We’re Grateful for the Time and Hard Work of Many People!

The BHYA Leadership Council provides governance, coordination, and oversight of Alliance activities and collects data on how well we are achieving our goals. Bainbridge Youth Services, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is the acting backbone organization that supports BHYA’s work. Cezanne Allen, M.D., is part-time director of the Alliance.

BHYA Leadership Council Members

  • Brook Beals, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island
  • Anne Blair, BHYA Co-Chair, Former Mayor, Bainbridge Island
  • Suzie Burdick, Executive Director, Kids Discovery Museum
  • Peter Bang-Knudsen, Superintendent, Bainbridge Island School District
  • Marina Cofer-Wildsmith, BHYA Co-Chair, Executive Director, Bainbridge Youth Services
  • Kelly Deis, Healthy Youth Committee, Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island
  • Tracey Denlinger, Executive Director, One Call for All
  • Elizabeth Fawley, Chair of BHYA Teen Council, Student, Bainbridge High School
  • Karolynn Flynn, Board Member, Raising Resilience
  • Matthew Hamner, Chief, Bainbridge Island Police Department
  • Kathy Haskin, Executive Director, Peacock Family Services
  • Robert Linz, Past Board Chair, Bainbridge Youth Services
  • Jeff McCormick, Director of Assessment, Bainbridge Island School District
  • Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., Developmental Psychologist
  • Mairead Shutt, Executive Director, Bainbridge Schools Foundation
  • Linda Stranahan, Bainbridge Psychotherapty Guild
  • Val Tollefson, Mayor, Bainbridge Island
  • Marilyn Tsolomitis, Teacher, Bainbridge High School

The Teen Council is a voting member of the Leadership Council and its members participate fully in Leadership Council meetings.

Letter from our  Co-Chairs:

marinaanneBainbridge Island is a great place to raise children. Our community is known

for its highly rated schools, beautiful parks, and safe streets. But behavioral survey

data—and our children themselves—tell us that despite all we are doing well as a

community, there still exist areas of concern that need our attention. Many of our

youth are struggling, and these troubling trends mandate a communitywide


The Bainbridge Healthy Youth Alliance is dedicated to improving the relationships

and experiences that help our kids thrive. To engage our community in this process, we will publish

regular qualitative and quantitative updates about what is going on with Bainbridge


Read through the information on our website to learn more about what’s happening—

and how parents, educators, andcommunity leaders are taking steps to make Bainbridge Island a place

where the health and wellbeing of our young people are as important as

their academic success.

National statistics show our challenges aren’t unique. Youth from communities

with relative affluence, above-average parental education levels, and high academic

expectations for children are often “at risk,” displaying higher levels of depression,

anxiety, and substance abuse than their middle-income peers.1

Bainbridge twelfth graders report significant rates of mental distress—a trend

in UCLA’s American Freshman Survey, which shows that the emotional health

of incoming college freshmen is at its lowest point in three decades.2

We know that mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicide

ideation as well as behaviors that involve the overuse of alcohol and drugs interfere

with a child’s development. These are not just normal teenage challenges. They often

become lifelong challenges. The answers are not simple. In order to reverse current

trends, we must increase the protective factors that help kids thrive and mitigate

the risk factors that influence unhealthy outcomes.

You can make a difference. Please join us. Sign up at right to receive regular updates and join in the conversation.

Marina Cofer-Wildsmith and Anne Blair

1 Luthar, S.S. & Becker, B. (2002) ”Privileged but pressured? A study of affluent youth,” Child Development 73, 1593–1610.
2 Eagan, K., Stolzenbert, E., Ramirez, J., Aragon, M., Suchard, M., Hurtado, S. (2015) “The American Freshman:
National Norms Fall 2014.” CIRP Retrieved 4/15.2016

To have collective impact, we invite individuals and organizations who touch the lives of island youth to join us in our ambitious vision to make a difference. To succeed, we must embrace a shared community agenda, engage in system-wide planning, share information, and leverage resources.