western state hospital

Alexandra Kocik / Northwest News Network

The CEO of Washington’s biggest state-run psychiatric facility will not have to report to jail on Wednesday. The case relates to a man awaiting admission to Western State Hospital.

Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Craig Adams had ordered CEO Cheryl Strange to either admit the man to Western State or surrender herself to authorities. Now the commissioner has agreed to push back his deadline to June 21. The delay comes after the state Attorney General’s office filed a motion on Monday for the commissioner to reconsider.

Washington’s Western State Hospital isn’t the only state institution under federal scrutiny. The Rainier School for developmentally disabled adults in Washington state was put on notice in April that it needs to make “significant corrections.”

The state of Washington has struck a deal with the feds to keep Western State Hospital open and funded. The Department of Social and Health Services announced late Thursday that it will negotiate a Systems Improvement Agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

A staffing shortage at Western State Hospital has created a crisis situation. Federal inspectors this week determined that patients and staff face immediate risk for harm.

State’s mental health reform focuses on preventive care

Mar 29, 2013
Alexandra Kocik / Northwest News Network

Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

Inside the Capitol, that’s one of many issues related to the mentally-ill. Several measures focus on broadening access to community mental health services as opposed to big institutions. The idea is to get help for mentally-ill people before they get into trouble.

dearshirnk.com

The school shootings in Connecticut have an extra layer of sadness for parents whose children are mentally ill.

In fact, Washington’s and America's main advocacy group for the mentally ill -- the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) -- was organized by a Seattle mother back in the 1970s, after her son, filled with schizophrenic delusions, shot and killed a man. 

Courtesy Joe Grande

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Pirates in Fatal Yacht Hijacking Indicted
  • Arrest in Spokane MLK Day Bomb Plot
    • State Details Patient Escape from Western State
    • UW-WSU Meet Tonight in Pac-10 Championships

     

    Indictments in High Seas Hijacking, Murders

    Fourteen men are charged today with the hijacking of a yacht on which four Americans - including a Seattle couple - were shot to death.

    The US Justice Department is holding the 13 Somalis and a man from Yemen in Norfolk, Virginia. They are expected to make a court appearance today, according to The Associated Press.

    The Washington Department of Social and Health Services is reviewing how a patient was able to escape from
    Western State Hospital at Lakewood.

    Jonathan D. Wilson remained in Pierce County Jail over the weekend, and Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis says officials are deciding Monday where he should be transferred. 

    The News Tribune's Stacia Glenn reports Wilson may be headed to Mason County.

    A new TV ad created by the Washington Federation of state Employees claims that violence has increased at Western State Hospital – because of budget cuts by the state. 

    The Seattle Times "Truthneedle" picked that ad apart and says it's misleading and "mostly false."