Dorothy Sawyer is named CEO of Fairfax Behavioral Health and Providence Health Care

click to enlarge An architectural rendering of the new behavioral health hospital, to open in 2018.
An architectural rendering of the new behavioral health hospital, to open in 2018.

After wrapping up her tenure as CEO of Eastern State Hospital, Dorothy L. Sawyer has taken a new job as CEO of a 100-bed psychiatric hospital currently being built in Spokane.

"We're incredibly excited about having her," Fairfax CEO Ron Escarda says. "She's got just a tremendous breadth of experience."

Sawyer, who led Eastern State from August 2013 until the end of March of this year, earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Eastern Washington University. She worked as a nurse in the Spokane area before holding CEO positions at two Arizona hospitals and then returned to the area for the Eastern State job.

"At a time when demand for behavioral health services is growing, it's rewarding to be a part of such important work to expand access to behavioral health services for our community," Sawyer says in a news release about her hiring.

The hospital, a joint effort by Fairfax Behavioral Health and Providence Health Care, is slated to open this fall and will significantly add to the number of mental health beds available in the area.

Located on the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center campus at Fifth Avenue and Browne Street, the new building will serve adults and children with behavioral health needs, offering outpatient and short-term inpatient services. It will be able to serve involuntary inpatients from Eastern Washington and offer short-term crisis stabilization, Escarda says.

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About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...