SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane County Board of Commissioners unanimously appointed three non-medical candidates to serve on the health board during a meeting on Tuesday.
The Spokane County Board of Health (SBOH) nominated the three candidates to serve on the health board during a series of interviews last Tuesday. The three candidates chosen were appointed on Tuesday afternoon during a board meeting.
Alycia Policani, a naturopathic doctor, was appointed to serve as a Public Health Representative. Christopher Patterson, president of BreakThrough, Inc., was appointed to serve as the Consumer of Public Health Representative, and Charlie Duranona, a Navy veteran and outreach specialist for the Spokane Department of Veterans Affairs, has been appointed to serve as the Community Stakeholder Representative.
The Washington State legislature passed House Bill 1152 during the 2021 legislative session, which requires local health district board membership to include an equal number of elected and non-elected representatives.
This legislation also amended the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) to ensure the non-elected members selected to the local health district boards are persons with a diversity of expertise, lived experience, and are selected in a fair and unbiased process.
During Tuesday's meeting, board members said there has been misinformation and anger from the public since the elected individuals don't hold a medical background, which is in compliance with the new legislation.
"The appointments we are making today are in complete compliance with the law," Al French, District 3 County Commissioner said. "If there are those that are unhappy with the law then talk to your legislators, not us. We are trying to obey by the law."
Kerns took the time to read and explain the qualifications of the positions as stated for the state bill during the meeting.
"There is a lot of anger and misinformation that is out there around this bill and we have three individuals who put themselves forward because they want to make this community a better place," he said. "I am going to be voting yes to appoint these three individuals. They fit the qualifications, they fit the categories they got appointed to."