For Immediate Release:

May 11, 2017

Media Contact: Kathy Fackelmann, [email protected], 202-994-8354


Milken Institute School of Public Health Names 2017 Geiger Gibson Program Distinguished Visitor


Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC (May 11, 2017) — The Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University has named Anita Monoian as the 2017 Geiger Gibson Program Distinguished Visitor. 

The Geiger Gibson Distinguished Visitor Program honors individuals whose lifetime careers in community health, and achievements on behalf of health centers and medically underserved communities, serve as an inspiration in public health policy and practice. Drawn from across the country, Geiger Gibson Program Distinguished Visitors represent the nation’s most talented health center leaders.

Anita Monoian is the president and chief executive officer of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services (YNHS) of Washington State. Established in 1975, YNHS provides comprehensive medical, dental and social services to thousands of low income individuals and families in Yakima County, which is located in the south central part of the state. Over her nearly 40-year career at YNHS, Monoian has earned national recognition for her work in Yakima County and transformed YNHS from one primary care site to a full scope organization providing over one hundred thousand medical and social visits every year.

Accredited by the Joint Commission, YNHS was the first community health center to achieve Level 3 NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition. With nine site locations and a mobile medical unit, YNHS provides a broad and diverse range of services throughout the Yakima Valley that address the medical and social needs of residents, including health insurance enrollment and home visiting services.

YNHS also has a special focus on the homeless population of Yakima County as a Health Care for the Homeless program grantee. The organization’s interdisciplinary team of professionals provides not only medical and dental care to individuals experiencing homelessness, but also a broad swath of other services including housing, case management, respite care for those recently discharged from hospital care, behavioral health, and assistance with basic needs. YNHS operates two Homeless Resource Centers for clients experiencing or at risk of becoming homeless, and the centers provide one-on-one support for common issues including transportation and rental or utility assistance. Furthermore, YNHS owns and manages several housing units throughout Yakima County to provide clients with transitional and permanent supportive housing. The YNHS Outreach Team, made up of nurses, behavioral health specialists, and housing specialists, engages with the local community outside of the clinic by providing targeted outreach to local shelters and outdoor encampments. In 2004, YNHS helped to form the Homeless Network of Yakima County, a collaboration of agencies and service providers throughout the valley to address the emergency, transitional, and permanent needs of Yakima County’s homeless population.

Monoian attended the University of Idaho. She serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, and OCHIN, a nonprofit information technology company serving community health centers. In addition, she has held the prestigious positions of chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers and board chair of the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association. For 18 years, Monoian served as a member of U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton’s Health Policy Committee, and she has been appointed to several committees by Washington’s governors.

The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy is a special initiative of Milken Institute SPH, which was established to honor Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers in community health practice and tireless advocates for civil and human rights. The Geiger Gibson Program has worked since 2004 to help eliminate medical underservice and disparities in population health through education, training and research projects.


 About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University: Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,900 students from 54 U.S. states and territories and more than 50 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.