The Snohomish Health District building in Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The Snohomish Health District building in Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Snohomish County’s new health board elects chair at first meeting

The new county health department officially launched Jan. 1. The transition from a health district continues.

EVERETT — The Board of Health of Snohomish County met for the first time Tuesday, electing County Council member Megan Dunn as chair.

The board also elected Arlington City Council member Heather Logan as vice-chair.

The new county health department officially launched Jan. 1, but the transition from a health district continues. Technically, the Snohomish Health District still exists along with its board of health, until the dissolution is final.

Both Dunn and Logan served on the board governing the health district, which had only elected officials and one chair and one vice-chair. Under proposed county code, the chair represents the county, a vice-chair represents cities and a second vice-chair will represent community stakeholders. The County Council could approve that code before the next board meeting.

The nine-member board is only missing a tribal representative, to be nominated by the American Indian Health Commission.

The board also approved a proclamation related to National Public Health Week, April 3 to 9, with a theme of “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.” The proclamation describes the importance of social determinants of health, such as the environmental quality of neighborhoods, and notes worse health outcomes, on average, for Snohomish County’s Black, Indigenous and people of color residents relative to “white, non-Hispanic residents.”

During National Public Health Week, according to the staff report, “we will celebrate the power of cultural humility and prevention, advocate for healthy and fair policies, share strategies for increasing equity and champion the role of a strong public health system.”

Monthly board meetings are open to the public, via Zoom and in person at 3020 Rucker Ave. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 11 at 3 p.m., after which the board will likely adopt a standard monthly meeting time.

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Joy Borkholder: 425-339-3430;; Twitter: @jlbinvestigates.

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