Tag Archives: Cashmere

Team Up for Greatness

Vantage Point: To Be A Star

There is a patch of I-5 South, just as you turn the bend, where The Tacoma Dome comes into view, and the sight always makes my heart jump into my throat. Opened in 1983, The Dome has hosted major concerts, professional sports competitions, and events. Most importantly for me, it’s also the place where Washington state high school athletes compete at the championship level.

My boys got to experience the honor of standing up among their peers as a part of a team of excellence on December 7, 2008, when Cashmere won the 1A High School Football State Championship. It’s a memory that I, and most of the town, which filled one whole side of the dome, will never forget.

This accomplishment started with the players, who had been honing their skills since grade school. It also took a school backing them with quality equipment and coaching, a town believing in them, and parents dedicated to supporting their goals. The second-string players, who only got a few seconds on the field that day, were just as important as the starters. In practice, they were the ones who helped the starters sharpen their skills. To say the least, they were all stars that day.

I am fortunate in my professional work to also be part of an amazing team. A team, which I say with great pride, whose Washington Medicare plans just earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.*

These Star Ratings measure more than just customer service. They also measure help managing chronic conditions, member complaints, working with providers to help members stay healthy, and members’ overall experience with the plan.

This achievement means a lot. It validates our efforts at Health Alliance and lets us know we are taking good care of our members. But just like a championship football team, we respect this is not an individual endeavor, and we appreciate all of you for sharing access to your resources and welcoming us into your communities. There is no way we could have accomplished this without your support and collaboration. As we share this esteemed recognition with you, please know, we sincerely count you as a member of our team, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Shannon Sims is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. She has four sons and two grandsons. During her time off, she performs as part of a rodeo drill team on her horse, Skeeter.

 

*Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star Rating System. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.

Wowed By Washington

Wowed by Washington: The Wild and the Wilderness

Emily Beach, a Health Alliance employee in the Communications Department, visited Washington to learn more about the members we serve and what it’s like to live in North Central Washington. Read about the first part of her trip.

My next day in Washington was as busy as the day before. After grabbing a quick breakfast at the hotel, Ericka and I headed to the Town Toyota Center for a tour and a meeting with some folks with the Wenatchee Wild. We can’t say too much now, but keep your eyes and ears open come hockey season!

Next we visited the Wenatchee Senior Center. I got to watch a S.A.I.L. (Stay Active and Independent for Life) class in action and had just started to immerse myself in the bustling thrift store when I was reminded of our next appointment. My wallet thanks our tight schedule.

The next stop was in Leavenworth, with a drive through Cashmere. Shannon made sure to take me along the charming Cashmere main street and past the Aplets & Cotlets factory. In Leavenworth, we visited the beautifully updated Cascade Medical Center. It almost looked like a cabin with the gorgeous mountain view and natural light. I wish all waiting rooms looked like that one!

Leavenworth

 

We stopped for a delicious lunch at Fresh Burger Café, just down the street. We ate outside to enjoy the sunshine and killer view. Being from the Illinois flatlands, I could just stare at the mountains all day. But that would mean I would have missed exploring Leavenworth. The town is filled to the brim with quaint shops, flower boxes, and wooden signs that bring to mind Bavarian Germany.

Fresh Cafe

The most exciting moment for me? The pretzels! I am from Freeport, Illinois, and our high school mascot is the Pretzels. I have pretty intense Pretzel Pride.

Pretzel Case

Pretzel Shop

Pretzel Decoration

 

Shannon also took me a little way into the Cascades outside Leavenworth. This looked more like the Washington I knew from Olympic National Park. I wish we had time for a full hiking adventure, but I was grateful to be able to snap this roadside photo along the Tumwater Canyon. Views like this inspire me!

Tumwater

 

Sound like a full day? You only know the half of it!

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