King County Board of Health declares racism a crisis

Racism was declared a public health crisis by King County’s Board of Health.

Along with the proclamation, the county’s health authority pledged to work more closely with community leaders to dismantle racism and disparate health effects for communities of color. Social, physical and economic conditions all play a part in determining whether someone thrives, or is unhealthy and dies early.

Derrick Wheeler-Smith, director of the county’s Zero Youth Detention program, said racism is a set of related systems. Disparities in one impact other areas of people’s lives. If the interdependence between different factors isn’t addressed, any solution to increase public health will be unsuccessful.

Part of the process for improving health is understanding historical data, and how the past affects people of color now.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the county has taken some steps to be more effective in its outreach. This includes providing culturally appropriate services during screening and testing, and conducting anti-racism training for health care providers. Information materials has been produced in 33 languages. The county is also working with community health clinics and other organizations throughout the county.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

EHS roundabout on Warner and Semanski to be built summer of 2021

The city council recently approved its latest six-year Transportation Improvement Program plan.

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

Sound Transit gets $100 million federal grant for Federal Way light rail extension

Portion of $790 million payment toward $3.1 billion project

Enumclaw library materials available with Curbside to Go

You can make an appointment on the myLIBRO mobile app or just walk up to the table they have out front.

King County cases among younger adults drives increase in COVID-19 numbers

Over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39

Increase in firework sales could mean a ‘booming’ local July 4 celebration

Don’t forget when your city or county allows fireworks to be lit.

King County Fire Marshal: ‘Essential to practice firework safety’

With fewer large firework shows this year, more people are expected to celebrate with consumer fireworks.

Most Read