DSHS officially names recently acquired Tukwila behavioral health hospital

Monday, August 28, 2023
DSHS Office of Communications
Tyler Hemstreet
tyler.hemstreet@dshs.wa.gov
(564) 201–0027

Just weeks after acquiring the former Cascade Behavioral Health hospital in Tukwila, which closed and ceased operations earlier this year, the Department of Social and Health Services has given the facility a new name.

After a few days of employee voting, Olympic Heritage Behavioral Health garnered more than half of the 700 votes cast by Behavioral Health Administration employees.

“I want to thank our dedicated BHA staff not only for choosing the name, but for continuing to care for our very complex patients with respect and dignity,” DSHS Secretary Jilma Meneses said. “The staff serving at our state hospitals are special human beings; they return every day despite the challenges that come with caring and treating people who usually have severe disorders. Not just anyone can do their work, so we must recognize our employees for their extraordinary servant leadership.”

The Tukwila property is located near the Olympic National Park with its incredible range of precipitation and elevation. Encompassing nearly a million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness, thousands of years of human history and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests and more than 70 miles of wild coastline. Perhaps most symbolically, the park is a serene, natural splendor emblematic of the region, with diversity as the hallmark.

While multiple projects to add bed capacity for committed patients are in the process of being developed and opened throughout the state, the opportunity for DSHS to acquire this property in the state’s most populous county presented an opportunity the department needed to embrace, Meneses said.

“This is a vital step in our commitment to examining a wide range of options to help us positively impact the needs of people awaiting behavioral health treatment,” the secretary said.

The new facility will provide space for patients from Western and Eastern State hospitals, which are over capacity.

DSHS employees and community members will likely begin seeing the name Olympic Heritage Behavioral Health in more communications materials in the coming weeks and months.

“We are excited to provide these additional beds and welcome new faces to our team who will care for our patients at Olympic Heritage Behavioral Health,” Meneses said. “Although there is still much work to be done before we are ready to officially open the doors, this announcement is an important first step as we work to create a lasting and impactful footprint in King County.”

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