New youth detention center to open in King County | KNKX

In 2017, King County released a strategic plan called the “Road Map to Zero Youth Detention” to eliminate the secure detention of youth. Using a public health approach, communities and system partners will come together to ensure the well-being of youth in crisis as well as setting them up to thrive as adults.

Currently, incarcerated youth are subject to health care that is often poorly integrated and does not set them up for the best possible health outcomes. The Doris Duke and Hillman Foundations both have seen the urgency in ensuring these marginalized youth are cared for equitably and are given the opportunity to succeed. They have both awarded funding equaling $100,000 to investigate and identify gaps in health care.

Using the Systems Analysis and Improvement Approach (SAIA), a strategy that has been used globally to improve the quality of clinical care, investigators will map the subsequent healthcare steps incarcerated youth take to address their non-communicable and infectious diseases, and receive primary care. This will identify gaps and potential opportunities to improve care and treatment during and post-incarceration. SAIA-Juv will use routinely collected clinical data, in addition to the lived experiences of  patients and frontline workers to visualize and improve the patient experience.

Dr. Sarah Gimbel is the Principal Investigator on this project and has an extensive background in health care implementation science both internationally and locally. To learn more about SAIA and this project by visiting