Dr. Yu Who?

Dr. Diana Yu is the Health Officer for Thurston County’s Public Health department and Mason County’s as well.  She gets paid for both positions, from her salary in Thurston (the amount remains unclear) spending but 1 day/wk in Mason County.

Dr Yu shrugs off Air Pollution industry Health impacts

yud@co.thurston.wa.us (360)867-2501

dianay@co.mason.wa.us (360)427-9670

Dr Yu’s Daily Olympian column warning of the ills of Air Pollution on pregnancy

Dr. Yu has given a lackluster performance in protecting the Mason County Public’s health by failing to condemn the impact of Adage and Simpson on the community. Perhaps it’s due to her Mason County position being part-time or because it’s not her home, Thurston is.

Dr. Yu expressed relative indifference to yours truly when queried about her wan expressions regarding BioMassacre proposals in Mason County. Her argument?:  That cars were a bigger pollution source, so OH WELL!

Brenda Hirschi, a failed political candidate, made that argument when discussing the filth from Simpson.  Brenda’s argument?:  It’d be different in a PERFECT world…so OH WELL. (See BRENDA for the story.)

This argument abounds in myriad variations from apologists for the BioMassacre industry as well as those pretenders attempting to gull the air breathing partisans.  Tom DuPonte (of Adage) argued it was acceptable to pollute Pacific NorthWest air because it wasn’t as tainted as California’s.  Some months later, Simpson reps excused themselves from accountability by pointing out how noxious wood stoves were.  Perhaps they’d been counseled by Dr. Yu?

It’s as though one proponent argues in favor of sleeping with our underage daughters because they’re virgins, while Simpson/Dr. Yu make similar conclusions because they aren’t!  BOTH attempt to glibly rationalize the rape and are equally despicable.  These proponents ignore all efforts by the community to protect itself and our families…a mindset common among rapists…the rape of Mason County in this instance.

The good Dr. Yu admits air pollution isn’t healthy.  But she shrugs it off as inevitable because people drive cars, etc.  She has family (including her brother) who live in Manilla/Philippines.  No doubt the environmental protection mechanism there is even more lacking.

The idea of trusting my health, and the community’s, to someone coming from a poor culture where human life/suffering is considered cheap challenges our priorities.  It’s the same reasoning that gives rise to Mason County having a Public Health Officer whose role here is but once a week…or drive by sniff tests ORCAA officials use to determine Air Quality when receiving a complaint.

In fact, Dr. Yu has considerable legal powers to protect the public if she were so inclined. But she isn’t…not for pollution induced illness. See Dept Health Powers for an example. Dr. Yu seems more inclined to pursue microbe based illnesses.

It’s time to clean house…that’s not just about Adage and Simpson. We have a wealth of public officials sucking up the blood of our labor while doing little or nothing to earn their keep or protect the community that pays their salaries.

Dr. Yu did provide one piece of useful information while dodging personal responsibility for failing to discharge her duty to the public.   It was the name(s) of the committees and members in our legislature charged with investigating these kinds of Air Quality/Environmental issues.

Environmental Health Committee (House):
(leg. asst. Kate O’Looneys, (360)786-7204)
On 12-8-10 @ 10:00am in House Hearing Rm #C (John L. O’Brien Bldg) an expert from the UW spoke to the Health effect of air pollution, sources of air pollution in WA, National ambient air quality standards based on health effects, Consequences of non-attainment.
(Chair: Tom Campbell; Vicechair: Maralyn Chase,
Matt Shea, Ed Orcutt, Mary Lou Dickerson, Hans Dunshee, Fred Finn, Zack Hudgins, Joel Kretz, Christine Rolfes)
Environment, Water, & Energy Committee (Senate):
(leg. asst. Dixie Huff, (360)786-7462)
A hearing was conducted on 12-7-10 @ 8:00am in Sen Hring #4 (Cherberg Bldg)
(Chair: Phil Rockefeller; Vicechair: Craig Pridemore,
Jim Honeyford, Jerome Delvin, Karen Fraser, Janea Homquist, Chris Marr, Bob Morton, Eric Oemig, Kevin Ranker, *Tim Sheldon*)
Some of Dr. Yu’s bio is reflected in the commentary below this article.

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Opposed to politicians who equivocate about air quality & BioMassacre
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8 Responses to Dr. Yu Who?

  1. admin says:

    Dr. Yu’s invocation to the Rotary Club stands in stark contrast to her indifference to the Mason County community…unless you read closely between the lines…as follows:
    Diana has been the Health Officer for Thurston Co. Public Health for the past 20 years. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Zoology, went on to get a Master’s degree in Public Health, then her medical degree at the University of Washington, with her internship and Residency in Pediatrics in Wisconsin. Dr. Yu feels like a “Rotarian” as both her father and brother were and are Rotarians. Last time she visited her brother in the Philippines, she attended a Rotary meeting in Manila with him.
    Life expectancy in the US in 1900 was 47 years. By 1950 that increased to 67 years. Today the life expectancy of an American is close to 80. This is mainly attributed to Public Health interventions aimed at decreasing disease, childhood immunizations, medical discoveries leading to better treatment of diseases, and the improvement of sanitary practices.
    Immunizations–in the 1920s typhoid killed many people–in 2000 there are no cases.
    In the 1980’s Hemopholis B caused many illnesses and deaths among children–since a vaccine was developed in 1985, this is rarely seen. We had one case in Thurston County last year, that was because the parents decided not to immunize. People have the right to refuse, but the benefits seem to outweigh the risk to Public Health.
    [But do Mason County residents have the right to refuse tainted air?]
    Medical discoveries and sanitation: The discovery of antibiotics to treat TB in 1951 and in 1963 makes this disease curable–although you can get this disease even today, it is not as devastating as it once was. By the 1930’s sanitary disposal of waste became the standard of hygienic practice, which has greatly decreased the spread of disease.
    There are several determinates of health–some you can control and some you cannot.
    Genetics, you cannot control.
    Environment, you have some control over.
    Access to health care you have some control over.
    Your behavior you have control over.
    The top 10 causes of death in Thurston County are–in this order: Cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), accidents, diabetes, pneumonia/flu, suicide, and liver disease. The underlying causes are often things people can control — tobacco use, inactivity, poor nutrition, alcohol use, drug use, and obesity.
    One of the big challenges in this community continues to be access to basic health care services. This will continue to be a problem as the economy worsens.
    What can you do to assist?
    Listen to information and understand the implications
    Identify/define the problem and help figure out recourses
    Apply knowledge and make behavior changes
    Finally, remove stress: You can exercise, eat chocolate (in moderation of course), get fresh air, and eat healthy foods (and remember lots of things are organic that you would not want to eat).
    Public Health is all about the Health of our Community!
    [Really?…How about protecting it?]

  2. admin says:

    Notably, for an official who has been the Health Officer of Thurston’s Public Health Dept. for 20+ years, I see a distinct lack of emphasis on the MOST fundamental determinants of public health, Air & Water quality. These environmental determinants will have everything to do with your health, your life expectancy, and the quality of that life…yours, your family’s, your children’s, and your community’s.

    So what is Dr. Yu doing to protect us from the degradation of those fundamental determinants? Not much. How about ORCAA?…well the ‘sniff’ test will have to do given the lack of any other adequate testing protocol. e.g. ORCAA doesn’t even monitor toxins like Dioxin emissions.

    It’s as though we have a brigade of Nero’s fiddling while Rome burns…and in some notable instances, dousing the flames with gasoline…or bioincinerators.

    • admin says:

      Diana Yu, MD, MSPH

      Dr. Diane Yu is the Health Officer for Thurston and Mason County. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Zoology. She went on to get a Master’s degree in Public Health, then her medical degree at the University of Washington with her internship and residency in pediatrics in Wisconsin.

      Dr. Yu currently serves on the Washington State Board of Health as a representative for Health Officers across the state. Dr. Yu is also the Medical Director for the Thurston County and Mason County Medical Reserve Corps. With special interest in zoonotic diseases and epidemiology, Dr. Yu is an active member of several committees including Washington State Department of Health, Tuberculosis Task Force; Providence St. Peter Hospital, Infection Control Committee; Washington State Department of Health Zoonotic Disease Advisory Committee; and Washington State Opiate Abuse Task Force.

  3. Diana T. Yu, MD, MSPH says:

    To set the record straight, I have been the legally appointed Local Health Officer for Thurston County for 20 years. Since 2005, Mason County has contracted for Health Officer services from Thurston County. Under that contract, I spend 8 hours a week in Mason County. I receive one salary, from Thurston County. Similar arrangements were made when I served as Health Officer for Lewis County from 1999 – 2007.

    I am not the Director of either Mason County or Thurston County Health Departments, both departments have appointed administrator/directors.

    The picture above was from a talk I gave to the Olympia Rotary Club in 2006. I am not a member of the Rotary Club. The topic of the talk was not air pollution.

  4. admin says:

    Dr. Yu,
    Thank you for the corrections. I will edit the article to be consistent with what you’ve pointed out.

  5. Tom Davis says:

    It’s curious that Dr. Yu saw fit to offer corrections to some minor inaccuracies in your post but failed to comment on any of the more salient issues.

  6. Very nice site, thanks for share this article with us

  7. Miss Charlie Harris says:

    I was informed by going online that you would take care of contamination in lakes. I live on Patterson Lake in Thurston County, we have algea blooms real bad. I have two dogs and some neighbors have pets. I know this is not the only lake in Thurston County, we have over 15 lakes, but we need the department of fisheries to come out and do something. Some of us are willing to buy the chemical to distroy this, but not all families do not want to spend the money. Please help us that want to take care of this. Thank you

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