Dr. Chris Spitters named permanent health officer for Snohomish County

Dr. Chris Spitters

Dr. Chris Spitters has been appointed as the Snohomish Health District’s permanent health officer. Spitters had been serving in an interim capacity since June 2019, and has been the Health District’s tuberculosis control officer for more than two decades.

“This was an easy and unanimous decision for the Board of Health,” said Stephanie Wright, board chair and county councilmember. “Dr. Spitters’ leadership and grace under pressure over the last several months have clearly demonstrated how qualified he is to be our county’s lead doctor.”

Spitters career with the Health District started in 1994, where he served as the tuberculosis control officer, communicable disease director, and the deputy health officer until January 1999. The deputy health officer position was eliminated in 1999, but Spitters stayed on as a medical consultant for the tuberculosis program through June 1999. He left briefly for positions with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) before returning to the Health District in a tuberculosis consulting position in 2001. Spitters has also been the medical director for Public Health – Seattle & King County’s tuberculosis clinic since 2003.

“The Snohomish Health District is fortunate to have someone with both a passion for public health and a long career in medicine,” said Shawn Frederick, administrative officer for the Snohomish Health District.

In addition to his roles with the Health District and DOH, Spitters has also worked for a number of local health jurisdictions across the state as a tuberculosis consultant or health officer. His health officer experience includes Asotin County Health District, Klickitat County Health Department and Yakima Health District. Spitters has also been serving as interim health officer for Island County Public Health since June 2019.

“I am profoundly honored to have been a part of the Snohomish Health District for all of these years,” said Spitters. “This organization  — and the dedicated public health team here — have risen to an enormous challenge during this global epidemic. It is my privilege to work alongside them, and to serve Snohomish County.”

Spitters earned his bachelor of science from the University of California, Davis and his doctor of medicine from Stanford University. He earned a Master of Public Health and completed a preventive medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Spitters completed his formal education with a masters of arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

In addition to his career in public health, Spitters is a clinic professor at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He is also a lecturer and medical consultant for the Curry International Tuberculosis Center at the University of California San Francisco.

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