DSHS names Dr. Brian Waiblinger agency medical director

Release Date: 
Jul 13 2018
DSHS Office of Communications
Kelly Stowe

OLYMPIA—Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Cheryl Strange announced that Dr. Brian Waiblinger is the agency’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) beginning Monday, July 16.

Waiblinger will provide  support to the agency’s chief medical officers at facilities like Western and Eastern State hospitals, the Child Study and Treatment Center, residential habilitation centers, juvenile rehabilitation facilities and the Special Commitment Center. He will also lead the development and revision of DSHS policy regarding the care of clients living in and supported by our state-owned and -operated facilities. This is the first time DSHS has had an agency-level CMO.

“We are so fortunate to have Dr. Waiblinger in this position,” said Strange. “His work here will help lead us toward the governor’s vision for behavioral health integration. He has dedicated his career to serving Washington residents who are in need of mental health treatment.”

“This is an exciting and invigorating time at DSHS and I am honored to, once again, be part of the team,” said Waiblinger, who began his medical practice in 2000 at Western State Hospital’s Center for Forensic Services. “I look forward to the opportunities this new position brings to helping support not only providers in state facilities but those in the community as well. Together, we will be better able to serve our clients who are in our care.”

Dr. Waiblinger is a graduate of the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, where he trained and emphasized in community and forensic psychiatry. He has served as the Director of Psychiatric Services at the King County Correctional Facility and Maleng Regional Justice Center and was Medical Director for Western State Hospital from June 2015 to September 2016. Most recently, he has been co-Medical Director and attending psychiatrist at Skagit Valley Hospital’s Mental Health Center.

DSHS, whose mission is transforming lives, provides some type of shelter, care, protection and/or support to approximately one in three Washingtonians and is the state’s largest agency. For more information, visit dshs.wa.gov.




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.