May 8, 2020

Congrats to Public Health Director Patty Hayes for Receiving Top Award

Patty Hayes, Kay Knox and Maxine Hayes at a 2019 WithinReach Learning Series Event

Note: We applaud former WithinReach Executive Director Patty Hayes for her leadership during COVID-19 and for receiving the highest honor bestowed upon a University of Washington graduate. Congrats Patty!  

King County Executive Dow Constantine lauded Public Health — Seattle & King County Director Patty Hayes for receiving the prestigious University of Washington Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus Award. The award is presented annually by the UW and the UW Alumni Association and is the highest honor the University bestows on a UW graduate.

Educated as a nurse, with both a baccalaureate degree and master’s degrees from the University of Washington School of Nursing, Hayes leads one of the largest and most respected metropolitan health departments in the country, which is currently at the forefront of the nation’s COVID-19 response.

“Patty’s leadership in responding to this historic crisis is the culmination of a career dedicated to caring for and lifting up our entire community, especially those facing the greatest health challenges,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Patty is an outstanding University of Washington alumnus and public servant, and at this pivotal time there could not be a more deserving recipient of this award.”

Hayes was appointed by Executive Constantine as the director of Public Health — Seattle & King County in 2014. She has been a champion for and driving force behind Executive Constantine’s Best Starts for Kids initiative, designed to invest in prevention and early intervention strategies that promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families and communities.

“I am so honored and humbled by this recognition. My career of service to my community was seeded through the incredible education that I received at the UW,” said Hayes. “I have a Husky heart and spirit that lives through my leadership work every day.”

Hayes has over 30 years of experience in public health, policy development and advocacy. Prior to her role as Director, Patty led the department’s largest division, Community Health Services, which delivers personal health services at locations across the county.

Hayes previously served as the Executive Director of WithinReach, a statewide non-profit that connects families to food and health resources. She also worked for the Washington State Department of Health in various positions including Assistant Secretary of Health for Community & Family Health as well as the Director of Legislative, Policy and Constituent Relations.

Hayes was inducted into the Washington Nursing Hall of Fame in 2002.