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Hospital chief resigns after patient walked away from Spokane fair outing

Post by Joe Turner on Sep. 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm with No Comments »
September 23, 2009 2:52 pm

I’d say this is one of those news releases in which you have to read between the lines. An Easter State Hospital patient, who killed a woman years ago, walked away from a hospital-sanctioned outing at the Spokane Fair. His “disappearance” isn’t reported for at least 2 hours. All outings are cancelled indefinitely. Now the top guy at Eastern State “resigns” because he was planning to “retire” anyway.

Eastern State Hospital CEO Harold “Hal” Wilson
to resign from state service, effective October 1, 2009

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Department of Social and Health Services Assistant Secretary Doug Porter announced today (Wednesday, September 23) that he has accepted the resignation of longtime Eastern State Hospital Chief Executive Officer Harold “Hal” Wilson.

Porter said the resignation was effective Oct. 1, and that Wilson was planning to retire.

“I want to thank Hal for his long service to the state, the Department of Social and Health Services, and Eastern State Hospital,” Porter said in accepting the resignation.

Porter said Richard Kellogg, Director of Mental Health Systems, has been at the hospital this week, coordinating an investigation into the circumstances of last week’s escape by a patient during an outing to the Spokane County Fair.

Porter said Kellogg also will work with Eastern State Hospital Chief Operating Officer Connie Wilmot, who has agreed to become the acting CEO of Eastern State Hospital during the transition. Porter said he would announce the steps in the recruitment of a permanent CEO in the near future.

Wilson, who began his state service as an accountant at Eastern State Hospital, has been with the state for more than 28 years. He was named CEO of the hospital 10 years ago.

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