After the firing of Dr. Thorburn and the ensuing futile two-year search for a new public health officer, the health board now wants to try splitting the duties in hopes of attracting a qualified applicant. Why would any health professional worth hiring be more likely to accept a position with Spokane County knowing they have yet another layer of bureaucratic “administration” to negotiate in the course of their duties?
Let’s face it, this county health board has so fouled the nest, any qualified physician that gets a whiff of what they are stepping into runs like the wind. The county’s reputation for heavy-hand “under the thumb” of politicians and nonhealth professional appointees is definitely a deterrent, and further watering down the responsibilities and authority of the health officer certainly won’t help attract qualified people.
As a citizen and taxpayer of Spokane County, I want a professional public health physician, not an administrative bureaucrat, making decisions regarding the health of this community. So, health board, take whatever steps necessary to repair your reputation and do your job. Hire a qualified full-time professional heath officer.