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DHS news release


Feb. 14, 2008


General contact: Patricia Feeny, 503-945-9073

Program contact: Robert Nikkel, 503-945-9708


New superintendent selected for Oregon State Hospital



SALEM – Roy J. Orr, former CEO of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Ore., has been selected as the new Oregon State Hospital superintendent, Oregon Department of Human Services Director Bruce Goldberg, M.D., announced today. Orr’s start date will be Feb. 25.


In his new role, Orr will guide the state’s multi-million-dollar psychiatric hospital replacement project, oversee improvements in patient care and operating systems within the hospital, and play a key role in the development of a new statewide continuum-of-care network for treating individuals with mental illness.


“I am extremely pleased that Mr. Orr has accepted this position,” said Goldberg. “He has a proven track record of successful hospital system management, and I am confident he will be able to achieve my goals for improved patient care within the hospital and for setting a new standard of excellence for mental health care throughout the state.”


As superintendent, Orr will be responsible for planning, developing and directing the clinical inpatient programs at OSH, which currently serves approximately 600 patients at its Salem and Portland locations.


“We are very excited to bring a person of Mr. Orr’s expertise in hospital management into this key leadership role,” said Bob Nikkel, DHS assistant director for addictions and mental health. “In particular, his background in occupational therapy gives him a full appreciation of our movement toward rehabilitation, recovery and evidence-based practices.”


Orr, who was selected after a five-month national search, is looking forward to the opportunity to lead improvements in patient care and conditions at the hospital.


“The challenges before the Oregon State Hospital are many and well-reported,” said Orr. “What may be less well-known is the resolve with which the state of Oregon, at all levels, has committed to becoming a national leader in providing effective, evidence-based mental health services. The Governor’s appointment of Judge Hargreaves to help oversee improvements at the state hospital is an indication of that level of commitment. I look forward to working with Judge Hargreaves and the managers and employees of the hospital to create a better future for our patients. I am honored to play a role in this important transformation.”


Orr brings more than 30 years of experience in a variety of acute care hospital settings throughout the country. Prior to his 15 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of McKenzie-Willamette, Orr helped lead St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, Texas; Bergan Mercy Medical Center in Omaha, Neb.; and Immanuel Medical Center, also in Omaha.


He has been a member of a number of boards including United Way of Lane County, McKenzie-Willamette Hospital Foundation, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Lane Metro Partnership, and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.


Orr is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds a Masters Degree from the McLaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco.