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What the Board of Health does:

The role of the Board is to advocate for the preservation, promotion, and protection of public health, prevent the spread of disease, set local public health regulations and some fees and licenses, and enforce state and local public health laws. The Board does not have appropriation (budget) authority. The Board takes a racial equity approach to its work and expects its members to be committed to racial equity and ending the impacts of racism on health.

The Board is responsible for:

  • Passing rules and regulation
    Passing rules and regulations pertaining to public health (not health care) most typically around issues relating to the spread of communicable disease, nuisances like rodents, septic systems, and food establishments like restaurants. For example, the Board sets fees that the Health Department charges for restaurant inspections, creates rules to control of rabies in pets, and establishes laws such as regulating e-cigarettes.

  • Creating and passing resolutions
    Creating and passing resolutions, which are policy statements in support of projects or programs. Resolutions are not legally enforceable, but represent the voice of the Board in support of such issues as supporting funding for public health and declaring racism to be a public health crisis.

  • Developing guidelines and recommendations
    Using expert testimony and research, the Board creates guidelines and recommendations that may be adopted by various entities. For example, the Board has developed guidelines for healthy vending machines and recommendations for the components of healthy housing.

Over the years, the Board of Health has enacted countless measures to improve the health and well-being of King County residents, including banning trans fats in restaurants, regulating e-cigarettes and establishing the secure medicine return program.

4 images depicting Public Health activities

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Current membership roster of the King County Board of Health

In 2023, the Board expanded to include 8 non-elected members and 4 non-elected alternate members to comply with a change in state law. The American Indian Health Commission of Washington State named a member and alternate. The remaining 7 Board members and 3 alternates represent public health consumers, healthcare, and other community stakeholders, including individuals with expertise in environmental health.

New members begin their terms January 1, 2023, and will join elected officials representing the King County Council, Seattle City Council and Sound Cities Association on the reconfigured Board.

The Board of Health meets on the third Thursday of each month at 1:00 p.m. in the Metropolitan King County Council Chambers, unless otherwise specified, or through remote access.

King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave, Suite #1200, Seattle, WA 98104
www.kingcounty.gov/council
Members are appointed for one year terms by the King County Council.

  • Joe McDermott
    Chair
    District 8
    Term expires December 31, 2023
  • Reagan Dunn
    District 9
    Term expires December 31, 2023
  • Jeanne Kohl-Welles
    District 4
    Term expires December 31, 2023
  • Rod Dembowski
    Alternate member representing the King County Council
    District 1
    Term expires December 31, 2023
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave, 2nd Floor, Seattle, WA 98104
www.seattle.gov/council
Members are appointed for one year terms by the Seattle City Council.

Members are appointed for one year terms by the Sound Cities Association.

Members are identified by the American Indian Health Commission of Washington State and appointed by the King County Council. They may represent a tribe or charitable organization that serves American Indian and Alaska Native people within King County.

  • Esther Lucero (Diné), MPP, Seattle Indian Health Board
    Term expires December 31, 2024
  • Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), MA, Seattle Indian Health Board
    Alternate member. Term expires December 31, 2024

Members are recommended by the Board and appointed by the King County Council.

  • Butch de Castro, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN, FAAN*
    Vice-Chair
    Term expires December 31, 2023
  • Lisa Chew, MD, MPH
    Term expires December 31, 2023
  • Katherine Gudgel, MS*
    Term expires December 31, 2023
  • Patricia Egwuatu, DO
    Alternate member representing public health, facilities and providers
    Term expires December 31, 2025

*Has environmental health expertise

  • Quiana Daniels, BS, LPN*
    Term expires December 31, 2025
  • Robin Narruhn, PhD, MN, RN
    Term expires December 31, 2024
  • Mustafa Mohammed, MBCHB, MHP, AAC
    Alternate member representing consumers of public health.
    Term expires December 31, 2024

*Has environmental health expertise

  • Jeff Sconyers, JD
    Term expires December 31, 2025
  • Victor Loo
    Term expires December 31, 2025
  • Faisal Khan, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County staff
    Executive Secretary and Administrative Officer of the Board

  • Susie Levy, Government Affairs Administrator
    Board of Health Administrator

If you have any questions about the Board of Health, please use our online form or call 206-296-4600. Other formats or translation of this web page or any Board materials are available upon request – please email KCBOHAdmin@kingcounty.gov or call 206-296-4600.