Reps. Jinkins, Kilduff respond to de-certification of Western State Hospital

Today the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services notified the Department of Social and Health Services that although significant improvements at Western State Hospital have been made, it was not enough to pass a recent survey to retain certification for federal funding.

Representatives Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) and Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) issued the following statements in response to the news.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins:

“Since 2015 the Legislature has invested $380 million to increase behavioral health services and treatment capacity in our communities, as well as to address deficiencies at Western State Hospital that will improve treatment and safety for both patients and staff.

“It is incredibly disappointing that despite the influx of resources the Legislature has allocated to Western State over the past two biennia, the hospital is being stripped of its federal certification. This represents a loss of $53 million dollars in annual funding, which has a direct impact on our ability to fund mental health services.

“It is clear the state must move faster, and focus on doing what the Legislature has spent the last two budget cycles trying to bring about: providing patients, families, mental health workers and the public an effective, efficient mental health system.”


Rep. Christine Kilduff:

“So many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have worked hard to provide the resources and the policies needed to improve our mental health system, including Western State Hospital. It’s crucial we improve patient care and provide treatment for those that need it, which requires qualified medical staff. Western State is a major employer for this community and the loss of funding is a serious concern for me. Moving forward, I want to ensure we put our focus on patients, as well as the doctors, nurses, and staff that have helped improve Western State the last few years. We cannot expect patients to improve when there aren’t enough dedicated health professionals treating them.”