Public health agency for Snohomish County
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About Us

Mission: To improve the health of individuals, families and communities through disease prevention, health promotion and protection from environmental threats.

Gary M. Goldbaum, MD, MPH, Health Officer

The Snohomish Health District was created in 1959 under Washington State Law (RCW 70.46) as the municipal corporation responsible for public health in Snohomish County. A 15-member Board of Health oversees the budget and policies of the Health District. All five Snohomish County Council members sit on the Board of Health, together with ten city council members or mayors representing the 20 incorporated cities and towns in the county. Public meetings of the Board of Health are held monthly.
The Snohomish Health District provides a wide range of programs and services that protect and promote the public health in many ways. We always focus on preventing injury and disease.
Our Environmental Health Division issues permits for all food vendors, public and semi-public swimming pools, on-site septic systems, small public water systems, and solid waste disposal facilities. Environmental health specialists regularly inspect food establishments, swimming pools, and solid waste facilities, and help home owners keep their on-site septic systems in good working order. Environmental health specialists also evaluate and respond to complaints about garbage accumulations, failing septic systems, potential toxins in the environment, contaminated wells, vermin, and other potential public health risks. Health educators ensure that all food workers are educated about food safety and have been issued food worker cards valid throughout Washington State.
The Communicable Disease Control Division works to prevent and control communicable disease in Snohomish County and the North Puget Sound region through disease surveillance, outbreak response, education, vaccination, disease contact investigation, and preparedness activities. Transmission of communicable diseases, including food-borne illness, is controlled by prompt reporting and extensive disease investigation to identify and contain outbreaks. The Tuberculosis (TB) control program treats active TB cases and investigates case contacts. The immunization clinic vaccinates all ages for protection against vaccine preventable diseases. Travelers meet with nurses for in-depth counseling about destination health risks, and appropriate vaccinations and medications to prevent disease during travel. Other clinical services include perinatal hepatitis B monitoring for hepatitis B positive women and infants and TB skin tests. The HIV/AIDS program provides HIV counseling, testing, outreach education (including harm reduction and prevention counseling), and referral services. Public health interventions and health education for the community, providers, and hospitals are an essential part of disease control efforts. The Division also coordinates activities to ensure that the community is prepared for public health emergencies.
The Community Health Division focuses on improving the health of families and children. The First Steps, Early Intervention, Unintended Pregnancy Prevention, and Children with Special Health Care Needs services support these aims. Home and clinic visits to families with high-risk pregnancies and children help to ensure the best possible environment for the critical time of early childhood. Some of these children and families are also seen in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, which is designed to improve the health of pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5. The program offers nutrition counseling, provides nutritious foods, promotes breastfeeding, and makes referrals to other health care providers. The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program provides community education, promotes tobacco use cessation, and assists with enforcement of laws regarding smoke-free workplaces and tobacco sales to minors. The Oral Health Program monitors the oral health status of the communities, advocates for low cost preventive activities, shares information with the public for policy change, and helps people find affordable and appropriate dental care.
The Health Statistics and Assessment Program analyzes health data for Snohomish County and produces many reports and analyses that are available on our website. The data identify patterns of diseases, injuries and health behaviors, increase awareness of health needs, and help the community prioritize prevention activities. Assessment also responds to specific requests for data related to public health. As the local vital statistics registrar, we issue certified copies of birth and death certificates.
In everything we do to protect and promote the health of the public and prevent illness and injury, Snohomish Health District staff engage in partnerships with other agencies in our community. Such community partnerships are essential to the success of our mission. Together with community partners, we work to keep the growing population of Snohomish County healthy by focusing on prevention.


Last Reviewed and updated 7/19/2011