(Re: “Open Letter to the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health,” by Claudia Riedener, TW Sept. 7, 2018)
We appreciate Claudia Riedener’s concern for the welfare of the detainees at Northwest Detention Center. We also believe in fair treatment of everyone, and all people deserve healthy conditions.
The U.S. Public Health Service staff is responsible for healthcare and managing disease outbreaks at the Northwest Detention Center. U.S. Public Health Service staff reports to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) Health Services, a part of Homeland Security.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s regulatory role is limited to inspecting food preparation and service. Northwest Detention Center staff does sometimes consult with Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department disease control staff as a courtesy when there is a communicable disease concern, but they are not required to do so.
Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH
Director of Health
Office of the Director