Most Influential Seattleites of 2017: Patty Hayes

Seattle Magazine presents the Most Influential Seattleites of 2017.

By Sally James

Most-Influential-logo-780_2

October 15, 2017

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

She doesn’t ride a white horse or wear a badge, but Patty Hayes, R.N., M.N., is the closest thing King County has to a sheriff for health, trying to protect more than 2 million county residents. The director of Public Health–Seattle & King County since 2015, Hayes, along with her team, shields residents from the dangers of bad restaurant meals as well as 50 reportable illnesses, from tuberculosis and mumps to the less common Ebola and Zika viruses. Amid shrinking budgets, they tracked 5,500 people with reportable infectious diseases in 2016—a 63 percent increase from two years earlier. 

Hayes is a beacon of calm in this turbulence, juggling each outbreak and preserving services for the neediest—including drug addicts and the homeless. The political threats to the federal health care law, and by extension, the Medicaid program in Washington, has added toxic uncertainty. “I find it unconscionable that if you map [health] by ZIP code, there are people whose lives are 20 years shorter than others,” she says. She’s fought for a program called Best Starts for Kids, which provides help for young children and their families to try to prevent health problems later in their lives. Hayes won awards in both 2014 and 2015 for her leadership. The 2014 award was from the Center for Women and Democracy. “I’m energized by the people I work with. I’m humbled every day,” she says.

Read about the rest of 2017’s Most Influential Seattleites here.

 

Spaces Belltown Reception

IWG Flexible Workspaces Foster Transformational Change | Sponsored

IWG’s hybrid model boost productivity, profits and employee happiness.

IWG is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace, with 3,500 locations operating under brands including Regus, Spaces and HQ across 120 countries. Its network is unrivaled in its reach, which extends beyond central business districts to suburban and rural areas, where employees have an unparalleled choice of locations in the heart of their local…

Colleges5

Sponsored | How COVID-19 Changed College Admissions

What Every High School Parent and Student Should Know

After last year’s unusual college admission season, parents of high school juniors and seniors have more questions than ever about applying to college during COVID-19. The global pandemic has created a new landscape for students currently applying for college, says college counselor Kelly Herrington.  “When people ask me how COVID-19 has changed college admissions, I…

UNIVERSITY-OF-WASHINGTON

All Eyes on Seattle

A note from the editor

The new Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

WestSeattleBridgeresized

News Round Up: The West Seattle Bridge is Falling Down, Falling Down…

Plus: Some farmers markets are reopening and Pride weekend is going virtual

The West Seattle Bridge is closed until further notice.