(Kennewick, WA) -- The Benton Franklin Health District has named a new Chief Health Officer. Dr. Aren A. Giske was named to the position in a BFHD Board Meeting Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Giske currently serves as Medical Director at Maine General Medical Center Workplace Health in Augusta, Maine.

According to a biography from MaineGeneral Health: Dr. Giske " is an occupational and environmental medicine specialist for MaineGeneral Workplace Health, where he also serves as medical director. He is board-certified and residency trained in occupational medicine. Dr. Giske joined MaineGeneral Medical Center's active staff in September 2021 and most recently worked as medical director for Kaiser Permanente Washington's Specialized Medical Abilities Resource Program in Renton, WA.

Officials at BFHD say he is a Washington State native and looks forward to returning to the Evergreen State. He attended medical school at the University of Vermont and earned an undergraduate degree from Western Washington University. He holds a Master's Degree from the University of Utah.

He replaces Interim Health Officer Dr. Larry Jecha, who took over for Dr. Amy Person. She left the BFHD to become Regional Health Officer for the Washington Department of Health.

According to the Benton-Franklin Health District Website, the Chief Health Officer:

  • "Informs and confers with the management team, District Administrator, the Benton-Franklin Health Board, and the community on health concerns and issues affecting Benton and Franklin counties.
  • While the health officer does not directly manage any departments the regulatory functions of surveillance and investigation, such as permitting of food establishments or septic systems and control of communicable diseases or outbreak are performed under the health officer’s license."

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