SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., June 14, 2022 – Today, the Snohomish Health District Board of Health voted to hire Dr. James Lewis as the county’s next health officer. He will take over the Health Officer role from Dr. Chris Spitters, who is stepping down after more than 20 years with the District.
Dr. Lewis is set to start August 1 and will lead a team of approximately 135 and oversee an annual budget of $31.5 million. He brings more than seven years of public health experience and expertise. He is currently a medical epidemiologist with Public Health – Seattle & King County as well as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Washington.
Dr. Lewis has worked in public health at the state and local level. He has experience with leadership roles, project management, disease surveillance and response, communication, and education. He has identified collaboration, equity and transparency among his leadership priorities.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Snohomish Health District and am very excited to be joining at a time of important change with the District joining with the County,” Dr. Lewis said. “I am excited for the possibilities that step opens up, and I look forward to working with the team at the Snohomish Health District to make that merge a success.”
On June 8, the Snohomish County Council unanimously voted to integrate the Snohomish Health District (SHD) into the County during its General Legislative Session. The six-month integration process is now underway, and by January 2023, all Snohomish Health District employees will officially be designated as County employees. Dr. Lewis will lead the new Public Health Snohomish County in partnership with an Administrative Officer.
“We are excited for Dr. Lewis to join the team at the Snohomish Health District,” said Board Chair Stephanie Wright. “He brings strong public health experience and a collaborative leadership style. I’m looking forward to working with him to support the health of all Snohomish County residents.”
Prior to moving to Washington, Dr. Lewis worked with the North Carolina Division of Public Health. His roles there included medical director for the Surveillance for Healthcare Associated and Resistant Pathogens Patient Safety (SHARPPS) Program and medical epidemiologist consultant for the Vaccine Preventable Disease and Respiratory Pathogens Program.
He earned his Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He is a licensed medical doctor in the state of Washington.
“After more than two years focusing primarily on the COVID response at Public Health – Seattle & King County, I am very much looking forward to working to improve the health of Snohomish County residents with regard to all of the other conditions that impact their health, while also continuing to respond to the ongoing and ever-evolving COVID pandemic,” Dr. Lewis said.
The District’s Board today also presented a Proclamation to Dr, Spitters recognizing his years of dedicated service to the Snohomish Health District.
Content Source: Snohomish Health District Press Release with additions by the Lynnwood Times