James Wallace, chief health officer of Family Health Centers, has been named health officer for the Okanogan County Public Health department, effective Jan. 1. Wallace will replace John McCarthy, who is retiring.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Wallace as our new health officer,” said Lauri Jones, community health director for Okanogan County Public Health. “He brings to the job his years of experience living and working in this community and has strong connections across the county. His background in public health and proven commitment to the health of our community makes him a great fit for this position.”
Wallace joined Family Health Centers in 2012 as a board-certified family physician with obstetrics and took on the role of chief health officer in 2015.
He received his master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina and attended medical school at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He completed his residency in family medicine at UNC Hospitals, where he served as chief resident and focused on improving the quality of care for rural, immigrant and refugee communities.
Wallace will continue to see patients at Family Health Centers in Brewster and in Twisp, and attend deliveries and provide inpatient care at Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak. In addition to regular duties as health officer, he will be focused on the county’s COVID-19 management and vaccination plans.
“It’s a privilege to serve as Okanogan County health officer,” Wallace said. “I’m grateful for the confidence of the Okanogan County Board of Health and look forward to building on the devoted legacy left by Dr. McCarthy. Okanogan County Public Health has built strong partnerships and is leading us through the COVID-19 pandemic and onward to better health and county-wide prosperity. I’m honored to play a role and make a contribution.”