SNOHOMISH COUNTY--- If you live in Snohomish County, you have 220 public health professionals quietly working for you around the clock. To celebrate National Public Health Week, Snohomish Health District staff created displays to illustrate how local public health is always working for a safer and healthier community. The displays can be seen this week on the main floor of the Rucker Building at 3020 Rucker Avenue, Everett.
“I cannot think of a single person on my staff who is in this line of work for applause or recognition,” said M. Ward Hinds, MD, MPH, Health Officer for Snohomish Health District. “They work quietly and professionally, behind the scenes, often at tasks other people would turn away from doing.” Established in 1959, Snohomish Health District is the public health agency for all of Snohomish County, including its 20 incorporated cities and towns.
“We are nurses, sanitarians and restaurant inspectors, physicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, dental hygienists, health educators, nutritionists, social workers, case managers, clerical and administrative support staff, prevention specialists, community health outreach workers, and counselors,” said Dr. Hinds.
Public health workers ensure safe drinking and recreational waters; vaccinate for life-threatening diseases such as polio, diphtheria and pneumonia; control and prevent foodborne illnesses, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; oversee sanitary disposal of waste; and promote healthy lifestyles to prevent injuries, chronic diseases, and infant mortality.
Additionally, Snohomish Health District investigates disease outbreaks, sponsors peer education groups to promote healthy behavior among teens; provides outreach and education in support of cancer prevention activities, offers birth control information and counseling; and issues birth and death certificates. The Health District gathers health data and publishes health reports for Snohomish County to identify trends, progress and emerging health issues.
Said Dr. Hinds, “Snohomish Health District does not expect applause for serving you. Our staff do their work because they believe in what they are doing. What we do need is your support to continue these activities and services that keep our communities healthy. Our growing population in Snohomish County is causing an increasing need and demand for public health services at the same time that less funding is available to provide these services.
“We cannot afford to lose a strong public health presence in Snohomish County,” said Dr. Hinds. “As former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once said, ‘Some of us need health care services some of the time; all of us need public health services all of the time.’”
Please visit our Web site, www.snohd.org for more information.
Did you know that Snohomish Health District...?
- provides services and information in 16 languages
- inspects 2,600 food service facilities up to three times a year
- ensures cleanup of contamination of illegal drug lab sites
- educates more than 15,272 individual food handlers a year
- investigates more than 1,100 complaints annually for illegal dumping, toxic hazards, wastewater and rats
- loans car seats and bike helmets to low-income families
- applied 12,220 dental sealants to children’s teeth since 1994
- gave more than 26,577 immunizations last year at our two clinics and offsite
- screens and treats people for tuberculosis, sexually transmitted and other communicable diseases
- counsels and immunizes international travelers to protect them overseas
- trained 3,284 child care providers in health and safety classes last year
- made approximately 8,300 visits to pregnant and parenting women and children, including children with special health care needs
- tests about 200 drinking water samples every month