2017 DSHS News Releases

Welcome to DSHS' news releases for 2017. You may search by keyword and release number.

To read archived news releases, please choose the appropriate year below:


Chief medical officer to leave Western State Hospital

Dec 29 2017

DSHS Office of Communications, Norah West, (360) 902-7833

LAKEWOOD, WA— After two years in the position, Dr. James Polo’s last day as Western State Hospital’s chief medical officer is Sunday, Dec. 31. Polo has accepted a position with Cambia Health Solutions and will serve as its behavioral health medical director for Regence Blue Shield serving Washington, Oregon, Utah and Idaho.

“Dr. Polo has been instrumental in transforming Western State Hospital this past year,” said Dr. Marylouise Jones, acting chief executive officer of the largest ...read more

OLYMPIA- The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has scheduled a public hearing in Cowlitz County to receive comments on plans for a new substance use disorder treatment program.

These proposed services will improve access to essential health care for people who are dependent on opioids, such as heroin and OxyContin. 

Kelso Treatment Solutions is requesting to operate at 305 Pacific Avenue South, Suite C in Kelso. The treatment program includes medication such as ...read more

State facilitates new grants to help improve nursing facilities

Dec 19 2017

DSHS Office of Communications, Chris Wright, (360) 902-8338

OLYMPIA – New federal grant funding is available to eligible nursing facility providers and organizations to help improve the overall quality of life and care for nursing facility residents.

Awarded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the grants are funded through money collected from fines imposed on nursing facilities that violate federal health and safety standards.

Providers may apply for these Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Funds through an ...read more

Portions of two DSHS facilities for people with developmental disabilities decertified by CMS

Dec 19 2017

DSHS Office of Communications, Lisa Copeland, lisa.copeland@dshs.wa.gov

OLYMPIA – The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) announced today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued letters of decertification for portions of two of its Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs) for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities –   Rainier and Fircrest schools.

DSHS can continue to receive federal funds during the appeals process and ...read more

Patient information sent to wrong email address

Nov 16 2017

DSHS Office of Communications, Kelly Stowe, 360-902-7739

OLYMPIA—The Department of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS) Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) confirmed today that a spreadsheet containing private information of 515 patients at Western State Hospital was sent to an incorrect email address.

“We are entrusted with confidential patient information,” explained Carla Reyes, Assistant Secretary for BHA. “One instance of disclosing personal information is one too many. We do not take this mistake lightly and have responded by ...read more