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DHS news release

March 15, 2004

Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738
Program contact: Bob Nikkel (503) 945-9704

Forensic psychiatrist named superintendent and chief medical officer at Oregon State Hospital


A forensic psychiatrist with seven years' experience in Oregon's state hospital system was named today by Gary Weeks, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), to be superintendent and chief medical officer of Oregon State Hospital, effective April 26.

He is Marvin Fickle, M.D., 54, of Lake Oswego, who since 1999 has been chief psychiatrist for the Oregon Department of Corrections.

"I am pleased that Dr. Fickle has agreed to accept the responsibility for Oregon State Hospital. He has a proven track record of medical expertise, administrative accomplishment and leadership ability," said Bob Nikkel, administrator of the Office of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Oregon Department of Human Services.

"Dr. Fickle brings a clear vision of how to move the traditional state hospital into the 21st century. He will provide leadership to increase communication within the state hospital and collaboration with its natural partners in the community. He brings a deep personal commitment to patients and families in need of high-quality state services."

Fickle, who will be responsible for the state hospital's campuses in Salem and Portland, has overseen clinical operations of a 42-bed psychiatric unit at maximum-security Oregon State Penitentiary and provided professional oversight and direction to medical practitioners at seven other correctional institutions across the state.

Oregon State Hospital has about 700 patients and about 1,200 employees. Maynard Hammer, who has served as interim superintendent for the past several months, will return to a key administrative post at the hospital.

Before joining Corrections, Fickle was chief medical officer at Oregon State Hospital for five years. He also oversaw the initial stage of merging Oregon State Hospital with Dammasch State Hospital in Wilsonville, which closed in 1995, and was chief medical Officer at Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center in Pendleton, 1992-94. He is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University.

Fickle earned his medical degree from the University of Southern California in 1977, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972. He is Board-certified in general psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and child psychiatry.