The following is a summary of the presentation during the Public Health briefings at this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting made by Dr. Tom Locke, our local Public Health Officer who has stepped back to serve as Deputy Public Health Officer, and Dr. Allison Berry, who now takes on the mantle of Jefferson County Public Health Officer. The summary was provided by and used with the permission of Jefferson County Government.
During the County Commissioners’ meeting, Dr. Allison Berry was introduced as Jefferson’s new County Health Officer. Dr. Tom Locke, who has been in this role for over 25 years, is stepping back to spend more time with his family.
“I’ve got to be honest that the COVID-19 response is exhausting as well as gratifying, and it’s not over,” Locke admitted. “We all have a lot more to do, both in our official capacities and as volunteers. This has been, and continues to be, a community-wide response.”
Locke cautioned that COVID-19 is not the only public health crisis we face. He said the opiate epidemic is still raging and has become worse during the pandemic. Locke gave Dr. Berry high praise as the health officer for Clallam County as well as being a colleague and co-worker at the Jamestown Family Health Center.
Dr. Berry said it was her pleasure to step forward in the role and it was “quite an honor to take over for such an incredible health officer. “I think Tom Locke has really set the stage for what a health officer can do and what a difference a health officer can make, and I have been honored to learn from him,” she said.
All three Commissioners leveled praise on Dr. Locke’s commitment to the community. Heidi Eisenhour said she called Dr. Locke Mr. Rogers “because the adults and kids of the county have been tuning it to hear his weekly updates. I think we need to give you a cardigan sweater,” she said.
Submit your Public Health questions to Dr. Allison Berry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: The weekly deadline for these to be submitted is on Fridays at noon, to be answered at the following Monday’s BOCC meeting.