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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine, Mayor Murray appoint award-winning leader as Director of Public Health

Summary

The Executive and the Mayor appointed Patty Hayes – a 25-year veteran in the health field – to serve as the Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County. She will appoint Dr. Jeff Duchin as the department’s Health Officer.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today appointed Patty Hayes - an award-winning, 25-year veteran in the health field - as the Director of Public Health - Seattle & King County. Before she was appointed as the interim director in August, Hayes led the department's largest division, Community Health Services.

Hayes will appoint Dr. Jeff Duchin as the department's Health Officer, effective immediately. Duchin has served as Interim Health Officer since January 2015, and is also Chief of the Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section.

King County
City of Seattle
"Patty Hayes has the experience and expertise needed to build on the progress we've made to transform health and human services to focus on prevention, eliminate disparities, and deliver the best outcomes in our community," said Executive Constantine. "She and Dr. Jeff Duchin will provide the leadership our dedicated employees need to maintain our national reputation for excellence in protecting and promoting the health of our residents."

"Seattle continues to grapple with significant public health challenges, from childhood immunization rates to health care for those experiencing homelessness," said Mayor Murray. "The grim budget picture makes meeting these challenges increasingly difficult. With her decades of leadership in our community, Patty is the right choice to support better health outcomes in Seattle."

Public Health protects and improves the health and well-being of the two million residents of Seattle and King County residents through disease protection, health promotion, and assurance of quality healthcare services. Its 1,300 employees deliver a wide range of services, including environmental health services, emergency medical services, maternal child services, healthcare for the homeless and incarcerated, disease investigation and other services that serve all communities in King County.

Hayes' appointment is subject to confirmation by the Metropolitan King County Council and the Seattle City Council.

Executive Constantine selected Hayes as the co-leader of the development team for Best Starts for Kids, his initiative to invest in prevention and early intervention strategies that reduce negative outcomes in the community, including mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, homelessness and incarceration.

The City of Seattle provides more than $14 million each year to support Public Health - Seattle & King County. In this year's budget, Seattle provided an additional $400,000 to offset cuts in maternity, women, infant and children, and family planning services; HIV/STD education; and outreach to support new Medicaid enrollments. Seattle will also contribute $1 million for the redevelopment of the North Public Health Center.

"I'm honored and excited for the opportunity to lead this nationally-recognized health department in improving our community's health," said Hayes. "We have a 125 year track record of making lives better and longer, through innovation and determination in the face of challenges. I look forward to great opportunities in a rapidly changing landscape to improve health for everyone."

Before Hayes joined Public Health in 2012, she served as the Executive Director of WithinReach, a statewide nonprofit organization that connects families to food and health resources. She also held leadership positions at the Washington State Department of Health, including Assistant Secretary of Health for Community & Family Health and Director of Legislative, Policy and Constituent Relations. Earlier this year, Hayes received the Cynthia F. Shurtleff Award, a statewide honor that recognizes extraordinary leadership and dedication to the health and well-being of women, children, and families in Washington. In 2014, she received the Heroine of Health Care award from the Center of Women and Democracy. She earned nursing and master degrees from the University of Washington's School of Nursing and was inducted into the Washington Nursing Hall of Fame in 2002.

Dr. Duchin is recognized as one of the top public health leaders in the country. He currently serves as Chair of the Public Health Committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America, and has served in many other national advisory roles, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Institute of Medicine.

In his role as Health Officer, Dr. Duchin will serve as the department's primary medical expert and provide leadership on scientific and medical matters that shape department policy and practice. He will be a partner and liaison to the healthcare services community, and will continue his oversight of the department's Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization section.

"I am excited to take on the position of Health Officer and continue to work with this great Public Health team, King County healthcare system colleagues, and our many current and future essential community-based partners," said Dr. Duchin. "I'm especially looking forward to continuing our current cutting edge work and helping develop future innovative approaches to achieve optimal population health for all King County residents."

Quotes

Patty Hayes has the experience and expertise needed to build on the progress we've made to transform health and human services to focus on prevention, eliminate disparities, and deliver the best outcomes in our community. She and Dr. Jeff Duchin will provide the leadership our dedicated employees need to maintain our national reputation for excellence in protecting and promoting the health of our residents.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Seattle continues to grapple with significant public health challenges, from childhood immunization rates to health care for those experiencing homelessness. The grim budget picture makes meeting these challenges increasingly difficult. With her decades of leadership in our community, Patty is the right choice to support better health outcomes in Seattle.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor

I'm honored and excited for the opportunity to lead this nationally-recognized health department in improving our community's health. We have a 125 year track record of making lives better and longer, through innovation and determination in the face of challenges. I look forward to great opportunities in a rapidly changing landscape to improve health for everyone.

Patty Hayes, Director, Public Health - Seattle & King County

I am excited to take on the position of Health Officer and continue to work with this great Public Health team, King County healthcare system colleagues, and our many current and future essential community-based partners. I'm especially looking forward to continuing our current cutting edge work and helping develop future innovative approaches to achieve optimal population health for all King County residents.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief of Epidemiology, Public Health - Seattle & King County
King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography