County Health Officer Dr. Diana Yu Says Farewell After 23 Years

The Thurston County Board of Health and special guests today honored the career achievements of  Dr. Diana Yu as her 23 years as Thurston County’s top health official draws to a close. Dr. Yu’s last day as the Thurston County Health Officer will be December 2, and today was her final Board of Health meeting.

“As long as I've been a public health worker in this community, and then as County Commissioner, Dr. Diana Yu has been the face of public health in Thurston County. It’s hard to imagine public health in Thurston County without her,” said Board of Health Chair Karen Valenzuela. “I appreciate everything you have done for our community these last 23 years. Thank you so much for your service.”  

“It has been my absolute honor and pleasure to serve for so many years the community that is my home,” said Dr. Yu. “Being a public health official was not just a job for me, it is my passion. Keeping others healthy will continue to be a passion for Citizen Yu.” 

Dr. Yu first joined the county in January of 1990 on a professional services contract before accepting the permanent position as County Health Officer later that year.

Some of the key achievements and highlights of Dr. Yu’s career noted during the presentation of her certificate of service included her work in emergency preparedness, her leadership and efforts to promote healthy living, and her personal efforts to build strong relationships and partnerships with the local medical community.  

“Thurston County residents and our health department owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Yu for her many years of service,” said Don Sloma, Director of the county’s Public Health and Social Services Department. “In particular, we're grateful for Dr. Yu's leadership in establishing a durable emergency preparedness system in the years following the 9/11 attack. She was instrumental in setting up the Medical Reserve Corps volunteers who are ready to help when our community faces disasters of any kind.  She has provided unwavering leadership in our community to ensure that our children get a healthy start and has enthusiastically promoted the active living and healthy eating our families need to be healthy and live longer.”

"Diana Yu is an outstanding public health physician, respected by her peers and colleagues in the medical and public health communities. Her leadership and technical knowledge will be missed in Thurston County." said Sherri McDonald, former Director of PHSS.

“I would not have been able to be successful without the assistance and dedication of so many colleagues and peers that work in public health, but also the citizens of Thurston County who have always put the public first when it comes to matters of health,” said Dr. Yu. “Thank you for allowing me to serve you.”
November 15, 2013/Thurston County--News Release