Chief Executive Officer
Western State Hospital - Steilacoom, WA

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Western State Hospital (WSH), is one of two state psychiatric hospitals for adults in Washington State, serving 19 counties of western Washington. A licensed and accredited hospital that complies with the requirements of The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. WSH, was established in 1871, is an 827-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital owned and operated by the Department of Social and Health Services’ Aging and Disability Services Administration. The hospital also participates in the provision of program evaluation and clinical research, undergraduate and graduate education and consultation to other health care providers.

Located along the I-5 Seattle/Tacoma corridor, near the Puget Sound, the hospital provides evaluation and inpatient treatment for individuals with serious or long term mental illness that have been referred to the hospital through the Regional Support Networks (RSN) or the legal system. Many patients admitted to WSH meet diagnostic criteria for dual diagnoses and most carry a diagnosis of substance abuse or developmental disability as well as a mental illness. The hospital operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

With a staff of 2100, an annual budget of $170M and 827 residents, the hospital has three units, the Center for Forensic Services (CFS), the Psychiatric Treatment and Recovery Center (PTRC) and Habilitation Mental Health (HMH). CFS has a bed capacity of 270 and is made up of 9 wards. PTRC has a bed capacity of 527 and is made up of 18 wards that include Central, South Halls and East campus. HMH has a bed capacity of 30 and made up of 2 wards. The hospital has a total of 29 wards.

Additionally, forensic evaluation services occur in several settings: the North Regional Office serves the area North King County and northward; the Western State Hospital Outpatient program serves the area of South King County Southward and evaluates those individuals currently in the community on their own Personal Recognizance. Those patients referred for inpatient forensic evaluation, competency restoration, or determined to be Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) are housed in the 270-bed Center for Forensic Services (CFS). The Western State Hospital Community Program is located in part of the CFS and provides community supervision to conditionally released patients residing in the community.

Criteria for Admission
Patients must meet the following criteria:
* Dangerousness to self or others as a result of a mental illness
* Grave disability as a result of a mental illness
* Acute impairment of functioning or severely disruptive/incongruent behavior as a result of mental illness
* Impairment of cognition not due to substance abuse or developmental disability
* Disturbance of mood not due to substance abuse or developmental disability
* Criminal or civil commitment as a result of the above factors
* Medical stability

Current Circumstances
The new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will inherit a complex organization that has been challenged to balance the needs of a diverse population of clients, a still evolving continuum of local and community care, an aging campus and infrastructure and a workforce that has been stressed by many competing demands. What this organization needs is a strategic leader and a strong, caring and engaged manager, who will introduce a steady long-term vision to improve performance, enrich the organizational culture of this institution and serve as its principal advocate.
A hallmark of Governor Christine Gregoire’s two terms in office has been a strong commitment to performance and process improvement. Incoming Governor Elect Inslee has actively embraced the importance of continuous improvement, and this is the optimal moment for a fresh start towards these goals at WSH.

Dr. Mary Ann Keogh Hoss has served as interim CEO at WSH for the past 4 months. A respected leader in the academic community, she has agreed to play a helpful transitional role before returning to her posting in Eastern Washington. Her work in this period will certainly benefit the new leader. Recognizing the presence of silos and miscommunication among various workgroups, she has begun to introduce employees at every level to the LEAN process honed by the outgoing administration, to heal differences and to empower staff to share authority and accountability for improved performance and clear communication. A new CEO will introduce their own style and strategy to this process, and will have the time and resources necessary to build on this momentum to develop a long-term vision for the hospital.
A strong administrative, clinical and medical team is in place and eager to receive the leadership of the new CEO. Treatment, custodial and security management is shared by this team, who operate within a matrix process of decision-making under the direction of the CEO. Another key element of the CEO’s role will be to serve as WSH’s key point of contact with the Aging and Disability Services Administration headquarters staff, local government, with the community and with policy makers and counterparts in the legal and public safety fields.

Role and Responsibilities
- Provide leadership in developing and conveying an organizational vision and mission.
- Provide exemplary oversight and management to programs and facilities that are based on sound practices and effectively integrate treatment, health, forensic and public safety systems.
- Implement organizational change in alignment with performance and accountability, strategic priorities, and sound treatment and operational practices.
- Devise creative, efficient solutions to resolve operational challenges and address the systemic pressures associated with the continued evolution of the institutional and community based behavioral health system.
- Maintain effective, collaborative working relationships with labor representatives, local officials, community leaders, legal, public safety and health professionals.
- Develop, manage and support the ongoing maintenance of the hospital’s annual budget.

We are seeking a CEO who has a demonstrated commitment to serving the WSH community, who will inspire broad-based, deeply felt commitment to the advancement of WSH’s mission. Strong leadership, management, communication, decision-making, and interpersonal skills are critical to success in this position. Strong management skills include the ability to understand organizational structure and how that impacts performance and accountability. An ability to lead change in this organization is paramount. The successful candidate should have the proven ability to encourage teamwork and collaboration among many individuals and organizations.

The CEO will be a leader with extraordinary vision who is able to realize that vision through a rich interaction with policy makers, staff, community leaders, volunteers, and those who support the organization, historically and in the future. The CEO must have a set of values consistent with a culture that is based upon mutual respect and camaraderie, considerable staff-level stewardship of the organization’s work, high ethical standards, and a passion to make a difference in the world.

The CEO must have the skill to ensure that WSH programs are responsive to the dynamic, changing needs of those it serves, and that the methods and resources employed reflect best practices. The ideal candidate will have experience working with the policy issues central to this field and will be able to explain such issues clearly and effectively to stakeholders, media and other government agencies. A minimum of ten years experience in a senior leadership role is expected. An advanced degree in health, management, law, public policy, or other related disciplines is preferred.

Desired skills and commitments include:
- Leadership: Commands respect for his or her accomplishments. Is well connected and has extensive experience working in health care and institutional leadership. Can inspire others.
- Commitment: Demonstrates a personal commitment to service and human rights. Has a tough skin and the ability to stick to a plan and push it through to completion.
- Vision: Has a clear vision for advancing service to this community, and for using the resources of this organization and community to realize this vision.
- Creativity: Is a visionary thinker, with a history of creative and innovative contributions to this field.
- Communication: Demonstrates unusually strong communication skills and, when appropriate, directs and inspires community and organizational leaders and program directors to effectively represent the organization in their areas of expertise.
- Management: Possesses a proven track record managing staff, finances and a complex organization in a democratic and inclusive manner. Has a proven ability to attract, develop, and sustain outstanding and diverse talent.
- Knowledge/Understanding: Has a sophisticated understanding of the government and health care sectors, and the role they play in treatment, custodial care and the related public policy issues confronting contemporary society and in diverse cultures.
- Diversity: Is culturally competent, embraces diversity, and has a demonstrated track record of developing and promoting diversity in the workplace, and of collaborating effectively with people from varied international cultures.


The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the recruiter. All candidates will be evaluated on a merit basis. A resume and a cover letter describing the skills and expertise you bring to the requirements of this position may be submitted, in confidence, to:

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