New Chair to focus on domestic violence, missing and murdered indigenous women, and gun violence reduction
StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles was elected today to lead the King County Board of Health as its chair. Kohl-Welles has served as an alternate on the board since 2016.
“The King County Board of Health plays an instrumentally important role in protecting the health and well-being of all of our county’s residents and helps to assure that people are provided with accessible, equitable, and quality health care,” said Kohl-Welles. “I’m eager to drive our agenda, tackling difficult issues and exploring new policies and strategies aimed at improving health outcomes for all.”
The King County Board of Health is responsible for setting countywide policies and regulations to protect and promote the health of King County residents.
Kohl-Welles added that a public health approach to domestic violence would be one of her top priorities as board chair. According to the World Health Organization, when the cumulative impacts on mortality and morbidity are assessed, the health burden of violence against women is often higher than for other, more commonly accepted, public health priorities.
“Domestic violence, especially violence against women, is a devastatingly pervasive public health crisis that leads to poorer health outcomes for victims and survivors and has the capacity to negatively impact entire generations of family members,” Kohl-Welles said. “This year, we will work to better understand this issue and explore how to prevent it from happening and better support those who have suffered from this type of violence.”
Additionally, Kohl-Welles said that she will work on issues including missing and murdered indigenous women, pesticides in marijuana, food allergens, and continue to work with King County Councilmember Joe McDermott on gun violence reduction.
The Board of Health is comprised of 11-board members, including three expert health care professionals and eight elected officials, representing areas throughout King County. The Board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 1:30PM in the King County Council Chambers.