Mary Selecky

public health
12:04 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Changing of guardian for health as smoking reaches crossroads

Retiring Washington state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky is seen in this photo.
Department of Health

For the first time since 1998, Washington is getting a new secretary of health. Mary Selecky is retiring, and her replacement starts today.

Selecky has been a familiar face during health emergencies, such as the pandemic flu. She made tobacco her top health priority, and saw smoking rates drop year after year. But, as she steps down, the anti-smoking crusade is at a crossroads.

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Public health
7:35 am
Thu March 31, 2011

Northwest states move to counter rise in child immunization waivers

Child immunization rates in the Northwest lag behind national rates. Some say it's too easy to opt out of vaccinations, creating a public health threat. Many parents disagree. This 4-year old is ready to get a shot in Littleton, Colorado.
AP

Record numbers of parents in the Northwest are seeking waivers from mandatory child immunization requirements. The trend alarms public health officials. They say it creates increased risk for disease outbreaks. Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are all moving to sway vaccine skeptics.

All U.S. states require parents to immunize their children before sending them to school.

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Preventive Medicine
6:21 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

Smoking prevention saves millions with fewer hospital visits

Washington state anti-smoking measures are working, according to state officials. They claim a new study shows ten years of tobacco education efforts prevented 36,000 smoking-related hospitalizations.
AP

Washington state says it has evidence its anti-tobacco program is not only saving lives but saving money for taxpayers.  That comes as the program faces near elimination because of budget cuts. 

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