Olympia, Feb. 3 — Gov. Jay Inslee Tuesday announced he is appointing Patricia Lashway, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Social and Health Services’ Services and Enterprise Support Administration, to serve as Acting Secretary of the 17,500-employee agency.
The Department provides assistance to 2.5 million of Washington residents providing behavioral health and developmental disability services, aging and long-term care and child and family support, juvenile rehabilitation, and food and cash assistance.
Outgoing Secretary Kevin W. Quigley, who has served as DSHS Secretary since Inslee took office in 2013, announced his resignation January 5 and will depart the agency on Feb. 22. Lashway’s appointment will begin Feb. 23.
In her current position, Lashway is responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. Prior to that, she was the DSHS Senior Director of Policy and External Relations where she oversaw strategic development, legislative and policy initiatives.
Her career with DSHS began in 1988 at what was then the Aging and Disability Services Administration, where she served for almost nine years as the Director of Residential Care Services.
Her team was responsible for developing a nationally recognized statewide complaint resolution and investigation unit that provided the foundation to serve all long-term care consumers in the state and their families.
Prior to state service Lashway worked in the legal field and has spent her career, including overseas duty as a Peace Corps volunteer.
“This is a critical time for the Department, especially with the challenges surrounding mental health services, and I’m confident our team, with the support of the governor and legislature, will ensure we provide the critical services to those who need them,” said Lashway. “I look forward to this assignment and appreciate the confidence by both the governor and my colleagues.”
Lashway received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, a juris doctorate from Seattle University and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.
A national executive search will begin next week for a new DSHS Secretary.