Western State Hospitals chief leaving
Western State Hospitals chief executive officer is resigning and will leave the post in September, the hospital announced Wednesday.
Jess Jamieson has been CEO of the mental institution in Lakewood, the states largest with about 800 patients, for three years, with a current salary of more than $141,000.
He was not available for interviews Wednesday, but the state Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the hospital, said he and his wife plan to move to Portland. The couple had been planning the move for some time, said Kris Flowers, spokeswoman for the hospital.
Officials learned of his resignation Tuesday.
In a statement released by DSHS, Jamieson said:
It has been an honor to help people who are living with mental illness have access to the treatment they need and to play a role in their journey to recovery. My three years in state government have been both challenging and rewarding. I look forward to what comes next in my career and my life.
DSHS officials credited him with increasing hospital safety and security.
During difficult economic times, Jess led improvements in effective acute care and treatment for individuals with mental illnesses and in the safety of patients and staff, DSHS Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams said.
In April, one patient committed suicide and another killed a fellow patient at the hospital.
Overall, weve had concerns about a high number of assaults on staff and unfilled vacancies, said Tim Welch, director of public affairs for the union that represents about 1,500 of the hospitals 1,800 workers.
It does appear that they are filling vacancies at a rapid pace and making other changes, but unfortunately some tragedies had to take place before that began, Welch said. We just hope that whoever takes over that position puts safety and security as a high priority.
The two recent deaths arent the cause of Jamiesons resignation, Flowers said.
The timing, as Jess put it, was never good.
It just happens to be now, she said. Neither are related.
A nationwide search will be done to name Jamiesons successor. DSHS and the hospitals leadership will decide on an interim candidate if the search is not concluded by Jamiesons departure on Sept. firstname.lastname@example.org