UW-GU Regional Health Partnership Announces New Center in Spokane

Great news recently from the UW-GU Regional Health Partnership (RHP). UW President Ana Mari Cauce and GU President Thayne McColloh made the announcement to a packed house at the Hemmingson Center on GU's campus.

The two universities have agreed to enter into long-term lease agreements to use the space in a brand new 80,000 SF Regional Health Partnership building to be designed, built and operated by MKinstry, said its CEO Dean Allen. The cost of the structure is estimated to be approximately $60 million. The facility will be located just west of the existing McKinstry building at Hamilton and Spokane Falls Boulevard.

Mike Wilson, Chair of the RHP and HSSA Board member spoke to the fact that every one of the 60 current WWAMI medical students chose to begin their medical education in Spokane.

The entire announcement and pictures are on the following link.

https://www.gonzaga.edu/news-events/stories/2019/9...

HSSA Announces Annual "Access to Care" Grant Competition

The Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County has announced its annual “Access to Care” grant competition for non-profit and other organizations is open for 2020 grants. This grant competition seeks applicants who provide innovative and efficient health service delivery that increases access to health care for at risk populations.

The HSSA 2020 Access to Care Grant Competition will award up to $300,000 for one or more grants that durably increase the efficiency and efficacy of health delivery in Spokane County that measurably increases access to care for certain populations.

“HSSA’s mission is to invest in life and health sciences research and infrastructure to promote economic development and growth,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, Board Chair. “HSSA also invests in Access to Care grants to promote public health, which is this annual grant competition, and we have committed $2.5 million to these programs to date,” she said.

Here are key dates related to HSSA’s 2020 Access to Care grants:

RFP posted at: September 9, 2019

Letter of Intent due by 12 noon: September 30, 2019

Final Proposal due by 4PM: October 31, 2019

Awards Announced: December 20, 2019

Past recipients have included a successful program by Catholic Charities’ and the Empire Health Foundation called “Rising Strong”; Partners with Families and Children; Volunteers of America’s “Hot Spotters”; Spokane Prescription Assistance Network; Spokane Neighborhood Action Plan; Priority Spokane; Northeast Community Center’s Medical and Dental operations and youth counseling; Pioneer Human Services; YWCA mental health initiative, Providence Dental NE operatories, and others.

Applicants should submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) on the HSSA website at www.hssaspokane.orgunder the Grants tab. HSSA will provide a link to successful Applicants to use to submit a Final Proposal. HSSA will coordinate with Applicants directly, if required. If the LOI is selected, a Final Proposal would be due by October 25, 2019. In this Final Proposal, Applicants who have previously been funded by HSSA should list positive major outcomes from previous grants.

HSSA is credited with bringing $35 million in extramural grants to the Spokane region as every $1 of National Institutes for Health (NIH) funding accounts for another $1, creating $70 million alone by 2019 in economic activity. HSSA has invested about $5.8 million in research and infrastructure grants, and over $2.5 million in Access to Care grants, for a total direct investment of $8 million. The organization has contributed to date well over $100 million, an exciting return on investment.

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About HSSA:

The Health Sciences & Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane Countywas established in 2007 for 15 years by the Washington legislature, authorized county-wide by Spokane County in 2008 and began operating in 2009. It was reauthorized by the Washington State Legislature in 2019 for an additional 15 years. Its mission is to invest in health sciences research to promote economic development, advance new therapies and procedures to combat disease, and to promote public health. HSSA invests funds to create and support a nationally competitive health sciences research cluster in Spokane County, and works to catalyze higher education research and the health sciences industry that will lead to higher wage jobs, long-term sustainability and economic diversification. For more information, visit our website at www.hssaspokane.orgor call 509.474.0798.

About Our Board:

Nancy Isserlis, Attorney, Winston & Cashatt and HSSA Board Chair; Michael Wilson, Consultant and HSSA Grants Committee Chair; Jason Thackston, Senior Vice President of Energy Resources, Avista Corp. and HSSA Finance Committee Chair; Ph.; Scott Gordon, Ph.D. Provost, Eastern Washington University; Kevin Oldenburg, Ph.D., President, 2ndSight Bioscience; Darryl Potyk, M.D., UW/GU Regional Director of Medical Education; David J. Vachon, Ph.D., CEO/Founder, Iasis Molecular Sciences/Novion Technologies, and Dr. Francisco Velàzquez, former President & CEO, PAML and PAML Ventures.

Allele Dx, Iasis Molecular & Photon Bioscience receive funding this summer

HSSA's Board has been busy, granting almost $875,000 to three local health science research firms over the summer of 2019. Here is an introduction to these companies.

Allele Diagnostics, Inc. Marcelo Morales, President & CEO

HSSA has matched a federal SBIR Phase I grant to Allele Diagnostics by providing $222,840 for the development of rapid genetic testing of congenital heart defects. This funding followed a small HSSA grant that allowed Allele to receive professional grant-writing support from for its submission to NIH for the larger grant HSSA recently matched. Rapid results are important for medical management of congenital heart defects diagnosis and treatment that helps guide surgical decisions. This test will be intended for patients with a congenital heart defect either diagnosed prenatally or at birth when a rapid genetic diagnosis is important. The first phase funding will allow the project to be completed in the fall of 2019, improve the robustness of the verification study by adding additional sample and experiments, and start the process of commercialization and marketing. Allele is already working on a submitting a SBIR Phase II grant application by early September, which the HSSA funding allows. Otherwise the next opportunity to apply would be in April 2020. Allele’s research and commercialization will continue in Spokane.

Iasis Molecular Sciences David J. Vachon, Ph.D, Founder

Iasis Molecular Sciences received a grant of $500,000 from HSSA ‘s SBIR matching grant program that matches a grant from the Congressional Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) for the development of a next generation catheter. This award targets catheter-associated urinary tract infections, the most prevalent of the health care-associated infections (HAIs). Iasis Molecular Sciences have evolved to address the HAI problem from a systems standpoint, and in the process become an infection-prevention and control materials solution company. The proposed research has the potential to improve outcomes for both military and civilian populations while reducing costs. The focus is to ensure that surfaces inside and around patients are free of, or able to fend off microorganisms that can cause infection. In the U.S., it is estimated that 1 in 25 hospitalized patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection. More research, clinical trials and funding will be required to take these products to market, Vachon said, before commercialization may occur.

Photon Biosciences, LLC James Brozik, Co-Founder, CTO, ChulHee Kang, Co-Founder, CTO, Chandima Bandaranayaka, CEO

Photon Biosciences, a startup company from Pullman, has moved to Spokane with the help of HSSA. Photon’s scientists have been researching and developing a non-photobleaching and non-photoblinking luminescent probe for disease detection and biomolecular imaging. Its phosphorescent probe is named RECAL®.

HSSA has provided $150,000 in funds that match a federal grant Photon Biosciences recently received that established a laboratory in the Spokane University District. The company is nearing commercialization, and its product has the potential to supplant much of the fluorescent protein, organic chromophore and quantum dot-based technologies that currently dominate the market and will enable many tasks that are currently not possible or practical. Biochemistry, biophysics, food safety, medical diagnostics and homeland security are some potential areas of application. Photon Biosciences has identified likely partners and sublicensees for development of the technology, and plans are to manufacture and sell products from Spokane.

HSSA Announces Board Vacancy for Spokane County Appointment

The Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County has announced a vacancy on its nine-person Board of Directors. This position will be appointed by the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, Spokane, Washington. The County as its own application process at https://www.spokanecounty.org/1184/Health-Sciences-Services-Authority-HSSAat 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.

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.