Gary M. Goldbaum, MD, MPH, Health Officer
he 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
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
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
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
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.
ALWAYS WORKING FOR A SAFER AND HEALTHIER SNOHOMISH COUNTY