County’s top two health officials depart abruptly

The Board of Health on Tuesday accepted the resignations of Dr. Mark Beatty and Jefferson Ketchel.

Dr. Mark Beatty (Snohomish Health District)

Dr. Mark Beatty (Snohomish Health District)

EVERETT — The governing board for the Snohomish Health District accepted the resignations of its top two leaders on Tuesday.

The abrupt departure of health officer Dr. Mark Beatty and administrator Jefferson Ketchel came after a special meeting. The agenda gave no hint of the action that would take place, other than mentioning an executive session of up to 90 minutes.

To fill in as as interim administrator, the board appointed Shawn Frederick, the district’s administration services director, according to a brief news release from the health district. Dr. Chris Spitters, the district’s contracted physician for tuberculosis control, will serve as acting health officer until a permanent replacement is selected.

Both Beatty and Ketchel had been in their positions for about two years.

Beatty was named health officer in August 2017. He is a pediatrician and preventive medicine specialist with a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University, according to the district website. He formerly worked at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and in the vaccine industry.

Ketchel joined the district in 2015 as the environmental health officer and rose to the administrator’s post in April 2017, according to the district website. He formerly worked with other public health agencies.

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