Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health picks new director

The Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health Tuesday announced the selection of Dr. Anthony Chen, MD, MPH, as the new Director of the county’s Health Department.

The Board of Health unanimously recommended Dr. Chen to County Executive John Ladenburg and Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma.

If the appointment is confirmed by Tacoma City Council and Pierce County Council, Dr. Chen will assume his position Oct. 20.

Dr. Chen joins the department after serving as Medical Director of Community Health and Director of Minority Health in the Department of Family Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There he also served as principal investigator of the South Asian Community Outreach Project. Dr. Chen has been a leader in building community partnerships that address issues related to access to care and health equity for refugees, immigrants, minorities, teens and the homeless. He has also been involved in initiating Hepatitis B and liver cancer screening and prevention in Asian and Pacific Islander communities on both the local and national level. He is currently a clinical professor at both Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Prior to his work in the Boston area, Dr. Chen worked with the Seattle community health center International Community Health Services for nine years, opening the Holly Park Medical and Dental Clinic in 1996. Before that, he was medical director of the Public Health Seattle King County Downtown Family Medicine clinic and served as Assistant Director at the Swedish Family Practice Residency in Seattle.

Dr. Chen received his medical degree from Duke University in 1986 and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health in 2006. He completed a fellowship in faculty development at Duke University in 1990 and the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy in 2006.