County health officer Dr Chris Spitters announces his departure next year

Dr Chris Spitters chairing a weekly county briefing on COVID-19 via Zoom.

After 24 years with the Snohomish Health District, Dr Chris Spitters has announced he will be stepping down next year. He has been the county health director since March 2020.

“There is no professional reason for my choice to resign as a health worker, and I am not leaving for another role,” Spitters said in a press release issued by the Department of Health. “Instead, long-deferred commitments to my wife and family must now take precedence over vocation. They waited patiently for me on the fringes of my life for so long.

Spitters will leave the agency on June 30, 2022.

While Spitters was appointed health officer in March 2020, his career in the health district dates back to 1994 when he was hired as deputy health officer. He was also responsible for tuberculosis control and director of communicable diseases during this initial term. Spitters briefly left in 1999 for positions in the Washington State Department of Health before returning to the County Health District in a TB consultant position since 2001. He has also served as the Medical Director of Public Health – Seattle and King County Tuberculosis Clinic from 2003 to February. 2020.

“Dr. Spitters has been absolutely critical to the response, recovery and resilience of this county,” said Stephanie Wright, chair of the board of directors and member of the county council. “He has been primarily responsible for the county public health with grace, and we will be eternally grateful for his years here. ”

“Dr. Chris Spitters is one of the best public health professionals working today. He is compassionate, knowledgeable, pragmatic, humble and most of all committed to the health and safety of our community,” said Dave Somers , Snohomish County Director. “Chris has been an indispensable part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are thousands of people alive today because of his tireless work and because our response was guided by her expertise and common sense approach. I will miss her partnership and leadership. We all wish her good luck and hope her next chapter gives her family and friends some more time. “

The press release noted that Spitters has also worked for eight other local health jurisdictions across the state as a medical consultant or health worker. His experience as a health worker includes Asotin County Health District, Island County Public Health, Klickitat County Health Department and Yakima Health District.

“In my 30 years in the healthcare industry, I have never found a colleague with whom I have had so much pleasure working. We were fortunate to have someone who has both a passion for public health and a long career in medicine, ”said Shawn Frederick, Health District Administrative Officer.

The health district said it will begin a recruitment process to hire the next health worker, with the aim of getting that person started before Spitters leave next summer.

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