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DHS news release

Nov. 7, 2006

Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738
Program contact: Bob Nikkel 503-945-9708

Pendleton superintendent assigned to help Oregon State Hospital

Robert Furlow, superintendent of Blue Mountain Recovery Center in Pendleton, has been temporarily reassigned to assist Oregon State Hospital administrative staff.

Bob Nikkel, Oregon Department of Human Services assistant director for addictions and mental health, said Furlow would help the State Hospital deal with increased workload issues and meet budget targets. "Bob Furlow is an experienced, high-energy administrator whose expertise will be a great help to the State Hospital staff," he said.

Before joining DHS last year as superintendent in Pendleton, Furlow was director and deputy director of 300-employee Douglas County Health and Social Services Department for 15 years, including serving as the county mental health director.

Furlow will return to the Pendleton job when his State Hospital work is complete, presumably by late this year or early next, Nikkel said. The Pendleton hospital's director of nursing services, Kerry Kelly, will serve as acting superintendent until Furlow's return, he said, and nurse manager Virginia Romine will serve as acting director of nursing services. Kelly, at the Pendleton hospital since February 2000, has been nursing director there for five years.

DHS operates psychiatric hospitals in Salem, Portland and Pendleton.