The building that for more than two decades housed Steven Harrop’s dentistry practice will continue as a spot for those seeking improved health. But instead of dental health, those entering the Blue Heron Health Collective will receive support in mental and physical health, as well as emotional wellness.
Blue Heron Health Collective (BHHC) founder Kelsey Bourn took a personal journey to mental health support. Bourn, who was raised in the Methow Valley and graduated from Liberty Bell High School in 2005, purchased VIP Insurance (Melbourn Insurance) from her mother, Melinda Bourn in 2017, as a co-owner with her sister Korrie.
“I had a great run working alongside brilliant professionals and caring individuals that served the community,” said Bourn, who did sales and policy management for VIP Insurance, along with human resources, marketing and office management.
But things changed for Bourn during the early COVID-19 shutdowns, which stirred up some restlessness in her.
“I think I was just sort of unhappy and wanted something [different] than insurance,” she says. Bourn started seeing a therapist in Wenatchee, since there weren’t many options available locally.
As a result of therapy and as one in a family line of entrepreneurs, Bourn decided to attend graduate school to study counseling, graduating with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Gonzaga University in 2021.
During her time at VIP Insurance, Bourn realized that she “loved working with people, working in a professional setting, and serving the local communities within Okanogan County.” As a mental health counselor, Bourn refines that vision, saying that the core of her motivation lies in “witnessing personal growth and providing non-judgmental support.”
“I aim to be a guiding force for individuals navigating their struggles,” she continues. “Beyond my dedication to clients, I am committed to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health, advocating for its normalization, and fostering open conversations.”
When Bourn returned to the Methow Valley, she began seeking a space that would accommodate the counseling practice she envisioned. She reached out to Steve and Leslye Harrop, whose dentistry practice had been shuttered since the beginning of 2022, and shared with them her ideas about fulfilling mental health needs in the Methow Valley.
After hearing what Bourn hoped to do with their building, the Harrops agreed to sell it to her; she closed on the building in August 2023, supported by the Northwest Business Development Association and North Cascades National Bank.
The building had a “great feel and a central location,” Bourn says, and she knew that she wanted to share the space with other practitioners. She had a couple of small updates in mind to modernize the space, which soon became a nearly full remodel, completed by Methow Valley-based Blackcap Builders.
“It has been a labor of love,” Bourn says, “and on Jan. 1, we were able to open the doors.”
At BHHC, Bourn is joined by three other female practitioners and small business owners who share her “commitment to mental health and emotional wellness.” Together, they offer “thoughtful, personalized services designed to support individuals of all ages on their unique journeys toward emotional and physical well-being.”
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Kathleen Manseau offers increased “access to novel therapeutics for difficult-to-treat conditions,” the BHHC website says. Among these novel treatments are psychedelic medicines like ketamine.
Naturopathic Dr. Jenna Rayachoti “aims to empower women to understand their hormones, menstrual cycles, and bodies through hormone resets, fertility, pregnancy, motherhood, menopause, and more,” Bourn says.
Kelle Ronnefeldt, a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, offers “psychiatric diagnosing, medication management, and substance-use disorder consultations to help manage dependencies,” according to Bourn.
Bourn, now a licensed mental health counselor associate and licensed marriage and family therapist associate, aims to “empower individuals and families by supporting their mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.”
Bourn says that her personal and professional journey is “fueled by a genuine curiosity about the human mind, leading me to a commitment to lifelong learning in a world where mental well-being is increasingly recognized as integral to overall health and happiness,” and being in partnership with others who share this sentiment is gratifying.
Having “four strong women working together in this space … is even better than I had imagined,” Bourn says. “It is pretty empowering.”
The BHHC practitioners invite the community to an open house on Thursday, Feb. 29, from 4-6 p.m. at their location at 505 State Route 20 in Winthrop, between Little Star Montessori and the Coldwell-Banker Real Estate office. The members of the collective will be there to answer questions; free drinks and snacks will be served.
For more information, visit www.blueheronhealthcollective.com.