To provide statewide leadership in developing and promoting policies that prevent disease, and improve and protect the public's health for all people in Washington.
Is that the health and safety of all people in Washington will improve.
What We Do
We understand opportunities for better health begin where we live, learn, work, and play. We strive to help people make choices that allow everyone in Washington live a long, healthy life, regardless of income, education, or ethnic background.
Established by the Washington State Constitution in 1889 to serve the health and safety of the people in the state, the Board has played an important role in meeting the state's obligation to understand and prevent disease across the entire state population for 131 years. We offer a public forum that engages people in the public health system, develop environmental and community health rules, and promote policies that protect and improve the public's health. Our work consists of:
Agency RulemakingWe are responsible for a wide range of health rules that define a system that alerts us to new disease threats; keeps our food and drinking water safe; prevents and controls the spread of communicable diseases; and assures children receive appropriate and timely health and vision screenings, and immunizations. The rulemaking webpage has information about rule activity including updates and ways you can be involved in the rulemaking process.
Public MeetingsA central part of the Board’s work is to include the public in rulemaking and policy development. We do this by holding open public meetings across the state, providing a forum for public testimony on any health topic, and convening work sessions on specific health issues. We have engaged the public matters such as newborn screening, fluoride in drinking water, immunizations, school safety, and contaminants in drinking water, and more. You can find meeting dates, locations, and materials, and share your public health concerns with the Board on our meeting information page.
Health EquityWe strive to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity by delivering Health Impact Reviews for the Governor and Legislature and convening the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities. We work to promote health equity statewide, and have done so for more than 16 years. Learn about the work we do to help ensure all communities have opportunities to choose the right path forward.
Policy DevelopmentThe Board provides recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on important health topics through the biennial State Health report. We develop specific recommendations to improve the health of people in Washington, for example, recommendations to improve the oral health of children, adults, and families. The Board is one of the four corners of the governmental public health system, which also includes the Department of Health, local health jurisdictions, sovereign Tribal Nations and Indian health programs. We support and promote public health modernization efforts and collaborate with our partners to advance Foundational Public Health Services.