There’s still time to apply to serve on the Board of Health.
On Monday, the Spokane County commissioners voted to push back their deadline for selecting Board of Health members from Dec. 31 to Jan. 25.
The commissioners had previously said they’d stop taking applications on Dec. 9 and interview candidates on Dec. 14. But on Monday, the commissioners said they were delaying interviews – likely until the second week of January – and are still seeking applicants.
“Please, if you’re out there and you know folks that want to serve on the health board, encourage them to apply,” Commissioner Josh Kerns said.
The Spokane County commissioners decided in mid-November to dissolve and reform the Board of Health, which oversees the Spokane Regional Health District. The new Board of Health will have eight members instead of 12. Both Spokane and Spokane Valley have lost their dedicated seats.
The eight-person board, which will have its first meeting on Jan. 27, will include the three commissioners, Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman, a representative appointed by the American Indian Health Commission and three individuals who don’t hold elected office.
The commissioners and Freeman will select those three people. State law requires them to pick representatives from certain categories:
- Public health or medical provider representative: This person must be employed or practicing public health or medicine and could be an epidemiologist, community health worker, hospital employee, a current or retired-in-good-standing physician, nurse, dentist, naturopath or pharmacist.
- Consumer of public health: This person must have faced significant health inequities and used programs like the supplemental nutrition assistance program and funds for women, infant and children (SNAP, WIC), home visits or treatment services. This person cannot have any fiduciary obligations to a health agency or facility.
- Community-based organization representative: a person who works for community-based organizations, nonprofits, active or reserve armed service members, the business community or organizations regulated by environmental public health.
Jeff McMorris, the county’s community engagement and public policy advisor, said during Monday’s meeting that the county has received 21 applications, but none of the applications have been for the “consumer of public health” category.
Those interested in sitting on the Board of Health can find an application on the county website at spokanecounty.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3701.