Sunday, June 23, 2024
Executive Q&A

Meet Ruben Betancourt, Executive Director for the Chelan-Douglas Coalition for Health Improvement

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With a background in business and healthcare administration. Ruben Betancourt, through his work with underserved and underrepresented communities at Columbia Valley Community Health, realized his passion for improving health and wellness for the community. This passion led him to the CHI executive director position in July 2023.

CHIs take a coordinated approach to address complex health issues that affect the health of communities. CHIs in Chelan-Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties include community members who seek to improve whole-person health.

Recently, we caught up with Betancourt to learn more about him and his goals for the Chelan-Douglas CHI.

Please tell our readers about the Chelan-Douglas Coalition for Health Improvement.

The Coalition for Health Improvement was started in 2011 by the Accountable Communities of Health. We are conveners and change agents of our community to improve collaboration in our systems of health and wellness. We aim to support and empower change and improvement in the seven vital conditions.

The seven vital conditions are: thriving natural world, basic needs for health and safety, humane housing, meaningful work and wealth, lifelong learning, reliable transportation, and belonging and civic muscle.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

I'm a bit of an onion, take me a layer at a time. I've had some wonderful life experiences and love connecting with people and building long-lasting relationships. As a life-long learner I am always curious to learn more and take the deep dive.

What led you to this position?

One of my first jobs was in quality control working for my parents. At a young age through high school I worked in the orchard of my parent's farm taking extra care to support them in all facets of their work. I learned to care for the little things in a business. This meant having a keen eye for observing, researching and fixing problems, no matter how insignificant they may seem at first.  

Fast forward several years and several odd jobs later I completed a Master's Degree in Business with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration. I had the privilege to work with our underserved and underrepresented communities at Columbia Valley Community Health, the Federally Qualified Health Center in Chelan-Douglas counties. After seven years and a myriad of learning opportunities my passion to improve the health and wellness for our community lead me to the director position with the Coalition for Health Improvement.

What are you most looking forward to in your role as Executive Director at Chelan-Douglas CHI?

Change for the betterment of our community in our systems. As a change agent, and occasional instigator, I am extremely excited to work with the passionate individuals we have as leaders in our region.

What does a normal day look like as Executive Director at Chelan-Douglas CHI?

There's nothing "normal" when leading change. Every day is different and every week new exciting challenges. Our community is diverse and that translates to having diverse conversations at multiple levels in our community with a plethora of partners.  

What is your favorite part of your job and why?

Helping organizations and individuals realize their goals is pretty special. The work we do is impossible to do without the excellent leaders in our community. Their willingness to come together and tackle the difficult issues is what impresses me the most. There is a lot of heart, soul and love being poured into our community and I get to see that every day.

What are some of your goals for the Chelan-Douglas CHI?

We want our community to live longer, live better, and live with purpose. To do this our goal is to support collaborative decision making that will lead to a healthier community that thrives here in central Washington. There are seven vital conditions that are determinants of our communities' wellbeing. We aim to support the improvement in all seven of these conditions in our community.

Who or what inspires you?

People inspire me. I am in a unique position to have seen the world through many different lenses and it never surprises me the tenacity and drive individuals have. 

What do you like to do with your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. My grandmother is 94 and still feeds me when I visit her. When I'm not with them I'm either in my garden or spending time with my animals. 

Is there anything else you want our readers to know?

Drink water, go for a walk and thank someone today for existing within your life. Gratitude is a key to a happier and longer life - spread it and give life to others.

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