Working for a healthier and safer San Juan County | Guest column

  • Tue Dec 19th, 2017 9:42am
  • Life

Submitted by the San Juan County Board of Health

Many county residents may not be aware of a local board that continually strives to improve the health of the community. The San Juan County Board of Health has responsibility for all matters pertaining to the preservation of the life and health of the people of San Juan County. The board provides policy direction to the San Juan County Health and Community Services Department to ensure the department is able to fulfill its mission. The board of health is a seven-member board consisting of the three County Council members, one Town of Friday Harbor representative and three at-large members with knowledge of public health practices.

The board of health has taken an active role in moving forward various health initiatives. Below are examples of a few efforts the Board has undertaken the past several years.

Local, state and federal advocacy efforts:• Letter of support for the Lopez Medical Center contract extension

Letter requesting federal funding support for funding for Center for Disease Control (CDC) to research gun violence as a public health issue

• Letter Urging Adoption of State Operating Budget – Necessary to avoid impacts to critical local public health services

• Letter of Support for state foundational public health services & funding

• Letter of support for state legislation concerning oil transportation safety

Local and Regional Collaboration:

• Board participation on the Community Collaboration Committee

• Board participation in Long-term Care Task Force• Board participation in North Sound Accountable Communities of HealthPolicy Work:

• Endorsed a more walkable San Juan County

• Sanctioned a community immunization outreach and strategic plan

• Adopted an e-cigarette ordinance

• Developed a patients’ bill of rights

County residents are encouraged to attend and provide input to the board on health matters. The board generally meets monthly on the third Wednesday starting at 11:30 a.m. in the County Council Hearing Room. Upcoming meeting notices and agendas are posted at sanjuanco.com/651/Board-of-Health. Check the county website or contact Health and Community Services to learn about upcoming board meetings.