State selects Alaskan as next CEO of Western State Hospital

Staff writerMay 13, 2013 

The state has chosen a new leader for its largest mental institution.

Ron Adler will be the new chief executive officer of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, according to the Department of Social and Health Services. He’ll earn $163,248 annually as the CEO of Western State, which has about 800 patients.

Adler and his wife plan to move to Washington as soon as possible from Alaska, where he worked as the head of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

He also was president of the Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association and the Alaska Community Mental Health Services Association.

His predecessor, Jess Jamieson, said in June that he would resign. He was the head of the hospital for three years and had a salary of more than $141,000.

During Jamieson’s tenure, one Western State patient committed suicide in April 2012 and another killed a fellow patient the same month. A hospital spokeswoman said Jamieson’s resignation was not related to the deaths and that he had planned to move to Portland with his wife for some time.

“The state hospital industry is focused on the tenets of recovery for the population we serve, yet our staff warrant the same level of attention to health and wellness in their work environment,” Adler said in a statement.

“We can accomplish this as a team, by creating a strong culture of safety for employees and patients.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268

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