East Wenatchee Mayor, Jerrilea Crawford, will head the Chelan-Douglas Board of Health in 2024.

Crawford, who is one of six elected officials on the board, was appointed to chair the eleven-member panel at a health district meeting on Monday.

She will succeed outgoing chair and Douglas County Commissioner, Marc Straub, while Chelan County Commissioner, Shon Smith, will serve as vice chair.

Crawford says next year will be a busy stretch for the board.

"We've got lots of work to do since we did just receive our After Action Report from the COVID(-19) pandemic. So at last night's meeting we did adopt some recommendations of what we can do to improve our processes and be better prepared for the next major crisis when it comes along."

Crawford adds that despite the report, the subject of COVID-19 is no longer taking up as much of the board's time as it was coming out of the pandemic.

"Yes, it's still out there and there is an awareness of it. We still get regular updates as a board about things like COVID numbers and vaccines. So we're aware of all that but there's so many other things our health district needs to focus on, so that's just one of the many now."

Crawford and the board also approved the health district's 2024 budget at Monday's meeting, which will see it spend an estimated $7.9 million next year - marking a $1.4 million increase over 2023.

The board also voted to adopt a $2 million rainy day fund that can only be spent given board approval.

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