Ex-Army medical leader heads Pierce County pandemic recovery

Ken Farmer, who has been a high-ranking physician in the Army and a leader of senior living communities, is the new head of Pierce County’s disaster recovery office.

In his six-month role, Farmer will help guide the county’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, coordinating with county government and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Before retiring from the military, Farmer, who lives in Steilacoom, served as the deputy surgeon general of the Army and commanding general of Walter Reed Hospital.  As a civilian, spent seven years as executive vice president of TriWest Healthcare Alliance, formed a consulting business focused on healthcare management, strategy, and business development, and was chief executive officer of Careage Inc. from 2016 to 2019. Careage, based in Gig Harbor, Wash., owns and operates senior living communities and skilled-nursing rehabilitation, home healthcare, construction, development and management services in Washington and California.

Calling him a “remarkable leader,” County Executive Bruce Dammeier said Farmer’s “experience in managing large-scale, international operations, combined with his expertise in medical care, make him an ideal person to organize our recovery efforts.”