Lowry appoints Crystal, Endicott to Health Care Policy Board

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Mike Lowry has named Sue Crystal of Olympia to serve as chairwoman of the five-member state Health Care Policy Board. He also named David Endicott of Maple Valley to the serve on the board. Crystal replaces Bernadene "Bernie" Dochnahl, who left the board in July.

Crystal, 43, currently serves as the governor's special assistant and policy advisor on health care issues and as executive director of the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education. On health care issues, she was the governor's primary contact in developing and implementing Washington's comprehensive health care reform legislation. She has served as chairwoman of the Washington Health Care Facilities Authority and the Health Policy Group.

As project director for the Robert Wood Johnson State Initiatives in Health Care Reform, Crystal coordinated the state's implementation grant for initiatives in health care financing reform. She also worked with legislators, business leaders, labor and education representatives to develop recommendations on alternative funding sources for post-high school education.

Working with representatives of business, labor and environmental groups, Crystal was instrumental in helping the Governor's Task Force on Regulatory Reform develop recommendations to streamline government regulations and better integrate environmental and land-use laws.

Before joining the governor's staff in 1993, she served as director of research services for the democratic caucus of state House of Representatives. She also served as counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee, researching and drafting bills.

Previously, Crystal served as legal counsel to the Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation Commission, managing the hearings and appeals division, drafting rules and preparing budgets. She served as an attorney in private practice for various clients including Indian tribes and organizations, congressional committees and federal agencies on issues of education, health and social service areas in Indian programs, and represented tribes on issues related to the Northwest Power Bill. She also served as staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

Crystal earned her bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her juris doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law.

The new chairwoman said that during its three-year history, the Health Care Policy Board has made significant progress in helping more people have access to affordable health care.

"We are at a critical crossroads in health care issues today and I am very grateful for the opportunity to assume a leadership role at the board," Crystal said. "I am looking forward to being a part of this unique collaboration of legislative and appointed board members and contributing to their continued success."

Joining the board as a new member, Endicott, 51, currently serves as vice president for corporate communications and public affairs of First Choice Health Network, Inc. in Seattle. His professional experience includes public information positions in the Wisconsin state Legislature and the Department of Health and Social Services, as well as work as a manager of broadcast news services and media relations for the University of Washington. During the 1980s, Endicott served as press secretary to Sen. Slade Gorton.

"We face significant health care problems in Washington and, unfortunately, too often we tend to fight the other person's position first, rather than advocate our own," Endicott said. "I hope to be a bridge in finding solutions a bridge between employers and employees, between business and government, between health care providers and patients, and between insurers and those who are insured."

Endicott serves as a member of the board of directors for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Association of Washington Business, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and Seattle CityClub. As chairman of the Art Pattison Communications Exchange Program for the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association, he served as the American chairman of "New Media for a New World," an international journalism conference in Moscow in 1994 and 1995 and slated for Vladivostok this October.

Endicott is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Marketing Communications Executives International and the Norwegian/American Chamber of Commerce. He also was the founding member of the Puget Sound Press Club. In 1990, Endicott was recognized by the Washington Special Olympics for outstanding achievement.

Endicott earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and did graduate work in the university's school of communications.

Crystal's appointment is effective Sept. 4, and she will earn $90,059 annually. Endicott's term begins Oct. 1 and will expire June 30, 1998, and he will earn $83,629 a year.

The 1995 Legislature created the Health Care Policy Board to make recommendations on health care issues, to review state agency rules for consistency with the goals of health care reform and to complete needed studies. Overall, the board is responsible for helping the state build broad access to health coverage while controlling costs and maintaining or improving the quality of health care services.


For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office at 360-753-6790.