Submitted by Thurston County
It’s been just over a week since Dr. Diana Yu returned to retirement and the well-earned dancing she loves so much. Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek is our new Thurston County Health Officer, and it’s already clear that we are incredibly lucky to have her.
“It’s not everyone that can step into a leadership role in the middle of a pandemic,” said Schelli Slaughter, the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Director. “And Dr. Abdelmalek has done so with grace and humor. I’m thrilled to have her here, and to be working side by side with her on the complex issues that impact our health in Thurston County.”
From Berkeley to the Bronx, and from Cleveland to Cairo, Egypt, Dr A (as the staff at Public Health have dubbed her) has dedicated her career to emergency medicine, and to serving people who lack access to health services around the world. She has a degree in medicine and another in global health. She has the capacity to lead—and though you can tell from her smile she’s seen a lot, it’s also clear she is happy to help.
And…she’s making time to talk with us, the folks who live and work in Thurston County, about who she is and what she hopes to accomplish. Her first letter to the community was released this week. You can read it Here.
According to her letter, Dr. A has been exploring the county on the weekends. “It has been wonderful to be in the middle of so much natural beauty,” she shared. She’s also been enjoying the northwest coffee.
Most recently, she worked clinically as an Emergency Physician in Redwood City, California where she led a multi-disciplinary team that helped connect patients who have complex medical and social needs with care and resources.
“The whole world is finding it’s footing in this unprecedented time,” Dr. Abdelmalek began. “We are being challenged in a hundred different ways, and of course COVID-19 is a big part of that. Things are hard, and the magnitude is unprecedented, but it’s also an extraordinary opportunity—to come together in new and heart-felt ways, to work for positive changes, and to see ourselves as part of a larger whole.”
Dr. Abdelmalek brings a wealth of experience and education to Thurston County, well-matched to the needs of our community. She will be lending her strength and insight to a wide variety of issues, not least of which is getting us all through this pandemic.
“Sometimes the most effective advice isn’t complicated,” Dr. Abdelmalek reminds. “Stay six feet from people not in your household. Wear a mask in public to help protect others. Stay home if you’re sick—and call your provider or local clinic to be tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Public Health will continue to do all we can behind the scenes to reel this virus in and contain it. With everyone doing their part, we’ll get through it together.”
We at Public Health hope you’ll all help us welcome Dr. Abdelmalek to our team, and to our community.
Public Health is your trusted local source for information about COVID-19. Get, and share, information Here.