Commissioners formalize appointments to Spokane County Board of Health
Spokane County Commissioners officially placed their three nominees for the Spokane Regional Health District Board of Health on Tuesday — but not before some commissioners chastised media coverage of their selections and the process as “misinformation.” “.
“The health district council is a community council, not a medical council,” Commissioner Al French said at the commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday. “This differentiation is essential to this process.”
He said there had been a lot of “misinformation and political posturing” about the formation of the new council.
The commissioners have changed their board structure and are appointing new members to comply with a new state law, drafted by local lawmaker Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane.
The new law doesn’t come into effect until July, but commissioners said they want a new council in place to begin work on the district’s budget.
Earlier this year, before narrowing the list of candidates to hold interviews, there were disagreements between commissioners and Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman over who should represent “public health, health care facilities and service providers”, as required by the new law.
French and Kerns wanted to interview naturopaths, while Freeman wanted to interview doctors. Ultimately, after interviews, when Freeman’s top picks weren’t on French’s or Kerns’ shortlists, he voiced his support for one of the naturopathic physicians, who will now sit on the health board.
Alycia Policani, licensed naturopathic physician and president of Evergreen Naturopathic, will represent public health, health care facilities or providers.
Chris Patterson, the Washington Trust Bank community solutions adviser who worked as a regional administrator for the Trump administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, will represent public health consumers.
Charlie Duranona, Homeless Veteran Outreach Specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, will represent community stakeholders.
The next board meeting is scheduled for February 24.