Health Reporting Initiative

This community journalism project covers health and wellness issues in Snohomish County.

It grew out of a need we heard from readers and leaders for more coverage of health equity, mental and behavioral health, rural healthcare, social and family issues, homelessness, and substance abuse. Legislation, medical trends and advances, and the lingering affects of the COVID-19 pandemic all impact these and other health-related issues.

These topics and more are what we explore with our Health Reporting Initiative, which is driven by a dedicated health reporter in collaboration with our other Herald reporters.

Meet our health reporter

Joy Borkholder

I love to combine research and data about such a complex topic - health - with people's individual experiences. I hope Snohomish County residents continue to trust me with their stories that highlight our shared challenges and solutions.

Joy Borkholder, Reporter

Joy Borkholder joined the team at The Daily Herald in November 2022 to spotlight the most pressing health and wellness issues facing Snohomish County and what’s being done to address those challenges.

A native of suburban Chicago, Borkholder has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Cedarville University in Ohio, a master of social work from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Virginia. She has written for several news outlets in the Puget Sound area and has more than a decade of experience as a researcher and data analyst.

If you have a topic you would like explored or a story to share, reach out to her at

Check out these recent health stories.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Providers at Community Health Center of Snohomish County vote to form a union

Providers expressed hope for improving patient care and making their voices heard with management.

  • March 24, 2023
The Snohomish Health District building in Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Snohomish County’s new health board elects chair at first meeting

The new county health department officially launched Jan. 1. The transition from a health district continues.

  • March 15, 2023
Mae Hochstetler, left, sits with her twin children Joshua and Joy Hochstetler, both 25, at her home where she lives with Joshua on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

To solve home care aide shortage, Washington may expand who can be one

Mae Hochstetler can pay the bills because the state pays her to care for her adult son, with a pandemic pay bump.

  • March 2, 2023

Community support makes this reporting possible

The Health Reporting Initiative is funded in part by a sponsorship of Premera Blue Cross, a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association based in Mountlake Terrace and a leading health plan in the Pacific Northwest.

Brenda Harrison Journalism Development Director

If you are interested in supporting the Health Reporting Initiative through a sponsorship or grant, contact Brenda Mann Harrison, Journalism Development Director

The Daily Herald maintains editorial control over content produced through this initiative.