Spokane Board of Health nominates 3 of 4 open positions, only 1 has healthcare background

SPOKANE, Wash — The Spokane County Board of Health is one step closer to filling all of its open positions.

On Tuesday, current board members nominated people for three of four that are open.

The only one with a medical background is Dr. Alycia Policani, a naturopathic physician who would be representing public health, healthcare facilities and providers.

Spokane County Commissioner for District 3 Al French also sits on the Board of Health. He explained due to the many physicians and doctors that are in the Spokane Regional Health District, there is already representation.

“This is a community board, it’s not a medical board that you would expect to see in a hospital,” French said. “We don’t deal with the therapies, and medications, and such, we deal with the organization and oversight of the organization and such.”

Last year, new legislation required the board to be restructured. French explained there is no requirement to include a medical doctor on the board.

Candidates were each asked 10 questions. None of the questions were related to the pandemic, but French said there is a reason for that.

“A lot of the guidance that is dealing with the pandemic and stuff is coming out of the state, and federal governments. It’s not coming out of our local health district,” French said. “It’s just one part of a whole litany of programs that we administer through the health district and stuff. So, the pandemic will pass, but will have a life that will continue on.”

Policani is the president of Evergreen Naturopathic in Spokane. In the interview, she spoke of her over 20 years of experience and her desire to bring the knowledge she’s gained to the board.

“My patient as a whole has done much much better in regards to getting this virus and recovering from it. Without having a lot of health challenges, of long COVID and what have you,” she said. “The reason for that is, what I have seen is it seems to have a lot to do with inflammation and that’s something I work on a lot with my patient population, you know, as far as healthy living, healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercise, water, all of the basics. That is the basis you work on and you build health from there.”

The only person on the board to initially not choose Policani was Mayor Kevin Freeman who represents cities and towns on the board. His initial two nominations included Dr. Monica Bylkowski-May, a family physician for Multicare and Denise Smart, an Associate Dean at the WSU College of Nursing.

After a day of deliberation, he ultimately added Policani to his list of picks.

“I would say based on the limited support I was seeing through the process for the candidates I tendered, I reviewed the remaining pool of applicants and based on their interviews, I would add Ms. Alycia Policani to my list,” Freeman said.

The board will officially appoint its three nominations on Tuesday, February 8. The only open position is one representing tribal communities, and that position will be chosen by the Spokane Tribe themselves.

RELATED: Spokane County Board of Health selects new board members

Source: KXLY.com