State Secretary of Health Mary Selecky plans to retire as soon as Gov. Jay Inslee can find a replacement.
Selecky has held the job since she was first appointed by former Gov. Gary Locke back in 1998. Before becoming secretary, Selecky was the administrator for the Northeast Tri County Health District for nearly 20 years.
In an email to her staff Selecky said:
“I’ve experienced and been involved with issues I would never have imagined. I stood in a doorway during the Nisqually earthquake, and was told later I should have been under the table. I’ve struggled through the days after a terrorist attack; helped sort out how to respond to mad cow and tsunami debris; made it through a pandemic; and worked with all of you to figure out our role in floods, fires, and other emergencies.
“Together we took on big tobacco, cut smoking rates, and saved lives. We’ve improved immunization rates and patient safety, faced the impacts of chronic disease, integrated preparedness into the regular work of public health, and helped make Puget Sound cleaner and shellfish safer; and have made this agency a trusted, credible source of health information. We have one of the strongest local-state public health relationships in the nation. And we hope to soon be one of the first state health departments to receive public health accreditation.”