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Dr. Jay Miller will serve as Health Officer for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and our community

Director of Public Health Chantell Harmon Reed has appointed Dr. Jay Miller as the Health Officer for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. He will start on May 13. As Health Officer, Dr. Miller will serve as the medical expert for the agency and our community. He will assess community health, provide direction and guidance on public health matters, and advise public health professionals, residents, county leadership, and the Board of Health on community health issues.

“I am eagerly anticipating Dr. Miller joining our team,” Director Reed said. “He brings a wealth of experience that has prepared him for this critical role. The Health Officer is the doctor for our entire community. He will work across the board to address the health needs of all stakeholders in Pierce County.”

Dr. Miller is currently a Regional Medical Officer for Washington State Department of Health, where he’s helped with the state’s response to COVID-19, mpox, and other communicable diseases, including extensive work on communicable diseases in correctional facilities.

Dr. Miller worked previously as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He earned a doctorate in medicine from Harvard Medical School and a master’s in public health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He completed internal medicine residency and a fellowship in global health at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

“I’m excited for the opportunity to serve Pierce County as Health Officer,” Dr. Miller said. “I’ve been consistently impressed with the work of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the great team that Dr. Anthony Chen helped bring together. And I’m thrilled to partner with Chantell Harmon Reed to build on the Department’s strengths and work toward a healthier Pierce County for everyone, with particular focus on people and communities who experience worse health outcomes.”

Dr. Miller has dedicated much of his career to working with traditionally underserved communities. He spent several years working with community health workers in Uganda and has experience providing forensic medical and psychiatric evaluations for people applying for asylum. He provided clinical care for Native communities with Maniilaq Association in Northwest Alaska and with Seattle Indian Health Board. He also provided care for people experiencing homelessness as part of the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless COVID-19 response in the spring of 2020.

Health Officers must have a license to practice medicine in Washington state. They are tasked with enforcing:

  • Public health statutes of the state.
  • Rules of the state board of health and the secretary of health.
  • All local health rules, regulations, and ordinances.

Other duties include:

  • Controlling and preventing the spread of dangerous, contagious, or infectious diseases.
  • Informing the public about the causes, nature, and prevention of diseases.
  • Identifying emerging medical and environmental issues.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs, and treatment to protect public health. We are one of roughly 394 accredited health departments in the country and among five in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at tpchd.org.

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