Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

New CEO Emphasizes Community Integration

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

New CEO Emphasizes Community Integration

Article excerpt

As the new CEO of Western State Hospital in Tacoma, Wash., Jess Jamieson believes the facility should play a key role in the state s public mental health system, and hopes to promote both inter-agency cooperation and public outreach this year.

Jamieson was selected to lead the facility in May. He takes the helm of the largest psychiatric hospital in the state, with a staffof nearly 2,000 and a patient population of approximately 1,000. "Historically, here and in other states, the state hospitals are often outside of the mainstream of the public mental health system," Jamieson says. "We want to be actively involved as a central component of the statewide system."

The hospital has, for example, instituted best practices so that when patients are discharged they have a treatment plan to ensure continuity of care as they re-enter the community. "We want to make certain that they are re-integrated back into the community in a stable fashion," Jamieson says.

"We also want to tell our story to the broader community," he adds. "The community at large does not really know all of the good things that happen in this facility. We need to get out there, tell our story and advocate for the services we provide."

In light of the budget crunch facing the state, Jamieson has also tasked his staff with improving efficiency. "We want to maintain the quality of care we provide while making sure our business practices support those services as efficiently as possible," he says. "If we have to make a workforce reduction, we're looking at areas that will have the least impact on patient care."

Jamieson (a two-term veteran of Western States advisory board) brings with him a broad range of administrative experience. He graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1960, earned a masters in healthcare administration from Des Moines University, followed by a doctorate in social foundations at the University of Iowa. …

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