Public Health

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Public Health

Director: Jennifer Johnson


Adoption of an Ordinance
to expand the size and composition of the Skagit County Board of Health to five members

Proposed Ordinance
Comment Form

Report: Skagit County Public Health staff

Background
The current Skagit County Board of Health is composed of the three elected Skagit County Commissioners. The Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to consider adding a new Skagit County Code Chapter 12.01, which will expand the Board of Health to add two additional at-large members if approved. This review will take place at a Public Hearing in the Commissioners Hearing Room, County Administration Building, 1800 Continental Place in Mount Vernon, WA on December 3, 2019 at 10:30 am. Public comment will also be received at this hearing.

Findings and Conclusions
Like many counties and municipalities throughout the nation, Skagit County is facing increasingly complex and often crucial public health issues. While foundational public health areas such as communicable disease prevention and intervention, assurance of clean waterways and safe food, and child and family health remain at the forefront of Skagit County Public Health’s efforts, broader concerns are now also found to be critical to the overall health of the community. Such concerns include addressing substance use disorders (with a particular focus on the opioid crisis), mental health, affordable housing, homelessness, senior services, and Public Health serving as a Chief Health Strategist for our community. Skagit County government is committed to improving the overall health of the community. The proposed new Skagit County Code Chapter 12.01 will broaden representation and expertise on the Board of Health by adding two at-large members demonstrating a high level of health care and/or public health experience, knowledge, and skill. This broader expertise will enable the Board to further evaluate and develop effective public health policies and strategies in order to foster a healthier Skagit.

Overview of Proposed Ordinance
The new Chapter 12.01 will broaden representation and expertise by adding two at-large members to the Board of Health. These at-large members will demonstrate a high level of health care and/or public health experience, knowledge, and skill. The expansion will support the governance of the Skagit County Public Health by incorporating both elected and appointed community representatives. Broader representation will enable the Board of Health to further evaluate and develop effective public health policies and strategies in order to address far-reaching issues and improve overall health within Skagit County.

Implementation and Timeline

  1. A Public Hearing in which the Board of County Commissioners will consider and possibly approve the ordnance will be held at 10:30 am in the Commissioners Hearing Room following the above presentation.
  2. Written comments may be submitted online, by mail, or in-person.  They must be identified with the subject “new Skagit County Code Chapter 12.01.”  Online comments can be posted at https://www.skagitcounty.net/health, emailed to bobhicks@co.skagit.wa.us, or mailed/delivered to: 700 South Second Street, Room 301 Mount Vernon, WA 98273-1071.  All written comments must be received by December 3, 2019 at 10:00 am.
  3. If approved by the County Board of Commissioners, the ordinance will take effect upon adoption.  A process of recruitment and selection of at-large members to the Board would begin within 60 days.  We anticipate the selection process to be completed within 120 days of ordinance adoption.

Board Authority
Pursuant to Chapter 70.05.060 Revised Code of Washington (RCW), has the authority to enact local rules and regulations as are necessary in order to preserve, promote and improve the public health.
Pursuant to RCW 70.05.030, a Board of County Commissioners is authorized to, at its discretion, adopt an ordinance expanding the size and composition of the County Board of Health to include elected officials from cities and towns and persons other than elected officials as members so long as persons other than elected officials do not constitute a majority.