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Health Department Employee Honored for Outstanding Service

TACOMA, Wash.—When most people take a breath, they take it for granted. For more than 70,000 Pierce County children and adults with asthma, breathing can be a struggle. For 12 years at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Judy Olsen has advocated for residents so they can breathe easier.

In recognition of her work, the Washington State Public Health Association will honor Olsen with its Public Health Excellence Award at its annual conference next week. According to the WSPHA, the annual award goes to a public health professional whose commitment has had a positive effect or shows outstanding professional service to co-workers and the public.

“Judy consistently shows her dedication to make life better for people in our communities,” said Len Adams, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department environmental health program manager. “Her compassionate professionalism comes through whether she’s working with co-workers or clients,” he said.

Olsen, an environmental health specialist at the Health Department, will receive the award at a 5 p.m. ceremony on Oct. 17 at the Wenatchee Convention Center. The WSPHA is a non-profit organization supporting organizations that protect and promote the public’s health. Learn more at

Olsen joined the Department in 2005. She leads the asthma, air quality, healthy housing, and lead programs and is a registered environmental health specialist and certified asthma educator. She is a founding member of the Puget Sound Asthma Coalition, which works to improve the quality of life of people and communities affected by asthma, especially people with limited resources and non-English speakers. Learn more about the PSAC at

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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 in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at

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