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Spokane Regional Health District names new administrative officer

Dr. Alicia Thompson.
Spokane Regional Health District
Dr. Alicia Thompson.

Dr. Alicia Thompson is expected to begin her role leading SRHD in December.

Spokane’s regional health board has named a new administrative officer.

Dr. Alicia Thompson is a graduate of Lewis and Clark High in Spokane, and her career in public health began in the Spokane area. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University and a master’s in social work at Eastern Washington University.

Thompson is currently in Arizona, where she serves as chief operations officer for Chiricahua Community Health Centers. She has also been the health director for Cochise County, and previously helped lead public health centers in Montana and western Washington. She received a doctorate in Public Health Policy and Management from the University of Arizona.

The Board of Health unanimously approved a contract with Thompson at its November 6 meeting. She was selected from among three finalists that were interviewed in late October.

“Both staff and the board are enthusiastic about the public health skills, knowledge and experience Dr. Thompson will bring to our work for a healthier Spokane region,” health board chair Kevin Freeman said in a statement.

The administrative officer leads the Spokane Regional Health District, working at the direction of the health board. They establish and implement public health policies and programs, enforce local and state public health laws, and oversee the health district and its staff.

Thompson’s first day on the job is slated to be December 11.

“Spokane County is where my love of public health began, and returning to Spokane to lead SRHD has been goal of mine for a long time,” Thompson said Monday.

Thompson succeeds Amelia Clark, whose 2020 firing of health officer Bob Lutz drew condemnation, triggered a state probe and provoked a lawsuit from Lutz. The state health board dropped its inquiry last year after Clark departed SRHD and promised she would never serve in that role again.

Brandon Hollingsworth is your All Things Considered host. He has served public radio audiences for fifteen years, primarily in reporting, hosting and interviewing. His previous ports-of-call were WUOT-FM in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Alabama Public Radio. His work has been heard nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here and Now and NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscasts.