Our Mission

Our mission is to connect people to health care and facilitate the transformation of the current system into one that improves health, reduces cost, and improves the experience of care. We are driven by our two-part mission of providing local access services, while fostering public participation and meaningful system change.

We advance by improving individual lives today, while building a better health system for tomorrow.

Our Assumptions

The current health care system is broken. As a nation we pay more but receive less than most other industrialized countries. We need to change the way we deliver health care, beginning with our local delivery system.

Economic forces need to be aligned so providers are paid according to the quality of their treatment, and the extent they help keep people healthy. Individuals using the service need clear information about pricing and payment obligations to effectively manage their own care.

Birth, illness, and end of life are events far too important to leave only to professionals, regardless how skilled and well-intended they may be. Our system of care must foster patient and family participation.

History & Leadership

In 2002 the St. Luke’s Foundation, in collaboration with PeaceHealth and the Whatcom County Health Department, convened over 200 Whatcom County community members in order to increase awareness about eroding access to health coverage and care, and to identify potential strategies for developing a community-based response. The creation of WAHA and its strong alliance of providers, consumers, and community leaders is the outcome of that summit. Over the past ten years WAHA has served an estimated forty thousand residents, nearly 20% of our County’s population.

WAHA is governed by a Leadership Board that includes community members and representatives from leading health care, public health, business, and governmental organizations. These leaders, as well as other community partners, serve on advisory committees dedicated to WAHA’s mission.

WAHA is a non-profit organization located in Bellingham, Washington.