Community Care Programs

Community Care programs are the heart of our work here at Better Health Together. Our Community Health Workers provide support in navigating complex health systems, ensuring basic needs are met, and providing the emotional support people need to be healthy. Through this work, we link people with the right care at the right time and gain first-hand insight into opportunities for innovative health solutions.  

Collaboration is key to the success and impact of our programs. Visit the Regional Impact Map to see our network of funders and partners.



Thank you Hot Spotters and FAR

2016 was certainly a year of big changes for BHT. Our work as the backbone organization for our region’s Accountable Community of Health has picked up speed since the announcement that the state has reached agreement in principle on the Medicaid 1115 Demonstration Waiver, creating an opportunity to transform the Medicaid delivery system by providing flexible dollars to invest in needed community infrastructure that supports health and community. As we built out this work, we were intent on identifying community infrastructure gaps, which we assessed through several community design and linkage mapping sessions targeting Social Determinants of Health and Population Health improvement goals. The more we learned about the landscape in our region, the more important it seemed for Better Health Together to carve out a unique and value added role in the community. 

Better Health Together started out 2016 with a goal of growing our Community Health Worker (CHW) task force through our Community Cares programs, among them Health Homes, Family Assessment Response and Hot Spotters. The use of CHWs has proven to be a successful model in saving dollars by reducing unnecessary and/or inappropriate use of the Emergency Room and other health expenses by connecting clients to appropriate care and and support at the right time. However, we learned a lot about CHW strategies throughout our own work and these community conversations, including it that can be most effective if CHWs are placed at locations where other services are being delivered, for instance at a supportive housing complex, a clinic or at a community service organization. After careful consideration and conversation with our partners, we chose to close out our CHW care coordination services for Hot Spotters and FAR as of December 2016. This was a tough decision, but made much easier by the incredible partnerships in the community which are ensuring this work remains supported.

The Hot Spotter program has found a new home with Volunteers of America who, having just opened 50 new units of supportive housing at the Merilee, stand to make a big impact in the lives of chronically homeless individuals by providing CHW support the stability of newly housed individuals. The Hot Spotter program not only advocates and improves outcomes for some of our most vulnerable, but the incredible partnerships through the program also demonstrate our community’s commitment to collaborate on tackling our most complex challenges. Hot Spotters closed 2016 serving 120 clients in total, and Community Health Worker support for those clients helped 59 secure housing, 30 obtain a primary care provider, 60 obtain chemical dependency or mental health services, and 12 increase their income.

Thanks to generous funding from Empire Health Foundation and United Way of Spokane County Better Health Together employed one FAR CHW in 2016, who worked in tandem with a Children’s Administration social worker to support families at risk for separation due to parental neglect. The families we work with received individualized coaching and encouragement from their CHW with referrals to needed health and social supports to keep their family healthy and united. 100% of all clients were enrolled in health insurance, thanks to a strong partnership with the Navigator Network. Additionally, families received referrals to oral health, mental health, housing, parenting classes, domestic violence, basic needs, vision, and substance use disorder. We are immensely proud that of all the families we worked with over 80% were able to remain united. Of course we have to give great thanks to our team of passionate Community Health Workers who gave their hearts to supporting these clients. We are incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to serve and support these individuals and families.

Free Tax Services

In Spokane County, in 2013, 36% or 13,485 of families who were eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) used a paid tax preparer. If these families utilized free tax preparation alternatives an additional $1,928,355 would have been saved (figure based on the National Society of Accountants average cost for a return prepared without itemized deductions).

That’s why Spokane County United Way is encouraging eligible households to use local, free tax preparation resources. The organization is working with employers to provide employees information about tax preparation services available in our community. There are two available options for free tax preparation.

1. Free Tax Preparation Sites are available for low to moderate income wage earners (tax site appointments can be made now at 509-353-4851, walk in appointments starting February 1, 2016).

2. MyFreeTaxes is a free online program with a call in helpline available to those earning less than $62,000 in 2015. Visit for more information. Check out these resources about MyFreeTaxes:

If you wish to have a representative from Spokane County United Way come to speak with your employees about these options, call 509-838-6581.

SHA Provides Rental Assistance for 2016

Spokane Housing Authority (SHA) will accept online pre-applications for The 2016 Open Waiting List of the Housing Choice Voucher Program from 12 a.m. on January 19 to 3 p.m. on January 21.

The pre-application can be found at

Only one pre-application per household will be accepted. Applications must be at least 18 years old. Pre-applications will be placed on the waiting list by time and date of receipt of the pre-application and preference. Applicants without a preference will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list according the date of receipt of the application.

Preferences are:

  1. A family whose head, cohead, spouse, or sole member is a person with disabilities; two or more persons with disabilities living together; or one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides.
  2. A family whose head, cohead, spouse, or sole member is a person who is at least 62 years of age; two or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living together; or one or more persons who are at least 62 years of age living with one or more live-in aides.
  3. Applicant families with dependent children. Preferences will be verified and must be valid when an applicant reaches the top of the waiting list.

For assistance applying online, visit:

  • SHA at 55 West Mission during regular lobby hours (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday).
  • SHA’s booth at Homeless Connect on January 19 at Salvation Army, 222 East Indiana Avenue.

Note: After placement on the 2016 waiting list, applicants must notify Spokane Housing Authority of any mailing address changes in writing otherwise you may be removed from the waiting list.