Luke Davies

Age: 34

Health administrator, Chelan-Douglas Health District

Luke Davies became the face of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic this past year after being hired as health administrator for the Chelan-Douglas Health District.

The Eastmont High School alum has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry and an emphasis in biochemistry and anthropology from Seattle Pacific University. While studying Spanish and working on community development projects in the Caribbean, he turned his focus to disaster management leadership in Haiti in response to the 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak.

He went on to work for the UW’s Department of Global Health on programs in the Caribbean, South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, supporting research in disaster management, disease surveillance, implementation science, health systems strengthening, maternal newborn child health, HIV prevention and treatment, violence against children and gender-based violence. In addition to English and Spanish, he speaks French and Haitian Creole.

He is putting his experience to work now to improve the lives of people in North Central Washington.

What challenges do you see ahead, and what do you believe needs to be done to get prepared?

There are an incredible amount of challenges ahead of us. In Public Health we are expected to be experts in preparedness and preventative interventions. With the challenges we see with increased droughts, forest fires, pandemics and other complex humanitarian crises we are currently experiencing and those to come, our communities need to be supported to be resilient and prepared.

North Central Washington is an incredible place to live. I am so lucky that I get to come home and do this work locally. Because of our incredible natural resources that have been protected (like the Columbia River and hydroelectric dams) this is going to be one of the most desirable places to live in the next 50 years. Our communities need to be ready to handle the work we are doing and be prepared to have more people join us.

As the health administrator for the Chelan-Douglas Health District, my goal is to lead the efforts to transform and strengthen our infrastructure and systems to improve health and safety for everyone — whether it is through improving access to food security for women, infants and children, or providing support to our health care providers to improve access for everyone to get the necessary medical help they need. Our systems need to be able to support the most vulnerable with the future that is ahead of us.

We have incredible leaders in our area who I am partnering with to make sure that our communities are not only resilient, but flourishing.

We have so much to be proud of here, but we also have so much work to do to prepare for the future. It is daunting, but as my friends in Haiti say, “Together, we can accomplish anything.”

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