Snohomish Health District Administrator to step down

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Administrative Officer Shawn Frederick announced this month that he will be stepping down at the end of his third full year leading the Snohomish Health District.

Frederick has worked at the District for more than six years and has served as Administrative Officer since 2019. During his time here, he has worked to improve public health services for Snohomish County residents and to set the Health District up for long-term success. That work has included: 

  • Setting a sustainable budget after years of financial challenges for local public health 
  • Modernizing information technology at the Health District  
  • Adding new programs and grants focused on improving health outcomes for county residents 
  • Supporting the launch of the nonprofit Sound Foundation for Public Health 
  • Improving processes for contracts and purchasing  
  • Updating policies and procedures used by District leadership and staff 
  • Sustaining a 2-and-a-half-year emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic 
Shawn Frederick

“We’ve improved public health in Snohomish County over the years,” Shawn Frederick said. “I believe that to be the absolute truth. And in partnership with the County and others we’ve fielded one of the best responses to COVID in the country, despite having fewer resources than larger public health agencies.” 

He plans to continue as Administrative Officer through the end of 2022 and will assist with the transition of the Snohomish Health District to a county health department starting Jan. 1, 2023. He was not asked to leave as a result of the integration. 

“Ultimately, I’m leaving because it’s the right time for me and my career,” Frederick said. “I’ve accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. It’s a new chapter for me, and it’s a new chapter for public health in Snohomish County.”  

“The Snohomish Health District has been fortunate to have Shawn,” said Board of Health Vice Chair Anji Jorstad. “He’s worked hard to build up the District to meet not only the demands of the pandemic, but also prioritize the important day-to-day business of public health.”

“We are grateful for Shawn’s skill and dedication, and for his ongoing work on the sustainability and resilience of public health in our community,” added Stephanie Wright, former Board of Health Chair and current Board member. “He has helped to set this team up for success. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Frederick joined the Snohomish Health District in March 2016 as the Healthcare Coalition Coordinator. He previously worked as a medical and dental practice manager with Community Health Center of Snohomish County. He brought experience in the healthcare system and expertise in emergency preparedness and response. He also had first-hand experience in crisis situations from his service in the U.S. Navy, including healthcare response during Hurricane Katrina.  

“I think few appreciate the full scope of work the Health District does,” he said. “I want to thank the current and former Board of Health members I’ve had the privilege of working with for giving me the opportunity to lead. I also want to thank the public and private partners who have been key to so many public health efforts in recent years, including the County, the healthcare system, first responders, community organizations, and the business community. I especially want to thank the incredible staff at the Snohomish Health District for their tireless work and for the care and skill they bring to their jobs.” 

Shawn Frederick served as Administrative Services Director for the District starting in July 2017 and stepped in as Interim Administrator in June 2019. In December 2019, the Board of Health appointed him as Administrative Officer, the chief executive role for the District.  

“Mr. Frederick’s leadership at the helm of the Snohomish Health District could not have come at a better time for our Board, staff and citizens of Snohomish County,” said Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, former Board of Health Chair. “The Health District was in the middle of flux with no administrative leadership, a budget that was overspent, and staff morale at its lowest. His teamwork and understanding of public health was invaluable in bringing the District back up to the standards of excellence the citizens of this county deserve. On a personal note, I will miss his laughter, jokes and the steady hand he always provided.”

“Shawn was great to work with,” Board of Health member and Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright said. “He understood what the District needed and made the right choices at the right time.”

Frederick took the helm just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his background in the healthcare system and emergency response proved crucial. He was instrumental in an extensive, coordinated response, while supporting day-to-day public health work that did not stop during the emergency. 

“Shawn really stepped up into leading the District through the most difficult time in public health and his leadership has been proven to be invaluable,” Deputy Administrative Officer Pam Aguilar said. “I wish him well in his future endeavors and truly enjoyed working with him over the last 6 ½ years.”

The Snohomish Health District Board of Health approved a separation agreement with Frederick at its July 12 meeting. 

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