The Chelan-Douglas Health District, in anticipation of the restructuring of its governing board in the new year, is accepting new board member applications from the public.
The Health Board seeks at least six new members – community members living in Douglas and Chelan counties – to meet new regulations passed by the state Legislature earlier this year. The application is now available on the health district’s website: www.cdhd.wa.gov/board-of-health
Applications will be accepted by the health district until 5 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2022. The current Board of Health is expected to determine the selection process, including whether a subcommittee will first review the applications and if an interview process is necessary, at an upcoming meeting. The new board could be in place as early as the first quarter of 2022.
The health district sees the expansion of its governing board, which currently has eight members, as an opportunity for growth, said Luke Davies, administrator of the Chelan-Douglas Health District.
“We are excited to open up the process to recruit community members to join our Board of Health,” Davies said. “With the changes the state Legislature has made, we look forward to bringing on non-elected board members who will bring individual expertise and new perspectives that will help guide the health district in providing evidence-based services for our community.”
In May, the state Legislature passed House Bill 1152, which modifies the composition of local health boards throughout the state. The bill creates comprehensive guidelines for health districts to follow and requires them to balance their governing boards with non-elected officials.
While the Health Board has made no final decisions as to the future makeup of the local board, including how many people will serve, the new law requires the following:
• A dual county health district such as the Chelan-Douglas Health District must have an equal number of elected and non-elected people on its board, with two commissioners from both counties.
• Non-elected members must include people in all of the following categories:
o Health care providers
o Consumers of public health who have faced significant health inequities
o Community stakeholders, such as local nonprofits working with underrepresented people and the business community.
• Because the health district’s coverage area contains some Native American trust lands, one of the non-elected member positions must be a tribal representative selected by the American Indian Health Commission for Washington State.
• Final selection of the new at-large board members will be decided by a majority vote of the two boards of county commissioners.
• The new board must be in place by July 1, 2022.
“This is a unique opportunity for segments of our community who aren’t historically represented on a local health jurisdiction board to have a voice in the direction of our community public health services,” said Douglas County Commissioner Dan Sutton, who serves as president of the Health Board. “I look forward to the positive impact and unique perspectives these new members will bring to our communities.”
“We have many people in our community whose expertise or experiences in public health would have a positive impact on the Health Board,” Overbay added. “If you are committed to promoting public health for everyone in Chelan and Douglas counties, I encourage you to apply.”
The application can be found in English and Spanish on the Chelan-Douglas Health District website at www.cdhd.wa.gov/board-of-health. To request an application be mailed to you, call the health district at 886-6400 and ask for the Human Resources Department.
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