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Contact: Jane Beyer, 360-725-2260, jane.beyer@dshs.wa.gov
Contact: John K. Wiley, 509-363-4797, john.wiley@dshs.wa.gov
July 25, 2013
Longtime health care executive chosen to head Eastern State Hospital

OLYMPIA - Dorothy L. Sawyer, an executive with more than three decades of experience in the health care industry, has been chosen Chief Executive Officer for Eastern State Hospital, operated by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services at Medical Lake.

Sawyer, a Washington native who began her career as a registered nurse in Spokane, most recently was an executive with a Tucson, Arizona, health care system. She will assume her new duties on Aug. 19.

"Dorothy has broad operational expertise and extensive strategic experience in acute care and behavioral health hospitals," said Jane Beyer, DSHS Assistant Secretary for the Behavioral Health and Service Integration Administration. "Her career in health care has ranged from direct patient care to senior level management. Her strengths include quality management, patient safety, case management and regulatory affairs."

Sawyer succeeds Connie Wilmot, who serves as a mental health nurse consultant for DSHS Home and Community Services in Spokane.

Sawyer, who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Washington University, served in various clinical positions while in Spokane. Most recently, she was Chief Executive Officer at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital, Tucson, Arizona. She previously was CEO at Havasu Regional Medical Center, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and at Maryvale Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.

She also served as the market president for IASIS Healthcare in Phoenix, where she was responsible for three acute-care hospitals, a behavioral health hospital and multiple physician practices.

Earlier in her career, Sawyer was with Hospital Corporation of America, where she served as the chief nursing executive in both the Tucson, Arizona, and the Denver, Colorado, markets.

She has been active in professional and community activities throughout her career, including the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.  She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is Board Certified in Nursing Administration.

Eastern State Hospital is one of two state-owned psychiatric hospitals for adults. The 287-bed hospital provides evaluation and inpatient treatment for individuals with serious or long-term mental illness who have been referred to the hospital through Regional Support Networks or the criminal justice system.

The hospital, located at Medical Lake, 20 miles southwest of Spokane, serves 20 Eastern Washington counties and is accredited by the Joint Commission and certified by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.