VANCOUVER ‒ Clark County Public Health Program Manager Joe Laxson has been named the 2016 Washington State Environmental Health Director of the Year.
Each year, the Washington State Environmental Health Directors presents the award to someone who has demonstrated leadership in the profession at the local and state levels.
The award was established in honor of Jim Matsuyama, an association founding member who developed many environmental health programs implemented by local health jurisdictions across the state. Matsuyama was known for his technical skills, kindness and dedication to public service.
“Joe Laxson exemplifies these great qualities and he’s well-deserving of this honor,” said Roxanne Wolfe, Clark County Public Health chief operations officer. “He skillfully oversees Public Health’s food safety, water recreation safety and school safety programs, and does so with grace and good humor.”
Laxson is the outgoing chair of the Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials’ environmental public health committee. In this role, he guided committee members in identifying strategic directions and priorities for local environmental public health programs and opportunities for collaboration.
Formed in 1975, the health directors group is composed of environmental public health leaders from Washington’s 39 counties. Members routinely provide support to state agencies and legislative efforts as well as oversee the daily operation of local drinking water systems, food safety, school safety, onsite septic systems, hazardous waste, solid waste and other programs.