Representative Eileen Cody was raised on her family’s farm in Iowa. After graduating from high school, Eileen earned an associate’s degree in nursing from the College of Saint Mary and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Creighton University.
Eileen recently retired after working at Kaiser Permanente (formerly Group Health Cooperative) in Seattle for the past forty years. She is a neuro-rehab nurse certified in both rehabilitation nursing and multiple sclerosis care. In addition to her work at Kaiser Permanente, Eileen is a founding member of District 1199 NW/SEIU Hospital and Health Care Employees Union.
First appointed and subsequently retained to the House of Representatives in 1994, Eileen has dedicated her legislative career to achieving affordable, quality healthcare for all residents of Washington state.
Eileen currently serves as chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, where she has worked for improved patient safety, mental health parity, public health services, and to restore the universal purchase of vaccines. In that role, she led efforts to pass new legislation creating Cascade Care, the nation’s first public option health plan available to state residents. Cascade Care offers a state designed and procured health plan using standardized plans to lower deductibles, provide more services before the deductible, and provide transparent and predictable cost-sharing.
Additionally, she led efforts to implement the federal Affordable Care Act at the state level. Largely because of her work, Washington’s online health care marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder, is a model for the rest of the country – helping thousands of Washingtonians access affordable coverage.
Eileen has called West Seattle home since 1978. She and her husband, architect Tom Mitchell, share a home with their cats Steven and Mandu and their dog, Humphrey.
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Champion, 2021
University of Washington Nursing School, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2021
National Academy for State Health Policy, Annual State Health Policy Conference Academy Award, 2019
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Behavioral Health Champion Award, 2019
Washington Community Employment Alliance, Outstanding Legislator Award, 2019
Washington State Nurses Association, Nursing Champion Award, 2017
Washington State Psychological Association, Legislative Service Award, 2017
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Housing Hero Award, 2016
Washington Association of Nurses Anesthetists, Legislator of the Year Award, 2016
American Cancer Society, Fight Back Award, 2015
King County Family Coalition, Champion for Children Award, 2015
SEIU 775, Elected Official of the Year Award, 2015
American Congress of Ob/Gyn Washington Section, Legislative Champion Award, 2014
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Power of Choice Award, 2014
American Association of Nurse Practitioners, State Award for Excellence, 2014
American Medical Association, Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, 2013
Washington State Medical Association, Legislator of the Year, 2012 & 2009
American College of Emergency Physicians, Guardian of Medicine Award, 2012
Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Shining Star Award, 2012
Washington State Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Legislator of the Year Award, 2011
Washington State Chiropractic Association, AL Adams House Award, 2011 & 2007
Sound Mental Health, Gov. Booth Gardner Community Mental Health Champion Award, 2009
Arc of King County, King County Parent Coalition for Developmental Disabilities, 2008 & 2009
Washington State Mental Health Planning & Advisory Council, “Way to Go” Award, 2009
NAVOS, Mental Health Leadership Award, 2008
Legislator of the Year, Washington Association of Housing and Services for the Aging, 2006
Distinguished Service Award, National Alliance for Mental Illness, 2006
Patient Advocate of the Year Award, Washington Academy of Family Physicians, 2005
Calvin B. Anderson Legislative Award, American Massage Therapy Association Washington Chapter, 2003-2004
Washington Community Residential Services Association, 2003
Outstanding State Legislator Award, Health Care and Human Services, 1994-2002
Rural Legislator of the Year Award, Washington State Hospital Association, 1999
Legislator of the Year Award, Home Care Association of Washington, 1997
Friend of Physical Therapy Award, Washington State Physical Therapy Association, 1996
Legislator of the Year Award, Washington State Nurses Association PAC, 1995
Washington State Medical Rehabilitation Coalition, 1995