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Michelle Tinkler


Michelle Tinkler (she/her) has been in the Behavioral Health Field since 2008, when she worked at a crisis stabilization until in Pierce County. After that, she worked for the Pierce County Behavioral Health Organization (BHO), where she worked in Continuous Quality Improvement leading to her career as the Pierce County Ombuds for six years. 
Michelle has a Business Management degree focused on Healthcare Administrative Management and continues her legacy of sticking up for people’s rights and neutrally negotiating complaints and grievances with provider organizations. Michelle is passionate about following the rules and challenging any stigma and rights violations in the Washington State Behavioral Healthcare system. Michelle has emerged as one of the most respected conflict resolution specialists in Washington State. She is respected by her peers and sits on several policy committees, including the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee, and she currently chairs the Office of Behavioral Health Advocacy Advisory Council. 

Michelle is an even-tempered realistic individual with personal experience and professional experience in the systems that serve people in Washington State. 

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Andy Levitt

Advocacy Coordinator

Andy Levitt (he/they) is a trans stepdad and a person in recovery from mental health challenges. After growing up in Vancouver, WA, they moved to the Olympia area with their partner in 2018. Andy became a caregiver for individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia before working as a youth peer counselor for over three years. Andy now lives in Montesano with his partner, stepson, and four cats. Andy values kindness, healthy communication, and believes that everyone is capable of recovery.

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Justin Blackwell

Western Program Director

Justin Blackwell (he/him) is the West Region Director of the Office of Behavioral Health Advocacy (OBHA) under the nonprofit organization Peer Washington. He was hired by Peer Washington effective September 30, 2022. In addition, Justin is currently fulfilling the duties of the Great Rivers Service Area Behavioral Health Advocate (BHA). Justin has a calm demeanor and has lived experiences, personal and professional, in the Behavioral Health systems that serve the people of Washington State. Justin is compassionate about protecting individuals’ rights and empowering individuals to advocate for their voices to be heard within the Washington State Behavioral Healthcare grievance system.

Justin served as a Behavioral Health Ombudsman since early 2012 as an independent contractor with Ombuds Services LLC, covering the Timberlands Regional Support Network, Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization, and BH-Administrative Services Office. Before becoming an independent contractor for Ombuds Services, Justin worked as a Child Protection Services Investigator in Thurston, Lewis, Cowlitz, and Clark Counties, in Washington State, and the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration for over 23 years. Justin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from Southern Oregon State University in 1992 after attending Whitworth College for undergraduate studies. Justin and his wife Trisha live in Centralia and has six Shih Tzus. Justin enjoys outdoor sports, weightlifting, and traveling in his free time.

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Gail Kogle

Eastern Program Director

Gail Kogle (she/her) has been in recovery for many years and has more than twenty years of experience working in the field of behavioral health. Before 2008, she engaged in job development using the no-wrong-door approach for anyone interested in exploring their interests, specializing in working with individuals with serious mental illness. In 2008 she was hired at the Spokane Regional Support Network (RSN), which later became the Spokane Behavioral Organization (BHO). In January 2019, she became the Behavioral Health Ombuds for the Spokane Region. She continued until October 1, 2022, coming to the Office of Behavioral Health Advocacy as the Program Director for the East Region. While at the RSN and BHO, Gail took on the oversight of the grievance system for the agency and the provider network, as well as working closely with her constituents to develop a robust system that was responsive to the needs of the individuals served. She also worked closely with her RSN/BHO for compliance during External Quality Review Organization review activities and was responsible for monitoring all document submissions. 

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Donna Kelly

Behavioral Health Advocate 

Donna Kelly (she/her) was born and raised in New York City. She moved to Olympia when it was time for her oldest daughter to begin school. With the high cost of living and not wanting her daughter to be exposed and enticed by the experiences she grew up with, Donna headed to smaller, more affordable, peaceful surroundings. Since then, Donna has raised multiple birth, adoptive, and foster children, many of whom have struggled with behavioral health issues.

Donna worked as a behavioral health Ombuds from 2010 to 2022. Before 2010, Donna studied Occupational Therapy, worked for Olympia School District providing transitional services, worked in the area of vocational rehabilitation, and provided life skills instruction for adults with a dual diagnosis of developmental disabilities and mental illness. Donna is pleased to continue her relationships with the participants and agencies in the area she has worked with over the past 12-plus years. Today Donna is the Thurston/Mason behavioral health advocate for The Office of Behavioral Health Advocacy. Donna is excited to be a part of this new agency and to see what the future holds.


Nanine Nicolette

Behavioral Health Advocate 

Nanine Nicolette (she/her) was born in 1970s Los Angeles to a fierce, compassionate mother. Nanine’s mom led her on a journey from the beaches of California to the tiny mountain town of Conconully, Washington. Along the way, Nanine acquired an amazing, brilliant dad and an array of adventures. They gifted her with an annoying brother, a progressive upbringing, and as many books as she could possibly read. Nanine’s family eventually fractured – leaving her with two sets of creative, ingenious parents and an extensive family foundation. 
Nanine identifies as an outstanding mother, dedicated bookworm, trauma survivor, perpetual student, and eternal optimist. College-educated and empathic, Nanine spends most of her life in service to others. She is an LGBTQ+ and BIPOC ally with an emphasis on inclusivity and equality. Outside of that role, art and writing hold dominion over heart and soul. Nanine believes life is precarious, listening is undervalued, and that rose-colored glasses are a must-have accessory. 
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” - Brené Brown 


Tisha Robbins

Behavioral Health Advocate 

Tisha Robbins (she/her) was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. She has worked in behavioral health services for almost 30 years, starting as a Mental Health Technician and later as a Mental Health Counselor. One day, while flipping through the local newspaper's employment/job search section, she came across an ad looking for a "mental health advocate and problem solver." She applied and was hired as the Director of Mental Health Ombuds Services for Spokane County. During her 16 years of service as an Independent Contractor for the Spokane Region, she began to expand her services. In addition to her role as Ombuds, she became the region's Quality Review Team Coordinator. She grew her role as mental health Ombuds for Spokane County to become the Behavioral Health Ombuds for all seven counties in the region (before 2019). Once her tenure with the Spokane Region ended, she collaborated and consulted with other Behavioral Health Ombuds across the state, later taking the role of Behavioral Health Ombuds Outreach Coordinator for the nine counties within the Greater Columbia Region. Tisha has spent the past 20 years dedicated to the cause of behavioral health advocacy and education. 

She feels strongly that her role as Behavioral Health Advocate is to help individuals share the power of their voice and impact regional and state-wide behavioral health services in Washington State. Tisha has had the opportunity to attend many educational and certification opportunities; some of her most valued include; Mental Health First Aide Facilitator Certificate, Mediation, Leadership Academy, Crisis Peer Support training, and Motivational Interviewing. 

Tisha enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends at their cabin on Deer Lake. She enjoys spending time on the water, playing a good game of horseshoes or beach volleyball. When she is not advocating for the rights of others, she can be found spending time with her family, which includes a large extended group of individuals she refers to as her "family unit." Tisha loves to cook, and every Saturday (spring to fall), she can be found hosting a huge family-style dinner and spending quality time with her "family unit."


Lisa Day

Behavioral Health Advocate 

Born in Seattle and raised in the bucolic town of Bothell, Lisa Day (she/her) currently resides on beautiful Camano Island. She originally entered a behavioral health assistive role through a partnership with a community organization in Skagit County.

Before her time with the Behavioral Heath Ombuds, she spent eight years navigating housing for low-income residents. Lisa has a wealth of multi-generational lived experience in both Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. She has worked with and supported diverse populations for over 30 years, is a proud veteran, and has always carried a passion for the underdog.

Lisa is excited to have joined on the ground floor of the newly formed Office of Behavioral Health Advocacy, representing and providing advocacy to the five counties that comprise the North Sound region of Western Washington.

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Kim Olander

Behavioral Health Advocate 

Kim Olander (she/her) grew up on the first Christmas tree farm in Skagit County. Whether answering the telephone or helping customers pick out their perfect tree, she was always happy to lend a helping hand. This ignited her passion for helping people. When she was old enough to get a job, Kim went into retail and customer service, which she did for nearly twenty years. After losing several jobs due to some not-so-wise choices, Kim decided to go back to school. 

She was browsing the local community college’s catalog when it fell open to the Human Services program section. After reading the description of that program, Kim knew that was exactly what she needed to do. She earned her AA degree in 2005, was offered a permanent, full-time position where she did her practicum, and has not looked back. She has held Family Development, Housing Specialist, and Behavioral Health Ombuds positions.  
In 2016, Kim learned about the Certified Peet Counselor training. Having had her challenges with depression and anxiety, this sounded like the perfect next step. Shortly after getting her Peer Counselor certificate, Kim accepted a Peer Bridger position at Western State Hospital and began working with peers to help them transition from the hospital into the community.
Kim was instrumental in organizing an event that provided goods and services to people experiencing homelessness. She recently served as Chair of Disability Rights WA’s Mental Health Advisory Council; Kim is now on their Board of Directors and an active board member for United Peers of WA (UP of WA) and is a member of Peers of North Sound (PoNS).

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Daaoshara "Dae" Degrate

Behavioral Health Advocate 

Daaoshara “Dae” Degrate (she/her) is the new King County Behavioral Health Advocate. She is a passionate, hardworking advocate who worked at Volunteers of America and has 11 years of workforce development coaching experience. She uses her skills to empower family members and individuals with the strengths, strategies, and hope to inspire positive change and sustainable recovery.   She is proficient at providing different resources to people in the community and helping them become more self-sufficient. Dae has the ability to see all sides of a situation, and her mission is to find positive solutions for all sides of any conflict at the lowest possible levels in our behavioral health systems. She has a certificate from Gonzaga Business School and received three commendations. Dae brings her own lived experience and commitment to diversity into all her interactions. She is a joyful, upbeat person that loves to help people help themselves.

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