A hiring committee designated to appoint Spokane Regional Health District’s next health officer has made its selection. Bob Lutz, MD, MPH, clinical director of Urgent Care for Rockwood, was selected and joined the health district June 16.
The health officer provides leadership for the protection of public health; enforcement of public health regulations; and serves as an advisor on matters affecting community health and safety to elected and appointed officials, members of the medical profession, and the public. As the job specifies, Lutz will maintain a handful of hours per week working within a clinical setting, utilizing his existing standing within Rockwood.
“This was a thorough and competitive process,” said health district Administrator Torney Smith. “We’re excited about the breadth and depth of knowledge that Lutz will bring, as well as his history with, and understanding of, our agency and public health.”
“Spokane has a reputation for innovation in public health and health service,” Lutz said. “In this new role, I look forward to serving as a bridge between the two and contributing to the tremendous success the health district and the county has already achieved.”
In addition to his professional experience at Rockwood, Dr. Lutz was also a board of health member for SRHD for the past eight years and a board member of the National Association of Local Boards of Health . He has also been a site reviewer for the Public Health Accreditation Board, a nonprofit national organization dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the public. As a site reviewer, he helped to advance and ultimately transform the quality and performance of state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments.
As health officer for SRHD, Lutz will work with medical providers and community partners on initiatives including addressing health inequities through awareness, and policy implementation and change; linking efforts between clinical medicine and public health in the midst of health care reform; and developing a data-driven strategic health agenda and mobilizing collective efforts in the community around addressing its priorities and target audiences.
The health officer position was vacated in February 2016, when former officer Dr. Joel McCullough left to become Providence Health Care’s medical director for Community Health and Epidemiology. Dr. Sam Artzis, a Colville-based family medicine hospitalist served as interim health officer until Dr. Lutz joined the health district in June.
Lutz obtained his medical degree from Temple University; completed a residency in family medicine at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, and fellowships in sports medicine and integrative medicine at Bayfront and University of Arizona respectively; and holds a master’s of public health degree. He is licensed to practice in Washington state and board certified in family medicine. Lutz is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Public Health Association and Wilderness Medical Society.
For more information about Spokane Regional Health District, visit srhd.org.