OLYMPIA, WA — Washington's state health officer will step down by the end of the year, intending to take a break and spend time with her family. Dr. Kathy Lofy formally announced her resignation plans Wednesday.
"This decision is my own, and it's a personal one," Lofy said in a statement. "My only definitive plan after I leave the agency is to take a brief hiatus from my career to focus on being a mom, improving my health and reconnecting with my friends and family."
Lofy has been the Washington's leading public health official for more than six years and has helped guide the state's coronavirus response since it began. According to the state Department of Health, a search for its next health officer will begin in the next month to ensure a smooth transition. Lofy did not set a firm departure date, saying only that it would be around the end of the year.
State Secretary of Health John Wiesman and Gov. Jay Inslee each released statements thanking Lofy for her many years of service.
“I am so grateful for the work Kathy has done throughout her tenure here, but I’m most thankful for her partnership in every major priority that the department has taken on in the last several years. Her leadership, guidance and support have been invaluable.”
“We are very fortunate to have had Kathy Lofy looking out for the health of all Washingtonians. Her leadership, her dedication to science and data have been invaluable not only during the COVID pandemic, but throughout her entire time at DOH. Kathy will be greatly missed but she’s earned this time off. I have no doubt that whatever endeavor she takes on next, she will bring the same focus, energy and commitment. I thank her for her incredible service and wish her the very best.”
In May, Wiesman announced his own departure plans. The secretary named Jan. 10, 2021, as his final day in office, leaving the Department of Health's top post after eight years. Wiesman will take a faculty position at the University of North Carolina.