SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – During the 2021 legislative session, the Washington State legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1152 (E2SHB 1152) which forces local health district board membership to include an equal number of elected and non-elected representatives. This legislation also amended the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) to ensure the non-elected members selected to the local health district boards are persons with a diversity of expertise, lived experience, and are selected in a fair and unbiased process.
Spokane County is responsible for the expenses of the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) and are presently the only local government entity that contributes to the Districts current expenses. As the legislative body responsible for enacting this change from the state legislature, the Spokane County Board of Commissioners voted in favor today to proactively modify the SRHD Board to reflect these legislative changes. The Board of Commissioners is specifically requesting applications from the community among individuals who have experience in public health, health care, consumers of public health, and community stakeholders.
Josh Kerns, Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, stated, “As we craft the budget for the County and SRHD, now felt like the appropriate time to address the requirements to re-form the District.”
Commissioner Mary Kuney added, “SRHD plays an important role in this community. We are being proactive and want to get these positions filled. I look forward to starting the year with the new board in place.”
Commissioner Al French concluded, “We urge anyone who meets the criteria to apply. We are all eager to move forward with SRHD and serve alongside others who share in our commitment to address the health concerns of our community.”
The goal is to appoint new members to fill the SRHD Board by the end of the year. However, timing may change depending on the number of applicants and interviews conducted to ensure the most qualified applicants serve on this important board.