health sciences research and the infrastructure that supports it, and designates 75 percent of its revenues for that purpose. Research grants are open year-round for proposals who meet HSSA criteria in one of its research categories. HSSA has invested nearly $5 million to date in health science research and infrastructure grants. This includes over $20 million in extramural federal grant funding to Spokane. More information about all HSSA grants may be found at www.hssaspokane.org.