Is Our Public Health System on Life Support?

A series of public health budget cuts is forcing our health professionals to ask, "Is Our Public Health System on Life Support?" See a recap of Town Hall Events where that question was discussed with health leaders and audience members. The video features perspectives from: 

Herb Weisbaum, KOMO, Moderator
Jaime Mendez, KUNS, Moderator
John Wiesman, Washington State Secretary of Health
Patty Hayes, RN, MN, Director of Public Health - Seattle & King County
Ben Danielson, MD, Pediatrician, Seattle Children’s

View the Town Hall on KOMO TV
View the Spanish Town Hall on Univision/KUNS TV


Washington's population has grown by more than one million residents since 2000. In that same time, when adjusted for inflation and population growth, public health funding has decreased by 40%.

Disease epidemics like Ebola and Zika are more complex and taking longer to investigate, and our population is expected to grow by another two million residents by 2025. Our families and communities deserve reliable and efficient public health services, information, and response.


“A disease epidemic or food contamination outbreak costs all of us. An ounce of prevention saves money for taxpayers, businesses, and all of us in the long run.”

— Bill ecret, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER and FORMER MAYOR OF MOSES LAKE


A Shared Responsibility & A New Framework

Providing public health services is a shared state and local responsibility. Some public health services are so critical that they must be provided to every resident of Washington state. Other public health needs may be unique to certain regions of our state, so each community determines and implements local priorities. The Foundational Public Health Services Model ensures all residents can depend on a core set of services which only governmental public health can provide.