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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gov. Inslee appoints interim leader for DSHS

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed an acting secretary for the Department of Social and Health Services while a national search begins for a permanent leader.

Head of DSHS announces resignation

The head of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services has announced his resignation after three years at the state’s biggest agency.

Lakeland Village provider’s license revoked after abuse

A care provider at Lakeland Village Nursing Facility had his credentials suspended after officials determined he put his foot on a resident’s forehead, pushed him down twice, rubbed hand sanitizer in his eyes and told the man that he wished he had died in a fire. The findings of abusive behavior against certified nursing assistant Gregory Koppang included a $1,000 fine by the state Department of Health. The allegations arose last year, and the ruling was finalized last month.

Lakeland Village gets reprieve

Federal officials have backed away from a threat to cut funding from Lakeland Village as a result of improvements responding to numerous violations. The Washington state Department of Social and Health Services on Thursday said that the federal government will maintain Medicaid funding for 83 residents under long-term care at Lakeland Village Nursing Facility in Medical Lake.

Lakeland Village Nursing Facility residents to lose Medicaid funding

The federal government plans to cut off Medicaid funding for 83 residents under long-term care at Lakeland Village Nursing Facility as of next Thursday. State officials said on Wednesday that they have been working for several years to recover from recession-caused staff cuts, which led to negative findings on subsequent federal inspections to the Medical Lake facility.

Foster parents decry flu vaccine requirement

A new Washington law is forcing foster care providers to make a choice: get a flu shot or stop caring for children younger than 2 years old. At least 50 foster parents in Eastern Washington already have told the state Department of Social and Health Services they would rather relinquish their licenses to care for infants and toddlers than be vaccinated for flu.

Family of Eastern State Hospital patient who died in 2013 files lawsuit

The family of a Tri-Cities man who died after being found bloody and unconscious on the floor of an Eastern State Hospital restroom in 2013 is suing. Misael Rodriguez, 43, was involuntarily committed for observation purposes in mid-August of that year and suffered the fatal injuries 11 days later in what his family members allege was an assault by another patient, according to a lawsuit filed in Spokane County Superior Court last week on behalf of the victim’s children. Rodriguez died Nov. 13, 2013, without regaining consciousness.

Deaconess Hospital shooter got gun back from police

The man who killed his wife and then himself at Deaconess Hospital on Tuesday had been evaluated by law enforcement as a potential suicide risk less than 24 hours earlier. Spokane Valley police officers cleared Christopher P. Henderson after determining he was not a threat to himself or others.

State settles with family of patient strangled at Eastern State Hospital

Washington state paid $500,000 to settle a lawsuit filed in the strangulation death of an Eastern State Hospital patient. Hospital staff found Duane Charley dead in his room on Nov. 20, 2012, after another patient, Amber Roberts, told a hospital employee that she had killed someone using a corded belt, according to court documents.

Washington drops funding for Life Skills training program

Betty Kellum dropped out of high school her senior year because she was pregnant and never went back. She worked fast-food jobs and spent four years as the in-home caregiver for her mother. After her mother died, she couldn’t find a job and applied for welfare. Along with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the state gave Kellum two options while she got her General Educational Development diploma: Look for part-time work or enroll in WorkFirst Life Skills, a state-sponsored, 12-week program at Spokane Community Colleges designed to help people improve their chances of getting a job by learning some basics of adult working life.

Spokane fugitive arrested in killing

A mentally ill felon from Spokane who has a history of threatening violence and escaping custody was arrested Tuesday in connection with the June killing of a Lake Stevens, Wash., woman, who was found bound with electrical cords and stabbed to death. Based on a DNA match linking him to the electrical cords, Snohomish County detectives have charged Anthony E. Garver, 25, with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of 20-year-old Phillipa S. Evans-Lopez, who was discovered dead June 17 inside her home.

Toddler’s death declared a homicide

The death of a toddler last week has been ruled a homicide. Rylee J. Castner, an 18-month-old boy, died March 31 of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Spokane County medical examiner.

Eastern State Hospital passes review

Eastern State Hospital has passed its latest review and will be recommended for reaccreditation by the The Joint Commission. A final decision on the Medical Lake psychiatric hospital could be made as early as next month, said John Wiley, spokesman for the Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the hospital.

Eastern State Hospital expects reaccreditation

An unsecured karaoke machine caused Eastern State Hospital to lose its accreditation last month, according to a report released by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. The suspension of the Medical Lake psychiatric hospital’s accreditation came a month after one patient strangled another patient in November. The report stemmed from a routine inspection of the hospital, but it took the homicide into account.

Hospital accreditation at risk

Eastern State Hospital’s accreditation has been suspended after a patient strangled another patient last month. The nation’s foremost medical accreditation organization, The Joint Commission, determined last week that the hospital for the mentally ill in Medical Lake allowed patients too much access to items that could be used for strangulation.

Abuse within foster families systemic, hurts

Second of two parts. In July 1996, two 9-year-old twin sisters and their 7-year-old brother were removed from the abusive home of their biological mother and placed in foster care.