DSHS appoints interim CEO at Western State Hospitals Gage Center for Forensic Excellence

Release Date: 
Apr 29 2021
DSHS Office of Communications
Adolfo Capestany
(360) 878-1240


The Department of Social and Health Services is reaching a major milestone this week toward Governor Inslee’s vision for a multi-biennia, statewide transformation of Washington’s behavioral health system. The plan focuses on developing a 21st century system of care by, in part, creating Forensic Centers of Excellence at state-operated psychiatric hospitals.

As part of the transformation, Western State Hospital is becoming two independent operations centers:

  • Civil Center of Excellence: continue civil operations while developing plans for the new 350-bed hospital; and
  • Gage Center of Forensic Excellence: provide state-of-the-art mental health evaluation, restoration, treatment, habilitation and consultation services.

Earlier this month, Charles Southerland was appointed as the interim chief executive officer at WSH. DSHS has now designated leadership teams for both of the new operation centers. Beginning May 1, Southerland will be the interim CEO for the Civil Center of Excellence and Mark Thompson will be the interim CEO for the Gage Center of Forensic Excellence.

Read more about the CEO appointment on the DSHS Medium page.