Local Health Officer:

The primary roles of the local Health Officer are to identify and evaluate health risks, respond appropriately to the risk, and effectively communicate this information to the community.  Coupled with the monitoring of health issues and information, he or she also has experience and authority in managing public health emergencies and disaster preparedness.  The Health Officer is a physician with specialized training in Public Health and is appointed by the local Board of Health to provide public health leadership for the entire community.  All health department employees derive their authority from the Health Officer.  He or she helps to keep the Board of Health informed about health issues relevant to the jurisdiction and provides advice on public health policy.  The Health Officer also serves as a consultant to other individuals and agencies impacted by health issues and management.  Such agencies include physicians, hospitals, schools, and environmental health agencies and other organizations.  Very importantly though, the Health Officer is the visible, medical authority for the community and helps keep the general public informed about health risks and management.  With the knowledge and guidance of the Health Officer, preservation, promotion and improvement of health can take place for the community of Mason County.

Mason County Health Officer

Dr. Daniel Stein
Dr. Daniel Stein, MD

About Dr. Stein: 

Dr. Daniel Stein is a board-certified family medicine physician. Born and raised in Minnesota, he attended the University of Minnesota Medical School. As a student, he founded the medical school's Public Health Interest Group and served as student senate chair of the Academic Health Center. After graduating, Dr. Stein moved to Olympia, Washington for his residency training. He developed a focus in community health and preventative care while establishing his medical practice. Upon completion of his residency, he directed the expansion of a multidisciplinary clinic in Olympia and continues to practice outpatient clinical medicine. Dr. Stein serves on the board of the Thurston-Mason County Medical Society and has been active in the Washington State Medical Association and American Academy of Family Physicians. He is passionate about community development and policy. He looks forward to working with local individuals and organizations to improve the state of health. Aside from medicine, Dr. Stein enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, painting, hiking, baking and gardening.

A message from our Health Officer:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Awareness Month  
Some people may avoid the topic altogether, but public health data brings to light the STD epidemic in this nation.  The CDC estimates 20 million new STD infections occur each year in the United States, costing the healthcare system nearly $16 billion in direct medical costs. There are now more than 110 million sexually transmitted infections in U.S. men and women.

For the first time in nearly a decade, rates for three of the most common STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis) increased at the same time. These infections can threaten immediate and long-term health and well-being. Untreated STDs can lead to reproductive complications such as infertility (inability to get pregnant) and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb). They can also increase a person's risk for getting and giving HIV.

Young people aged 15–24 and gay and bisexual populations remain the greatest risk for infection. Why? It's complicated, but we know that individual risk behaviors aren't the only reason. Environmental, social, and cultural factors contribute to these rates, along with the current prevalence of STDs among these populations and the difficulty some have accessing quality health.

The good news is that STDs are preventable!
There are steps everyone can take to avoid the negative health consequences and to reduce the overall burden of STDs.

TALK. Talk openly with your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sex and STDs.

  • Talk with your partner before having sex. Not sure how? We've got a resource to help you get started. If you're going to have sex, discuss the many prevention options available, including the use of condoms.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about your sexual history, and ask what STD tests are right for you.

TEST. Get tested. Many STDs have no symptoms, so getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an infection. See what tests CDC recommends, and find out where you can get tested.

TREAT. If you test positive for an STD, work with your doctor to get the correct treatment.
Some STDs can be cured with the right medication. Those that aren't curable can be treated. To ensure treatment is successful, be sure to

  • Take all of the medicine your doctor prescribes for you, and don't share it with anyone.
  • Don't have sex again until both you and your partner(s) have completed your treatment.

Diana T. Yu, MD Mason County Health Officer  April 2017  For Mason County Journal