OLYMPIA, Wash. — The woman who has been trying to keep Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital from failing has been appointed to run the state Department of Social and Health Services.

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday that Cheryl Strange will replace acting DSHS secretary Bill Moss beginning Sept. 18.

Pat Lashway and then Moss were appointed after the former secretary, Kevin Quigley, resigned in January 2016 amid growing problems with the agency, which cares for the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Strange took over as CEO of Western State Hospital last year as federal regulators threatened to strip its funding over safety violations.

Inslee says Strange brings the “strategic management skills” needed to run the social services agency.

He says a search is underway for a new CEO for the psychiatric hospital.

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