Verdant Health Commission is governed by a board of five commissioners, each elected for a term of six years by the registered voters in Public Hospital District No. 2, Snohomish County. The terms of the commissioners are staggered to expire in alternate years.


  • Bob Knowles photo
    Bob Knowles, President
    Mr. Knowles is a resident of Brier and has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY and an M.A. in Exercise Physiology from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. From 1997 to 2010, he served at Stevens Hospital and then Swedish Edmonds in various capacities, most recently as Director of Education and Director Preventive Care. He currently works in the disease management and population health industry. Originally elected to complete the remaining two years of a vacated position on the Board of Commissioners, he is now serving his second full term, which expires in 2025.
  • Jim Distelhorst photo
    Jim Distelhorst, MD, Secretary
    Dr. Jim Distelhorst is a retired family physician. Dr. Distelhorst’s professional experience includes practicing medicine, teaching residents as a director of two family medicine residencies, and working as a medical administrator at Valley Medical Center in Renton, which is Public Hospital District No. 1, King County. He has also researched, written, and edited evidence-based clinical care guidelines. As an Edmonds resident, Dr. Distelhorst volunteers on the City of Edmonds’ Disability Board and served for two years on the Edmonds Senior Center Board of Directors. Dr. Distelhorst was appointed by his fellow commissioners in October 2018 to a vacant seat on the board and then elected by the voters in November 2019 to complete the remaining years of the term, which will expire in 2021.
  • Deana Knutsen photo
    Deana Knutsen, Member
    Ms. Knutsen has lived in the community for more than 20 years and her three children were born at Stevens Hospital. She has been chair of the Washington Community Action Network and has had a successful track record of advocacy for patients’ rights and affordable, high quality health care. At the national level, she serves as treasurer for the Alliance for a Just Society and board member of USAction. Her education is a BA, University of Washington 1980. Ms. Knutsen, a Lynnwood resident, is serving her fourth term, which will expire in 2023.
  • Karianna Wilson photo
    Karianna Wilson, Member
    Ms. Wilson was elected to the commission in November 2011 and has been active in healthcare for more than 15 years. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Washington. She is currently CEO of Wilson Strategic Communications and was previously with Northwest Physicians Network and, prior to that, Premera Blue Cross. A Woodway resident, she is a wife and mother of three children. Ms. Wilson is serving her second term, which will expire in 2023.
  • Currently vacant seat
    Position 2 on the board is currently vacant and will be filled with the candidate elected by voters during the general election on Nov. 2, 2021. Learn more about the election at Snohomish County Auditor’s Elections & Voter Registration website.