Tonya Bowers and Desiree Sweeney

May 23, 2023

Contact: Lindsey Ruivivar, 509-935-6001,

NEW Health CEO Honored with Legacy Award

Chewelah, WA. May 22, 2023 – The Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) selected
NEW Health Chief Executive Officer Desiree Sweeney as the sole recipient of the 2023 Anita Monoian
Legacy Award.

The Anita Monoian Legacy Award honors an individual who has dedicated his/her career to solving the
problems of health, poverty, and human rights and who has contributed toward the mission and
recognition of community health centers in the Northwest region. Criteria for assessing nominations
include that the candidate has invested significant years of service in community health, and that the
candidate’s contributions clearly demonstrate a significant improvement within NWRPCA’s region of
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Desiree has been with NEW Health for over fifteen years leading the organization’s mission to promote
health and wellness in rural northeast Washington State. During her time as CEO, NEW Health has
expanded from providing integrated medical and dental care to also providing on-site behavioral health and pharmacy services. Today, NEW Health operates seven medical and three dental locations, three inhouse pharmacies, and is constructing the first community health center in Newport, Washington (scheduled to open in late 2023).

Under Desiree’s leadership, NEW Health developed a nationally recognized workforce development
initiative called NEW Health University. This innovative program is the culmination of many years of
developing creative solutions to rural workforce challenges. The mission of NEW Health University is to
create community-based education pathways for rural youth and to empower employees with training, education, and internal career pathways to strengthen our current and future healthcare workforce. “As a rural youth who grew up in Springdale, Washington I am passionate about the mission of NEW Health University,” says Desiree Sweeney. “Today, NEW Health has more qualified applicants than we can hire. I attribute this to the success of NEW Health University and our focus on developing training and career pathways for residents in our rural communities.”

Over the past year NEW Health has been invited to present their successful workforce program at
regional and national health care conferences and speaking opportunities. Today, NEW Health is
teaching other health centers from across the country how to create their own workforce development plan.


The mission of NEW Health is to promote health and wellness within our communities by providing
integrated, open-access healthcare for all. NEW Health operates primary medical, dental, behavioral
health, and pharmacy services for residents of Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties. NEW Health
serves 16,000 patients annually and employs more than 170 staff. Bringing healthcare into communities and communities into healthcare since 1978. Learn more at

NEW Health Monthly

December is oral care month. This December, NEW Health is specifically focusing on Child Dental Care! Cavities are the most common chronic disease in children in the U.S. Cavities can cause pain and infections that can lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Children who have poor oral health often miss more school…