PORT TOWNSEND — Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean to the state Board of Health as a member representing counties.
The Board of Health said in a Tuesday press release that Dean was selected for her experience as a county commissioner and entrepreneur.
“I’m honored to serve in this role,” Dean said. “It is critical to have the voice of counties, who are often the providers of public health services, at the table.”
The state Board of Health is a 10-member body created by the state constitution. It consists of four members with experience in health and sanitation, one health official from a federally recognized tribe, an elected city official who is also a member of a local health board, an elected county official who is also a member of a local health board, a local health officer and two members representing consumers of health care.
The board drafts health rules governing food and drinking water safety, slowing the spread of communicable diseases and children’s health, among other issues.
The board also makes health recommendations to the state government in a biennial health report.
“We are so pleased to welcome Commissioner Dean to the State Board of Health,” said Michelle Davis, the board’s executive director.
“She has a deep understanding of the needs and challenges that rural communities face. Commissioner Dean has significant experience working through thorny issues with tribes, local and state government and the business community.”
Dean holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington and was first elected to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners in 2017 to represent District 1, Port Townsend.
She had moved to Jefferson County in 1999 and co-founded the Finnriver Farm and Mt. Townsend Creamery.
In 2009, Dean started a consulting business focused on local and regional natural resource and rural economic development issues.
She coordinated the Jefferson Landworks Collaborative, a farmland preservation and enterprise development initiative; managed Washington State University Extension’s Small Farm Program; worked for the state Department of Labor and Industries, and was the Regional Director for the North Olympic Development Council.
In addition to the Board of Health, Dean serves on several statewide boards including the Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council and the Washington Sea Grant Advisory Council. She co-chairs the Association of Counties Legislative Steering Committee.
Dean is one of two members of the board coming from the Olympic Peninsula. Administrator for the Kitsap Public Health District Keith Grellner serves as chair of the board.
Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.