Monday, June 2, 2014

More from Stockholm

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Stockholm Marathon

We made it to Stockholm and I completed the marathon! Super tired as we left Seattle on Thursday and arrived in Stockholm via Paris on Friday.

Friday was a tough day to stay awake! But we made the best of it!

Then I turned around and ran the marathon on Saturday. The marathon started at noon which was 3am at home.

We are going to spend the next three days here in Stockholm and then take the train to Copenhagen for a few days before flying home a week from today. Stockholm is a beautiful city!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Tragic Mud Slide

This is a picture of a mud slide that occurred in Snohomish County about 50 miles north of Seattle. It's a terrible tragedy with 8 confirmed deaths, 18 people missing and 30 homes destroyed. This happened without notice on Saturday morning at just after 11am. My heart goes out to the families who having missing loved ones, lost a family member, pets, or their homes or property.

From Seattle Times

8 confirmed dead in mudslide; more than a dozen still missing
With more than a dozen people still missing and hundreds waiting to hear about the fate of loved ones in a mile-wide mudslide, officials said rescuers have not heard any voices from the slide area since Saturday.

ARLINGTON — Hopes dimmed Sunday for finding survivors in the nearly one square mile of muck and debris left by a mudslide that killed at least eight people and demolished dozens of houses.
Officials confirmed eight dead during a community meeting Sunday night in Darrington. Just a few hours earlier, the death toll had stood at four.
Tod Gates, an incident commander, said that as he and other rescuers flew in a helicopter to the Darrington meeting, they spotted the four additional bodies. The dead were not identified Sunday night.
More than a dozen remained missing, but it was unclear just how many.
“We didn’t see or hear any signs of life out there today,” said Travis Hots, chief of Snohomish County Fire Districts 21 and 22, during a Sunday afternoon news conference.
Darkness and shifting debris forced rescuers Saturday night to abandon efforts to reach voices coming from a buried structure.
By Sunday, they heard no more voices, Hots said.
Casualties are likely to rise as the search continues through the wreckage that is all that remains of neighborhoods along the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. In addition to destroying 30 or more homes, the slide buried a milelong stretch of Highway 530 under 20 feet or more of mud.
Gov. Jay Inslee warned of grim days ahead during a news conference at Arlington City Hall. “I have a sense we are going to have some hard news here,” he said.
The rain-soaked hillside that slid away Saturday morning was the same one that had partially collapsed in 2006. The area is about 16 miles east of Arlington.
With no positive news forthcoming, relatives of the missing crowded into the Darrington Community Center looking for answers.
Relatives handed photos of missing loved ones to rescue personnel in hopes they might turn up unconscious at a hospital.
Those reportedly missing ranged from Oso-area homeowners to repairmen on work assignments and a group of girls at a slumber party.
Ron Thompson, whose home was destroyed, stopped by the evacuation shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington to find out if his friends turned up alive. “We lost a lot of good kids. I don’t know what else to tell you. It hurts,” he said before driving away.
A 4-month-old baby and her grandmother were also among the missing.
The baby, Sanoah Huestis, lived with her grandparents, Christina and Seth Jefferds. Seth Jefferds, a volunteer firefighter, was not home at the time of the slide and arrived to find his house flattened and his wife and granddaughter missing, said his brother-in-law, Dale Petersen.
“He said it was just like a bulldozer ran over the house,’’ Petersen said.
Although the names of the people killed in the slide were not officially released, one is former Darrington librarian and School Board member Linda McPherson, 69, according to Pete Selvig, a member of the Darrington emergency-response team and a retired U.S. Forest Service employee.
McPherson’s husband, Gary “Mac” McPherson, was also injured. His condition was not immediately known.
The couple’s house and that of their niece and nephew next door were both destroyed, Selvig said. The younger couple were not at home, but their dog was trapped in the debris, he said.
Rescuers tried to get to the dog after hearing whimpering Saturday night, but had to give up because the mud and debris were moving, Selvig said.
McPherson was branch manager of the Darrington library and served for about 15 years on the School Board, said Selvig, who served with her.
He said her approach to the business and challenges of the small rural school district was professional and methodical. She was part of a Darrington contingent that lobbied the state Legislature for funding to rebuild the district’s three aging schools. “Her name is on the plaque on the new elementary,” Selvig said.
Seven people injured in the slide were being treated at area hospitals Sunday.
At Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, a 6-month-old baby boy and an 81-year-old man were in critical condition in the intensive-care unit. A 37-year-old man and a 58-year-old man were in serious condition. A 25-year-old woman was in satisfactory condition.
At Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, one woman was in satisfactory condition. Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon reported that a 68-year-old man was in stable condition.
Witnesses described a frantic scene when the slide hit Saturday morning.
Neighbors rushed to retrieve a mud-covered baby within moments, said an Arlington woman who was driving by when the catastrophe occurred.
“We thought it was a car accident,” said Sierra Sansaver, of Arlington, who said she was driving to Darrington to find the road was blocked by mud. “Then you realize there’s a house in the middle of the road.”
“We heard screaming from a house 100 yards from us. A whole bunch of men went in there and pulled out a 6-month-old baby,” Sansaver said. Firefighters also were arriving, she said.
“There was mud, household items everywhere, people screaming, crying, running into the rubbish.”
“Everybody was covered in mud. A lady next door who saw what happened, she was giving them blankets to hold the baby in. They got in a car, and left,” said Sansaver.
The infant at Harborview matched that scenario.
In Darrington, a search-and-rescue team of about 20 people was advised Sunday morning to mark dead bodies if they saw any and keep looking for survivors.
Some workers emerged from the meeting bleary-eyed and dispirited.
One volunteer firefighter who had stopped working around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night said many tragic stories have yet to be told. He watched one rescuer find his own front door, but nothing else — not his home, his wife or his child.
They’re in the “missing” category along with many it is feared will eventually be listed as dead.
“It’s much worse than everyone’s been saying,” said the firefighter, who did not want to be named. “The slide is about a mile wide. Entire neighborhoods are just gone. When the slide hit the river, it was like a tsunami.”
By noon on Sunday, the dammed-up Stillaguamish River was starting to break through a hole in the mile-wide mud wall near Oso, releasing some flow downstream. But officials said that was not a cause for alarm.
“It’s not flowing at a rate that causes concern. There is water coming through. They don’t feel it is going to be a catastrophic burst,” said Shari Ireton, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Even if the water breaches the blockage, it is unlikely to cause major flooding downstream, said Brent Bower, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
The forecast for the area near Oso looks dry for most of Monday, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. Rain could return Monday night and into Tuesday, but Burg said “we’re not forecasting anything heavy” — maybe a tenth of an inch.
Through March 19, Arlington had recorded 7.14 inches of rain for the month — just a couple inches short of the wettest March on record. A flash flood warning remained in effect.
Inslee, who cut short a political trip to Montana to fly back to Washington state, thanked rescuers Sunday, and said he was awed by the destruction he witnessed after flying over the scene.
“The devastation is just unrelenting and awesome. There is no stick standing in the path of the slide,” Inslee said. “But there is another powerful force of nature, and that is empathy and compassion.”
Staff reporters Jim Brunner, Lynn Thompson and Nancy Bartley reported from Seattle. Staff reporters Mike Carter, Mike Lindblom, Mike Baker and Christine Clarridge reported from Arlington. Alexa Vaughn reported from Darrington. News researcher Miyoko Wolf also contributed.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Office Selfie

It's a selfie! I've been famous for selfies for more years than I can count and long before they became the rage! I took this picture from my office to send to my parents after they sent me a comic about selfies. Thought it was only fitting!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Birthday Coming!

Somebody will be 50 soon!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Crisis Clinic

Busy day that included a great visit and tour of the Crisis Clinic - a great community partner.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


This is Harry one of our three pups. He's a sweetheart despite the fact that he's kinda high maintenance!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Great Beauty

This is the movie that won best oscar this year. We had been wanting to see it and low and behold it opened at the Seattle Sundance Theatre this weekend. I'm not sure I got all of it but it was beautifully shot and I enjoyed it a lot.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Little Free Library


love these neighborhood little free libraries. I ran across this one tonight on my run home through the Eastlake neighborhood. Kent and I love books and I think I'm going to put one up on our block when we put up our new fence.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring on the Quad

Beautiful spring day in Seattle! This evening we walked from our house through the campus of the UW to to Chipotle Grill for dinner. We walked through the qua and as you can see there were plenty of people out and about enjoying the sun. The cherry trees are just waiting to hit full bloom in a few short weeks. Today I went to an all day meeting on change management. It was pretty good. Hoping to use some of what was learned as we transition our system.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Little things make me happy!

Little gift left in my office from one co-workers for my new office.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Stockholm Tickets!

Spent much of the day at the office getting my new office set up and getting caught up. Then Kent and I had a fantastic Vietnamese meal at Ba Bar. So what does all this have to do with the picture of the day? Well this is a picture of Kent purchasing our tickets to Stockholm! Super excited - we are flying into Stockholm and out of Copenhagen. Start week 5 of training this week. Hopefully my leg does not give me much more problems. Feels a little better today. Tomorrow is a 6 mile run so I'll get to test it out.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014


Busy Saturday that started with a 7 mile run which resulted in a slight injury. Hopefully it's fine in a day or two. Basketball mid day - final game of the season. Huskies ended up 9th in the conference. Kent and I will not travel to the PAC -12 tournament for the first time in 5 years. Very sad about that! Tried a new place for dinner over in West Seattle La Romanza. It was very good. Ended the evening seeing the play - Third at Arts West Theatre. It was excellent. I highly recommend you check it out!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Seahawk 12K

Yeah! Signed up for the Seahawks 12k today! Some of my co-workers brought it up and had started a team so we signed up! Looking forward to it! Also on a side note I made it through my first week as the new director for King County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division. It was a great week albeit very busy! I find it invigorating and challenging. I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many talented co-workers.

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Season almost over.

Basketball season is coming to an end. This Saturday is our final home game of the year. Huskies lost to UCLA tonight after starting out strong.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Baseball Park

The new husky baseball park is almost done! We are super excited and just picked out our season ticket seats today! The seats are part of the home base club and give us access to club room to get out of the bad weather. Makes baseball in Seattle totally doable! The red dots in the picture are our seats.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Office - moved in today!

Today was my first full day in my new office! It's exciting and weird all at the same time. I love the views from my office and the number of windows. It's a corner office so north I look up 5th towards the Columbia Tower and to the west I look toward the sound and the Smith Tower. My name plate went up today so I guess it's official! I'm a grateful and lucky man.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Work and training

Today was the beginning of week four of my marathon training so after work I ran from downtown to home and logged just over 7 miles. Nice evening for a run. I also started my new job today! I can tell that at least for now I am going to have to choose carefully what I commit myself too - it will quickly get out of control with all the meetings and projects that I could get myself involved in. I'm really going to like the challenge of dealing with the transitions that lay ahead and improving the lives of individuals in along the way. I've not yet moved into my new office - tomorrow my phone and computer will likely be moved in which case I'll need to move.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dale Chihuly

Went to see the movie Nonstop this afternoon at Lincoln Square. They have this beautiful Dale Chihuly chandelier in the lobby which made the picture of the day today! It's Oscar night so I am making Kent and I an Oscar worthy dinner.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

King County Aquatic Center and More.

Welcome to March! Hard to believe it's already here! I started my day with a 16 mile run which really tired me out! I ran through the Arboretum to Madison Park then along Lake Washington until I reached I-90. Great run and a nice morning for it. From there we had lunch and then went and picked out tile for our entryway. Then we made our way down to Federal Way to the PAC-12 men's diving championships at the King County Aquatic Center. We've done this several times and it's always a lot of fun. So today's picture is from today's event. After that we went home and took care of the pups and then took short nap before heading to see the Oscar short movies to end the day! Busy full day! It was awesome!

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Friday, February 28, 2014

New Office View

Posted usiLast day as the Assistant Division Director! Monday I start my new job as the Director of our Department! I'm super excited and honored to be given this huge opportunity. This is a picture that I took as I left the office tonight of the view from my new office. It's been a busy week. iPhone

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Run Picture

This is a photo that I took on my run home today from work. I'm one long run away from completing 3 weeks of 16 for the Stockholm marathon. This photo is in the shores of the UW campus and is about a mile from our house.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Amnon's Retirement

Tonight was the retirement party for my boss. Ammon is a great boss who I will miss working for. The event was very nice. This is a picture of Amnon and Jean and I. We have been the leadership team of the MH and SA Division for the past 11+ years together! It's been a great run and I have been prepared well to step into his role on March 1st. Thankfully Jean will be around for a few more years!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cold Denver

Selfie of my sweet husband who is in Denver where it's 14 degrees! Burrrrrr.

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Old House

I had to go Olympia today to testify on a bill so on the way home I swung by our old house and took a picture. Lots of great memories of our time living there but I have to say I love our new neighborhood so much more!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

MOHAI - Seattle

Busy day that started off with a bit of work and then we took the bus to the Museum of History and Industry. It's a great museum which we've been to before but they had a special exhibit on the history of GLBTQ issues in Seattle. The evening was nice - I worked a bit and got ready to head to Olympia tomorrow to testify on a bill. Most exciting thing today was taking a shower for the first time in our new shower! It was awesome! I can see that our water bill is about to increase!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

2 down 14 to go!

Week two of training for Stockholm Marathon under my belt with a 14 mile run today! I left the house and ran on tails much of the way. I ran through the nature preserve to the waterfront trail, through the Arboretum, Interlaken trail, around Lake Union to Fremont and then to Gasworks Park and then the Burke Gilman home. Awesome run in the rain/snow mix. Worked for a while later in the day and ended with going to see a couple of the short documentaries nominated for Oscars.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Master Bath Done!

Finally! Our master bath remodel is finally complete! This may well be my final picture to post of the bathroom! Unfortunately we can't use it for 48 hours. It turned out totally awesome! I've taken more baths in the last week than I've taken in the last year and half! The shower looks beautiful and I can't wait until Sunday evening when we can use it for the first time.
Finally! Our master bath remodel is finally complete! This may well be my final picture to post! Unfortunately we can't use it for 48 hours. It turned out totally awesome! I've taken more baths in the last week than I've taken in the last year and half! The shower looks beautiful and I can't wait until Sunday evening when we can use it for the first time. They left that strip of blue tape on it to remind us not to use it for 48 hours. At least now next week when we are getting ready for work we don't have to traps downstairs for our shower! Yay!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


I walked into my office this morning to a very pleasant surprise from one of the staff. What a great way to start the morning. As it turns out I really needed it today. I am going to really like my new job - it starts officially a week from Monday. It's going to be a great challenge that I'm looking forward to doing it.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Evening Run in the City

Sometimes it's difficult to chose a photo of the day when the day has been so full. I started by testifying on a bill in the legislature and then hightailed it back to Seattle for meetings all afternoon. I came home and went for a wonderful six mile run. It was wonderful because I ran fast, felt comfortable and although it was dark it was beautiful out. I ran from my house to Gasworks park and back. From Gasworks I took this picture of downtown Seattle with the Space Needle. We had the contractor come by tonight and paid off the bath remodel. Yikes! The only thing left to do is install the glass for the shower. It will be done on Friday. So happy it's done I can back from dinner at Chipotle and took a nice long bath!
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Monday, February 17, 2014

$6 Bouquet

This is my $6 bouquet of tulips that made my day! I stopped at Safeway to pick up some milk and broken hearts on Valentines Day was to my benefit with bunches of 10 tulips for $1! I was so excited I picked up six bunches! I love fresh flowers and I love them even more when I can get them practically free!

I was off today for Presidents Day. Mostly did chores but managed to get my haircut and clean the house. I also started week two of my marathon training by going for an 8 mile run.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Busy Saturday!

What a day - started with the contractors getting to the house early to finish work on the bathroom. It's mostly done - glass shower doors come in next week as do the towels we ordered from Restoration Hardware. Side note - if you have never bought Restoration Hardware towels they are well worth it! We bought our first set 10 years ago and if it weren't for the fact that we remodeled and needed a new color we would still be using them! Anyway - I then went for a 14 mile run. Week one training for the Stockholm Marathon complete! Logged 34 miles this week. We then went to a basketball game and watched he Huskies lose to Cal. Home for the afternoon to watch a movie Kent bought me for Valentines Day followed by attending a play called A Great Wilderness. It was about an older guy with early dementia who ran a camp for boys who were gay and tries to convert them. It was very good.

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New Job/Old Job

I'm super excited to be starting a new job in two weeks. I'll be the new director for the King County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division where I have been one of two deputy directors for the past 11.5 years. It's been a great run and I'm excited for the next chapter in my career. If you know anyone interested in a great job in a great community pass it along! Word of caution - the position reports directly to me. Lol.

This is our office in downtown Seattle.

Job Title: Assistant Division Director/Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Coordinator

Opening Date/Time: Thu. 02/13/14 12:00 AM Pacific Time
Closing Date/Time: Fri. 03/07/14 4:30 PM Pacific Time

Salary: $95,574.00 - $121,145.00 Annually

Job Type: Appointed

Location: Chinook Building - 401 5th Ave, Seattle, Washington
Department: Department of Community & Human Services

The Assistant Division Director/Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Coordinator provides supervision and leadership for direct clinical substance use disorder, prevention and treatment services in a recovery oriented system of care for the King County Mental Health , Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division (MHCADSD). MHCADSD is an integrated division coordinating recovery oriented services for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. The combined budget for the Division is $246M. $28M for substance abuse, $168M mental health, and $50M of sales tax revenues for both mental health and substance abuse programs. The position oversees the day to day administration of the substance abuse prevention and treatment delivery system for public funded individuals serving 24,000 individuals annually with approximately 34 direct service staff. The position oversees the direct service functions of the 24 hour/day Emergency Services Patrol, substance abuse involuntarily commitment and directly supervises the High Utilizer Program Manager, the Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment program Manager, the Science to Service Coordinator, Prevention and Treatment Manger and the Special Duties Program Manager.

MHCADSD provides high quality mental health and substance abuse services to low income individuals in need. This division provides a wide variety of services including crisis services, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and criminal justice initiatives.

We offer services that are respectful, tailored to individual needs, and most of all, effective. MHCADSD is one of four divisions in the King County Department of Community and Human Services.

WHO MAY APPLY: This position is open to all qualified individuals that meet the minimum qualifications.

WHERE TO APPLY: Interested individuals should submit an online application, resume and cover letter indicating how you meet the requirements of the position. You can find the online application at: Electronic submission is preferred. For inquires, you may contact Alex Golan at: or 206-263-1503.

WORK SCHEDULE: This at-will position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and is not overtime eligible. The workweek is normally 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Job Duties:
· Oversight, negotiation and monitoring of direct services activities through close coordination, regular meetings, and periodic full scale reviews of operations to assure compliance with all local, state, and federal requirements.
· Negotiate the state prevention and treatment biennial revenue contract and prepare and submit required reports and plans.
· Participates in the planning and evaluation of substance use prevention and treatment programs. Direct short- and long-range planning activities to define broad goals, objectives, and priorities. Plan short- and long-range utilization of the professional, technical, and managerial staff to meet program objectives.
· Work collaboratively and interdepartmentally and with community partners to ensure that substance use disorder prevention and treatment recovery services are designed and delivered in a manner that addresses disparities.
· Align all existing and new work with the mission of the department’s Equity and Social Justice strategic plan: To reinforce and embed equity and social justice principles into policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all.
· Oversees the formulation and development of MHCADSD policies, objectives, and strategic goals to ensure a comprehensive and integrated delivery system.
· Coordinate and manage activities related to complex cross systems and multi-systems
integration. This includes mental health, substance use disorder prevention and treatment, co-occurring services, primary healthcare, criminal justice, homeless service providers and other social service systems touching the lives of individuals seeking recovery.
· Provide support, staffing and recruitment for the King County Substance Abuse Administrative Board and its various subcommittees.
· Active participation in the Washington Association of County and Human Services.
· Responsible for publicly funded substance use prevention and treatment services for King County, including policy and procedure development which governs the work of multiple provider agencies – issues related to and involving information systems, documentation and reporting, fiscal management, and contracting services.
· Identify and respond to grant and other funding opportunities that further upgrade the quality of recovery services, improve the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs, and to provide resources to ensure evidence based, integrated care.
· Coordinate and support services with the King County Drug Diversion and Family Treatment Court.
· Identify philanthropic and public private partnerships that increase the delivery of prevention and treatment services in an integrated manner that supports a Recovery Oriented System of Care.
· Assume the role of Treatment Fellow in the Reclaiming Futures Model.
· As delegated, act in the Director’s absence to carry out goals and objectives of division operations.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills:

1. Substantial experience with progressively greater responsibility administering social service programs provided in the public sector, working in a culturally and economically diverse metropolitan area.
2. Strong knowledge working with Mental Health and Substance Abuse systems, including program management, development and monitoring.
3. Strong experience in a large multidisciplinary organization with the ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships.
4. Significant experience as a supervisor, working with personnel policies and procedures.
5. A Master’s degree in social work, business administration, public administration, or related field; or equivalent combination of qualifying education and experience.
6. Effective communication skills.
7. Experience with successful negotiation and building collaborative work teams.
8. Use of Microsoft Office including, Word, Excel and Outlook.

Additional Requirement:

Final selection for this position may require confirmation and/or approval by the alcohol and other drug addiction program board.

The most competitive candidate will also have the following desired qualifications:

9. Knowledge of substance use and mental health disorder treatment issues and systems.
10. Knowledge of local, state and federal regulations governing substance use and mental health treatment providers.
11. Supervisory experience with a multidisciplinary team.
12. Knowledge of general government principles and procedures.
13. Experience interfacing with the legislature and other public officials and elected individuals.
14. Dual certification or licensure in Substance Use Disorders/Mental Health Professional.