A Brief History of the Community Care Team

Lynn Carrigan, a retired Social Worker, started the Community Care Team (CCT) with the MRC. In the past, it was very difficult for her to get additional volunteers engaged as the process to get the REW is complex and we definitely did not have as clear an understanding of how to navigate it as we do now. As necessity is the mother of invention, this crisis has allowed us to focus energies on making the REW process run smoother. Lynn was instrumental in getting the CCT up and running, initially, and for this event, laying the foundation for the Team’s work. She stepped back on April 10th and Jinna Risdal took the helm. The CCT has now grown to 27 members and still growing! They now have multiple leaders across all teams to manage both psychological and spiritual needs.

To which, Lynn responded:

 

On May 23, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Lynn Carrigan <carrigan98070@gmail.com> wrote:

Thank you, Bonny, for the wonderful CCT recognition. It is well deserved.

   Two small clarifications: the Community Care Team was actually started in 2006 when Retired General Joe Ulatowski convened a large group of helping professionals (counselors, chaplains, etc.) to consider working with VashonBePrepared and the Emergency Operations Center to provide extra emotional and resource assistance during disasters.

    Bill Carr, MDiv (I think), was the first CCT leader, bringing the spiritual support perspective into focus, from about 2008, when I joined, through about 2011 or so, when he and I and Kathleen Fellbaum, MSW, led by triumvirate for a few years til Bill retired and Kathleen moved to England.  

     We then aligned the CCT under the MRC per King County’s model, where I had trained. We had about 10-15 members of a well-functioning team then, but it was hard to maintain readiness just through meetings and drills, and people drifted away.        

   Jinna Risdal was a steady and reliable part of that team for many years before I handed the formal reins to her in 2017. She led the CCT during the Cascadia Earthquake drill soon after, and held the fort til we were both called back to service by Ina Oppliger, MD, and John Osborn , MD, who started rebuilding the MRC and understood the value of teamwork and psychological / spiritual support for community members in any emergency.

    Jinna and I agreed to split the duties of rebuilding a new CCT, with me rewriting and adapting some of our old info, protocols, and training materials to fit new remote learning requirements, and Jinna handling all administrative team recruitment and daily operations. She was spectacular at it, and when I began having some medical flare-ups in April, she assumed full leadership and has moved forward getting team members recruited, all credentialed, doing strategic planning and weekly reporting, and building the CCT call line, with the capable administrative assistance of Lori Lowrance handling and storing all those documents and helping to get our website up and running. Major team effort and a testament to their resilience.

    Just wanting to give credit where credit is due and providing some institutional memory.

    Thanks, Jinna and Lori, and all of you in MRC who are so dedicated to serving our Vashon community. You are amazing and have my undying respect. 

     Be safe, be strong, be healthy... and rest.  Take care of yourselves as you would another.  With profound pride and eternal gratitude, Lynn Carrigan

or, summarized:


Corrections to History of CCT printed in SitAlert email on 5/22/20:

  • Ret. General Joe Ulatowski started the CCT on Vashon in 2006;.
  • Bill Carr, M.Div., was CCT team leader when Lynn  joined the Vashon MRC after training at Seattle PHMRC in 2008
  • Kathleen Fellbaum, MSW, joined Lynn Carrigan and Bill Carr to co-lead a 10-15 member CCT team from approx. 2011-2013. They aligned CCT within the Medical Reserve Corps and began developing written protocols before Bill retired to travel and Kathleen moved.
  • Lynn continued as team leader through the first half of 2014, creating a CCT Operations Manual, when a family emergency sidelined her, and membership dwindled;
  • Jinna Risdal was a steady member of the Vashon CCT team for several years during 2011-14, and assumed formal leadership in early 2017 after a two year period of CCT inactivity.;
  • Both Jinna and Lynn were called back for the CoVid pandemic in 2020 to share the tasks of rebuilding the CCT, until Lynn pulled back for medical reasons in April.
  • Jinna then stepped into the director role with her new team, including Carla Pryne as Spiritual Support lead and Hillary Wogan as mental health lead.

2021 CCT Organization

CCT Divisions:

Mental Health Response Team

  • Led by Jinna Risdal , retired Psychologist, educator and administrator
  • Co-led by Hilary Wogan, LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)
    • They created the Website
    • They initiated the hotline program
    • They gathered information to help support the social service needs of the community
    • The organized the other teams and created a roadmap for growing the CCT
    • They developed and mailed out the information postcards

Spiritual Resources Group (SRG)

  • Led by Carla Pryne, retired Episcopal Priest
  • Co-led by Tom Craighead, retired Episcopal Priest, Social Worker and Hospice Chaplain
    • They have done amazing work bringing together the team of Spiritual Care Providers for the Help line
    • They are setting up the SRG section of the CCT webpages with Poems, Prayers and Spiritual practices

Administration

  • Lori Lowrance is the Administrative Assistant who deals with so many administrative details:  keeps track of meetings, REW progress, Help Line Scheduling, organizing our Google Drive, etc.

Outreach and Collaboration

  • Heidi Jackson, Executive Director of DOVE is key in collaborating and communicating with other island agencies and the school district so we do not duplicate services and so they know about CCT resources.

In addition to developing the ability to provide services to our community, the CCT has been working on developing a toolkit to share with other rural communities, so they can learn from our experience and set up their own CCT, using our process as a roadmap. Jinna and the CCT leadership met with Senator Murray’s Office and Representative Jayapal’s Office to share with them their best practices that they have developed.

-- From a 22 May 2020 email from Bonny Olney