Letter from the President & CEO: Designing Our Future

It’s all about the future. The work Sound has been undertaking over the past year, the investments we’ve made, the evolution of our business—it’s all about the future. Though our industry is rapidly changing, Sound keeps our vision on the future. The process requires equal parts enthusiasm and patience, flexibility and resolve and, importantly, a willingness to make difficult choices. Over the course of 2018, that is exactly what we’ve done. We’re building a great future for our clients, our team members, the larger community and we are doing it in so many ways.

In 2018, we rebranded and actively marketed Sound Solutions, a counseling service for individuals with less intensive behavioral health needs. Though we have offered the program for years, we began proactively educating the broader community about the program—whether they have Medicaid or private insurance. Sound Solutions serves clients thorough convenient locations, hours geared toward working professionals and a range of services that a typical private counseling practice cannot offer. We did this with the belief that everyone in our community should have access to the care they need, where they need it and when they need it.

Our future as an independent, innovative healthcare organization continues through our investment in Reaching Recovery, a distinctive care model that is designed to deliver appropriate levels of care to clients based on their needs and health acuity. The model provides five levels of care and has a proven track record of success in improving client outcomes, increasing team member satisfaction, and producing cost savings. Sound is two years into the implementation and every business line at Sound now is leveraging the model. Though we are still measuring the program’s effectiveness, feedback from team members and clients tell us that we’re headed
in the right direction. We are encouraged and excited about the care model and look forward to its continued impact on the ways we serve our clients and the community.

Ongoing investments to enhance and scale our electronic health record system, MyAvatar, our continued telehealth expansion and essential investments in business intelligence and data analytics position us well for the future. We’re excited at diving deep into our data and learning more about which services are most effective, which populations benefit most from the care we provide, where we need to expand services, what technologies will enable us to better deliver care and many more intriguing capabilities. Technology will continue be the foundation of everything we do as a healthcare business—and play a central role in our future. I’m extremely excited by that.

Driven by the mandates of Washington state, the behavioral healthcare industry is a full “go” with primary care integration. Though there are many ways the behavioral healthcare industry can pursue integration—Sound’s unique vision for it combines providing onsite primary care through a combination of partnerships and hiring primary care practitioners in-house. Our goal is to remain fiercely independent, distinctive in our approach and oriented toward behavioral health in our care design. Our goal is to provide accessible, comprehensive and value-based whole health solutions in the region. We look forward to sharing more about this exciting program in the year ahead and believe it will create an exciting future for our clients.

Yes, we are building a bright future for our clients and the community. But that future must also include our talented and committed team members. If they do not experience financial stability, are not paid a fair wage and cannot afford to live within a reasonable commute to our locations, then what does that future hold for our organization?

It is the Executive Leadership Team’s highest priority—advocating for our team members—to increase the case rates that serve as the foundation for their salaries. We have dedicated key components of our Strategic Roadmap on our workforce and are well underway in that effort. We have increased our presence in Olympia, joining other healthcare providers in raising our voice, to message the critical situation facing our industry. We actively advocate for our team members in the community and through the media. In 2018, this was one of the most pressing issues our industry faced and we will continue to focus on this issue as essential to our future.

Ancient Roman poet, Virgil, once wrote, “They can because they think they can.” That best characterizes our perspective on the future. It is all about the future for us, and I’m optimistic about what lies ahead.

 

 

 

 

Patrick C. Evans

President & CEO

 

This letter was originally published in our 2018 Annual Report.