Washington Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah visited the WSU Health Sciences Spokane campus on Monday to learn more about the University’s research, innovative partnerships, and commitment to underserved communities statewide.

Appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee in December, Dr. Shah met with more than two dozen University leaders, researchers, and local health officials during an evening visit that included a mix of in-person and video conference discussions.

“It is very important to me to be the secretary of health for the entirety of the state,” said Shah, who also met with other Spokane-area organizations Monday. “And that’s why very early on in this tenure … I wanted to actually come out here personally, physically, in person, and come and visit and talk to people on the ground that are doing fantastic things for community members across the state.”

Dr. Umair Shah in profile
Dr. Umair Shah

Meeting with Shah from WSU were Chancellor and Vice President for Health Sciences Daryll DeWald, Vice President for Research Chris Keane, Extension Director Vicki McCracken, Regents Professor and Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health founding Director Guy Palmer, Vice Dean for Research John Roll, and Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations Colleen Kerr.

Also giving presentations were WSU researchers Levi O’Loughlin, Douglas Call, Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, Tim Baszler, Pablo Monsivais, Sterling McPherson, and Eric Lofgren. Representatives of Whitman County Public Health and the Northeast Tri County Health District also participated.

Shah came to Washington from Houston, Texas, where he served as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health, the nationally accredited county public health agency for the nation’s third-largest county with 4.7 million people. He earned his MD at the University of Toledo Health Science Center, worked as an emergency department physician, and holds leadership positions with nationally recognized organizations, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.