Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County is a group of agencies and professionals dedicated to improving child and adolescent mental health treatment and prevention in Pierce County. We are focused on accomplishing the following:

  1. Developing a one-stop collaborative that serves as a single point of access to child and adolescent mental health services
  2. Increasing support and expansion of mobile crisis response teams
  3. Promoting and supporting workforce development and continued training in child and adolescent mental health


“There is nothing more important than addressing the mental health needs of children and families. This is how we change the trajectory for better health outcomes later in life and create equity and access within our systems.”

Joe Le Roy
President & CEO HopeSparks


Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County Charter

Kids’ Mental Health—Pierce County (KMHPC) is a coalition of people and agencies in Pierce County that are joining together to address the growing behavioral health crisis among school age children and youth.

Background. KMHPC was established at the October 2018 Children’s Mental Health Summit when our community mapped the challenges and decided to work together to address the growing crisis in children’s mental health. At the April 2019 Kids’ Mental Health-Pierce County Summit we ratified our common agenda and agreed how we will work together as KMHPC.

Our Mission. Kids’ Mental Health – Pierce County is dedicated to developing a coordinated, responsive behavioral health system that serves the needs of children, youth, and families at the right time, in the best place, with the best outcomes for them. KMHPC coordinates with initiatives focused on young children to create a continuum of behavioral health services starting at birth.

Our Values. Our shared values engender trust and link coalition members together. Children are at the center of our work. We are committed to supporting children’s well-being, promoting cultural responsiveness and equity, and incorporating youth and family voice into our work.

Our Vision. Our long-term vision is to reduce the number and severity of behavioral health issues in school-age children and youth (K-12) across Pierce County. To start, we are building coordinated, effective, and efficient behavioral health services for these children and youth. “Crisis” is defined by the youth and family when the youth’s needs outweigh the existing resources within the family.

Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is comprised of partners needed to advance the work and reflecting the diverse youth, services, and parts of the system.

The Steering Committee makes decisions that affect the coalition as a whole, such as:

  • Setting the KMHPC coalition agenda
  • Working with implementation teams to create action plans and metrics
  • Advancing community education and advocacy
  • Confirming potential grant application and budgets

Decisions are made by consensus, which is achieved when everyone present (minus no more than two people) agrees.

Implementation Teams. The KMHPC Implementation Teams are comprised of people and agencies working together to plan and implement KMHPC community-wide agenda. Team leads are responsible for bringing the team together to plan and implement the strategy with KMPHPC staff support.

Youth Behavioral Health Network. Community partners not currently involved in implementation provide input and feedback to KMHPC through the Advisory Committee which convenes at least 2 times per year.

Contact: Vanessa Adams,
Program Coordinator Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County
Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center | MultiCare Health System

E-Mail: vanessa.adams@multicare.org

Visit the Kids’ Mental Health Pierce County website

Steering Committee Agreements

  1. Agreements about How We Work Together. We agree to use the following agreements as we work together to reduce behavioral health issues for youth in Pierce County.
  2. Recognize – We strive to overcome historical and divisive bias such as racism, sexism, and colonialism
  3. Participate – Participate openly and fully without fear of judgement
  4. Hold Vision – Help set, communicate, and act upon our common vision and strategies
  5. Collaborate – Work collaboratively to respond flexibly to changes for youth
  6. Individual Experience – No one should be required or expected to speak for their identities
  7. Setting Our Agenda. We will consider the following criteria to help us decide what we will and what we will not do.
  8. Impact – Proposed action has a high value goal and the potential for long-term benefit
  9. Capacity – There is time, capacity, energy, and resources to achieve the desired change
  10. Climate – Partner interests are aligned, and the timing is right for the proposed policy, funding, practice and/or socio-economic change
  11. Disparities – Proposed action will promote inclusivity and remain mindful of bias and cultural sensitivity
  12. Leverage – Proposed action builds on existing agreements, success, and influence
  13. Expectations. To facilitate our work, each Steering Committee member makes the following commitments.

The Steering Committee is comprised of partners needed to advance the work and reflecting the diverse youth, services, and parts of the system. KMHPC team confers with the Steering Committee if/as membership changes are needed.

Participation. Steering Committee members are encouraged to participate or send an alternate to all Steering Committee meetings, missing no more than two meeting per year. Committee members may name a substitute person from their organization to represent them at Steering Committee meetings.

Advancing the Work. Each member considers the actions their organization can take and resources they can offer that each member and/or their organization will take to advance the work of KMHPC.

Backbone Team. Mary Bridge Hospital serves as the backbone organization for KMHPC. In this role, they foster collaboration, alignment, communication, and progress toward the Collaborative’s shared agenda. The Mary Bridge Backbone Team represents the Coalition on behalf of the Steering Committee, funds and supervises the staffing, plans Steering Committee meetings, and works to secure funding for initiatives and strategies.

Program Director. The Program Director manages the Coalition’s work. Key responsibilities include:

  • Staffing the Backbone Team and Steering Committee and carrying-out decisions.
  • Convening the KMHPC implementation teams and projects as identified.
  • Working with consultants, donors, and evaluators.

Program Coordinators. Two program coordinators help lead the Pierce County statewide mental health coalition organizing effort. They provide training, technical assistance and support to community partners in Pierce County and to regions establishing behavioral health navigator initiatives.

KMHPC Steering Committee

The KMHPC Steering Committee has appointed members to represent key partners needed to achieve our goals. The Steering Committee makes decisions that affect the coalition, such as: setting metrics, developing budgets, planning action team agendas and advancing community education and advocacy.

The 2022-2023 KMHPC Steering Committee includes the following members:

  • Elizabeth Allen, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
  • Laura Allen, Tacoma Public Schools
  • Sydney Doherty, Coordinated Care
  • Joe LeRoy, HopeSparks
  • Fahren Johnson, Schools Out Washington
  • Jamie Kautz, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital
  • Chris Ladish, Bessler Center for Community Child Health/ Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital
  • Jeannie Larberg, Sumner Bonney Lake School District
  • Jasmine Martinez, A Common Voice
  • Barbara McInvaille, Pierce County Superior Court
  • Tonya Middling, Puyallup School District
  • Claudia Miller, Franklin Pierce School District
  • Sally McDaniel, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Arrika Rayburn, Pierce County Human Services
  • Meera Ramsingh-Seal, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
  • Danelle Reed, Puyallup Tribal Health Authority
  • Nerissa Shirley, Department of Children, Youth and Families
  • Linda Thomas, Catholic Community Services
  • Tiffany Villines, Carelon Behavioral Health