State Department of Health Regional Offices

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Resilient. Robust. Responsive. Helping to strengthen the Governmental Public Health system.

What you will learn on this page:


Supporting the Governmental Public Health System

The state Legislature directed the state Department of Health (DOH) to establish Regional Health Offices (RHOs) in the 2021 legislative session. Since then, DOH has developed a statewide regional model to help us better support and collaborate with our Governmental Public Health System partners—including Local Health Jurisdictions and Tribes—where they are in ways that best respond to their specific needs.

DOH RHO 2023 Annual Report

This first annual report outlines many of the ways RHOs are helping to meet the needs of public health partners across the state and address a wide range of issues, from opioids to workforce development. The report also provides a look ahead to the goals and priorities for 2024. 

Read the full report

What RHOs are

RHOs are an expansion of connection points to and resources from DOH. Instead of reaching out to one central agency Local Public Health Liaison or State Medical Epidemiologist, our Governmental Public Health System partners have regional teams of a Regional Liaison and a Regional Medical Officer working in their areas of the state. These regional teams develop a deep understanding of the areas they serve by connecting with people and places in partnership with Local Health Jurisdictions and Tribes.

Regional Liaisons and Regional Medical Officers help improve:

  • Partner access to DOH technical support and other resources.
  • Ongoing two-way communication between state and Governmental Public Health System partners to help foster collaboration and coordination.
  • Ways for DOH—from our lane—to better align services to needs in different areas of the state, and to help improve our own policies and processes based on local partner priorities and feedback.
  • DOH’s ability to elevate local issues and better respond to local needs, particularly in times of crisis.


What RHOs are not

RHOs are not an extra layer in the Governmental Public Health System. DOH staff working regionally do not impact any existing Local Health Jurisdiction or Tribal authority.

Staff working in RHOs report to a DOH office, and work with staff across the agency. They don’t replace the agency’s Office of Tribal Public Health and Relations or any of the programmatic liaisons/subject matter experts at DOH. They work collaboratively with these agency areas, helping DOH teams increase their understanding of community issues and their capacity to make local connections.


About the Regional Teams



Regional Medical Officers

Organizationally, Regional Medical Officers are in the DOH Office of Health and Science. They report to the State Medical Epidemiologist and matrix to the Chief Science Officer who leads this Executive Office.

Regional Medical Officer Responsibilities

  • Represent the agency in regional forums, committees, and workgroups for a variety of public health issues to better understand the diverse needs of their region and to build connections and relationships.
  • Provide regional coordination for DOH public health programs to ensure effective linkages with private and public healthcare provider groups to strengthen two-way communication.
  • Support evidence-based public messaging in their regional area, including during emergencies.
  • Provide local health officer services, as needed, to Local Health Jurisdictions that request back-up health officers due to emergent issues or absence.


Regional Liaisons

Regional Liaisons report to the Senior Director of Regional Engagement and Planning in the Office of Strategic Partnerships. The Senior Director reports to the Deputy Chief of Partnerships and matrixes to the Chief of Partnerships who leads this Executive Office.

Regional Liaison Responsibilities

  • Serve as agency’s day-to-day liaisons to Governmental Public Health System partners in their region, connecting them to DOH staff, information and resources as needed.
  • Coordinate with the DOH Office of Resiliency and Health Security as key connectors with Governmental Public Health System partners during public health emergencies.
  • Work to understand local area priorities and issues, and bring that local lens to DOH initiatives, helping to improve coordination and collaboration.
  • Participate in special projects—with regional team and internal/external partners—to support local and systemwide needs. Examples include providing support to system initiatives; convening subject matter experts on issues of interest to partners; and coordinating training opportunities.

Senior Director of Regional Engagement and Planning Responsibilities

  • Manages the Regional Liaison team and directs overarching strategic engagement approach for Regional Offices.
  • Serves on the Office of Strategic Partnerships senior leadership team, and regularly connects with Office of Health and Science leadership.
  • Collaborates with other partner areas to help strengthen and align connections and initiatives.
  • Works to ensure effectiveness of regional model, as well as short- and long-term plans.
  • Serves as senior advisor on regional issues and priorities to agency executive team and other senior leadership.
  • Represents DOH as a senior leader and builds relationships across the Governmental Public Health System.
  • Serves as a key connector for partnership efforts with sister state agencies on shared issues.


About the Regions

There are four regional offices, serving all of Washington. There are no barriers or restrictions between regions of any kind. These are not hard lines; our regional offices are nimble and will share resources and expertise across regions and across the state. Along with providing additional support to Governmental Public Health System partners within each region, RHO teams work together—and with partners—on priority projects statewide.

There are no walls between the regions; our Governmental Public Health System partners are not bound by these regions in their work.


DOH Region Map -- with Local Health Jurisdictions

Regional health offices state map colored coded by region.

DOH Region Map -- with Tribes

Graphic of Washington state map with tribal locations designated


Contact us

Governmental public health system partners can email with questions, comments, or assistance requesting DOH support.