Adult abuse cases continue to rise in Washington state as social distancing rules begin to relax

June recognized as Adult Abuse Awareness Month

Chris Wright
(360) 628–1043

OLYMPIA — June is Adult Abuse Awareness Month in Washington state. This annual statewide awareness campaign is designed to promote education, identification and reporting of the mistreatment of vulnerable adults throughout the state.

“Adult Abuse Awareness Month carries additional weight this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged stay-at-home order,” said Adult Protective Services Director Kathy Morgan. “For the past year, adult abuse was not as visible as it…

Developmental Disabilities Administration employees, some of whom were hesitant themselves, discuss the importance of getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

Work is stressful enough without the added emotional weight of having to deny one of the most fundamental aspects of who you are. Ongoing, untreated stress has a plethora of documented damaging health effects.

This Pride Month, let’s all work to ensure that DSHS helps everyone feel welcome to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

If you are a straight cisgender person, Pride Month is a good time to recognize your privilege and prejudices and remember — or learn — that you can be part of making your workplace healthier and more pleasant for everyone by becoming an…

Three years ago, in spring 2018, Judy Fitzgerald and Bob Hubenthal were sitting in an office discussing the state of the buildings at Western State Hospital — a campus that is about to turn 150 years old — when the idea of asking for an unprecedented investment began to take form.

“We were sort of pondering the ancientness of our facilities, and we both just said, ‘Well, is it time to ask for something,’” said Fitzgerald, the assistant secretary for the Facilities, Finance and Analytics Administration.

While Western had undergone several upgrades and renovations over the years, the layouts and…

Gov. Jay Inslee has proclaimed June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. This month, we are providing information and resources for individuals who are affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia. For information and resources on memory loss, visit

Preparing for the Road Ahead — Help for Families in the Dementia Journey

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly hard on people with dementia and their families. Helping a family member with dementia is challenging in the best of times, but this last year created even more isolation and challenges. …

The Child Study and Treatment Center is set to add another cottage this summer.

Construction is on track for completion by mid-June and hospital leadership are making great progress to open San Juan Cottage on Aug. 1.

In addition to the contractor’s construction of the 18-bed cottage, CSTC leadership has been working to have everything ready to welcome patients to the cottage during the week of Aug. 9.

Hospital Chief Executive Officer Tony Bowie and his staff are developing the program to work with the kids, which will include 10 CLIP patients and eight forensic patients. …

In remembrance of Kassie Dewey, and in support of her daughter Lilly, Eastern State Hospital organized a stuffed animal drive to donate to local law enforcement and other community organizations that provide assistance and services for children involved in domestic violence and other traumatic events.

Altogether, employees across the Department of Social and Health Services donated 203 stuffed animals.

“I was amazed by the response we received from our fellow DSHS coworkers — so supportive and caring. Thank you all,” said Joey Frost, Director of Organizational Development/Communications and the organizer of the event.

Lilly, 5, was recently discharged from the…

After months of compiling the collective ideas, values, projects and overall goals of the DSHS Human Resources Division and its various customers, HRD is pleased to publish its inaugural strategic planning eBook.

“We appreciate the input, passion and excitement from all HRD staff and customers throughout this process to bring this resource to life,” said HRD Senior Director Wendy Long. “It is important for us to live and breathe our HRD mission to transform lives by providing exceptional HR services to all DSHS employees, and we believe this eBook brings these services to life.”

Modeled after the agency’s eBook, the…

David Stillman

Last week marked 10 years since David Stillman was named acting Assistant Secretary of the Economic Services Administration, a role he was appointed to permanently later in 2011.

“Over the past decade and indeed throughout your nearly 34 years as a state employee, you have shown exemplary leadership,” outgoing DSHS Secretary Cheryl Strange told Stillman, noting that he has received accolades like the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council Individual Achievement Award and Governor’s Distinguished Manager Award, the highest recognition for a state government manager. WICSEC initiated him into its Presenter Hall of Fame in 2011, and he served as…

Jerry Goertz

Deep Creek Ranchette Water Association President Jerry Goertz has been awarded the 2021 Commitment to Excellence award for his work by the Washington state Department of Health. According to a news release, the award is in conjunction with national and state Drinking Water Week 2021, which runs May 2–8, and is meant to “recognize individual water systems and operators that do an outstanding job providing safe and reliable drinking water to their customers.”

Department of Health officials said award winners are nominated by their peers, customers, stakeholders or others in the industry. …

Department of Social and Health Services

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