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March 14, 2024

King County recognizes Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin on announcement of his retirement

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After 30 years of service to King County, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin announces his retirement, effective July 1. Dr. Mia Shim will be appointed as Interim Health Officer.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County and a nationally-recognized public health leader and communicable disease expert, today announced his retirement from the county after 30 years of distinguished service.

His retirement will go into effect July 1. Public Health Director Dr. Faisal Khan is appointing Dr. Mia Shim as Interim Health Officer while a national search is conducted.

"Dr. Duchin has served our community with unflappable dedication and distinction, helping improve our quality of life and elevating King County's stature as a public health pacesetter," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "His expertise and leadership during the first COVID outbreak in the nation in King County drew praise from around the country. Under his guidance, King County's sustained response to the pandemic has led the nation, holding illness and death rates to among the lowest in major counties, while focusing on equity as a guiding principle in our work. I'm grateful for his wise counsel and for his long record of accomplishment on our behalf."

Duchin joined Public Health – Seattle & King County in 1994 as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Medical Epidemiologist assigned to Public Health's TB and HIV programs, and was named as Chief of Public Health's Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization Section in 1998. Since 2015, he has served as Health Officer for King County.

Duchin has had many national responsibilities and leadership roles, including serving on the board of directors and other leadership roles for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and member of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which makes national immunization recommendations. He currently serves on the CDC's Board of Scientific Counselors, the National Vaccine Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the National Academy of Medicine's Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats. Duchin has also been active in multiple other national, state, and local workgroups, committees and associations.

Duchin has mentored many professionals in the department and across the country. In 2006, he established Public Health – Seattle & King County as a field training site for the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers (EISO) and has served as a supervisor for nine fellows over the past 18 years, several of whom subsequently joined the department. At the University of Washington, he has held long-time faculty appointments as Professor in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health. His list of peer-reviewed articles numbers more than 100, on wide ranging topics covering the most important communicable disease issues of our time.

"Public Health – Seattle & King County is a world-class health department and it has been my great privilege to have had the opportunity to serve here with so many outstanding colleagues both in the department and from the King County healthcare system, the University of Washington, and with community partners who value collaboration, improving population health, and achieving health equity," said Dr. Duchin, announcing his retirement.

Dr. Mia Shim will serve as Interim Health Officer. Dr. Shim has served as Chief Medical Officer for Public Health's Community Health Services Division since 2017, providing leadership, strategic direction, and clinical oversight of Public Health's primary care, sexual and reproductive health, addiction medicine, and school-based health programs and the Health Care for the Homeless Network of King County. Dr. Shim is board certified in internal medicine and received her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine and a Master of Public Health degree in Global Health from the University of Washington School of Public Health.