DOH welcomes new Chief Science Officer Dr. Tao Kwan-Gett

For immediate release: September 9, 2021   (21-200)Spanish

Contact: DOH Communications

Public inquiries: State COVID-19 Information Hotline, 1-800-525-0127

DOH welcomes new Chief Science Officer Dr. Tao Kwan-Gett

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is pleased to share Tao Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, has been hired as the agency’s Chief Science Officer (CSO). In his new role, Kwan-Gett will serve as DOH’s primary science expert and a key spokesperson on public health issues.

Currently, Kwan-Gett is a primary care pediatrician at Virginia Mason Sand Point Pediatrics at University Village in Seattle and serves as the faculty lead for the Northwest Public Health Primary Care Leadership Institute. He grew up in Utah, attended Harvard University for college and medical school, moved to Seattle in 1990 to complete his pediatric residency, and has lived in Washington ever since.

After earning his MPH at the University of Washington (UW), Kwan-Gett practiced pediatrics at Virginia Mason while also serving Seattle refugee and immigrant communities at Harborview Medical Center’s Community House Calls Program. He spent several years as a medical epidemiologist at Public Health – Seattle & King County and, in 2013, joined UW’s Department of Health Systems and Population Health as the Director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. In 2017, he returned to primary care pediatrics and developed a special interest and expertise in child behavioral health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Kwan-Gett to our agency and are looking forward to the experience and expertise he will bring to the team as he oversees the Office of Health & Science, which is responsible for epidemiology, data, and science activities,” said Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH. “As we welcome Dr. Kwan-Gett in this new role, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Scott Lindquist who has served graciously in the acting Chief Science Officer role since December 2020. Dr. Lindquist will continue in his usual role as the State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases and help with Dr. Kwan-Gett’s transition.”

Kwan-Gett’s first day with the department is October 1.

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