DSHS Hosting Virtual Q&A to Discuss Proposed Forensic Hospital

The DSHS “Open House” will be held via Zoom on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 6:00 p.m.

LAKEWOOD, Wash. – The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will host a virtual open house event on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 6:00 p.m. (via Zoom) to review proposed changes to the Western State Hospital (WSH) campus. The most significant proposed change is the construction of a 350-bed forensic hospital.

“Many residents have strong feelings about this proposal. This is an opportunity to have your questions answered straight from the source. If you have questions, speak now – DSHS is listening.”
Jim Kopriva, Communications Manager

Lakewood residents have had a lot to say about the proposal, leaving many public comments on the WSH Master Plan website. Thursday’s event will be an opportunity for residents to ask direct questions to DSHS leaders.

The Western State Hospital Master Plan details proposed changes to the WSH campus. A new 350-bed forensic hospital would be built and the Child Study & Treatment Center would be expanded under the proposal.

This proposal is part of the state’s new behavioral health strategy that would transition civil patients to community care settings and prioritize forensic patients in state hospitals.

An in-person open house was held earlier this month. A video summarizing that event and answers to common questions may be found on the City of Lakewood’s Western State Hospital webpage.

This is a state project, authorized by the legislature and directed at the state level.

The City of Lakewood is a “lead agency” under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA). The City will review the proposal for environmental and community impacts. As problems are identified, the City may require adjustments to the plan or other mitigations.