DSHS names behavioral health official

Carla Reyes has been named the new assistant secretary for the Department of Social and Health Services’ Behavioral Health Administration.

A long-time DSHS employee, Reyes is known for her leadership, management and organizational skills. She has served as acting assistant secretary since August. Reyes served with the Economic Services Administration’s Community Services Division as Chief of Programs and Policy, Regional Administrator and other duties throughout her career.

Most recently, Reyes served as Executive Director of Planning and Performance, leading DSHS-wide strategic planning and Gov. Jay Inslee’s Results Washington DSHS initiatives. In this capacity Reyes also led the work to develop and implement DSHS’ plan to respond to the Trueblood federal court decision for behavioral health.

“Carla has served masterfully in that role on an acting basis and I am grateful and relieved that she has agreed to officially accept this role,” said DSHS Secretary Kevin W. Quigley, in announcing the appointment.

“Our behavioral health system is tremendously challenged right now,” Reyes said. “Workforce challenges and lack of capacity continue to plague us across the continuum of care. I am committed to adding my skills to those of the dedicated teammates at the Behavioral Health Administration. We will work together to transform lives through a more connected system of quality care and a safer environment for staff and patients in our state psychiatric hospitals.”

“Our state’s behavioral health system and its many partners face tremendous challenges and I am convinced that Carla’s leadership will bring about the fresh perspective needed to effectively restructure the system,” added Quigley. “She has already undertaken steps within our state psychiatric hospitals to improve the quality of care and increase safety for staff and patients. This is only the beginning of what she will bring to this effort.”

DSHS mobile services serve the San Juan Islands. Check the Journal for updates.