Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: December 14, 2009 10:41:22 AM PST
Sheila Brillson Named New Director of Operations for Critical Junctures Institute

Contact: Sheila Brillson, (360) 676-7319; Sheila.Brillson@wwu.edu.

Sheila Brillson

BELLINGHAM – Sheila Brillson has been named director of Operations for the Critical Junctures Institute, a collaboration of Western Washington University and St. Joseph Hospital/PeaceHealth.

Working with Dr. Michael Massanari, Institute director of research, Brillson will provide leadership for the development of the Institute, oversee daily operations and administrative management, and work with the board, staff and community stakeholders.

“Sheila Brillson brings to the position a passion for public service and experience in building collaborative communities,” said Chris Phillips, director of Public Affairs and Mission Integration at St. Joseph Hospital/PeaceHealth and Critical Junctures Institute Leadership Board chairman.

Brillson recently worked for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services as the administrator of the Bellingham Community Services Office, managing the delivery of public assistance services in Whatcom County. Previously, Brillson served as the WorkSource area director for the Employment Security Department, providing oversight of state employment programs in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island counties.

Prior to locating to Bellingham in 2003, she served for eight years as mayor/city manager of Michigan City, Ind., where she developed effective collaborative community programs between government and hospitals, schools, philanthropic organizations, social service agencies, and private sector businesses in northwest Indiana. Brillson received her bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and a master’s degree from Valparaiso University.

“With a sharp focus on research and community education, my goal is to continue to develop the Critical Junctures Institute as we examine problems and research ideas for improving the health and well-being of our community,” Brillson said. “With healthcare such a central topic in discussions across our country, the Institute is positioned to be an active and viable hub to support coordination and communication between research partners, healthcare providers, patients and their families. It’s all about health research and learning by the community – for the community.”

The Critical Junctures Institute is a research and learning partner for health promotion and health care advancements within Whatcom County and beyond. It is a collaborative venture between Western Washington University, St. Joseph Hospital/PeaceHealth and community stakeholders. Utilizing participatory research that enhances a healthy community, the Institute is committed to community learning and bringing together the 190,000 citizens of Whatcom County with their health care providers to examine new ways to self-manage health and improve healthcare decision-making.

The Critical Junctures Institute is at 625 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham. Brillson can be reached at (360) 676-7319 or via e-mail at Sheila.Brillson@wwu.edu.

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