The Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association (WPSHA) evolved as an ad hoc committee to WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) as there was seen a need by directors and superintendents of state psychiatric hospitals for a forum in which to discuss mutual objectives and techniques for conducting the care and treatment of the mentally ill.
In September 1989, the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association met in San Francisco. Approval of the bylaws was accomplished and officers were elected. It was determined that membership would be available to WPSHA for all directors and superintendents of psychiatric state hospitals of the fifteen WICHE member and affiliated states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming).
WPSHA has provided a model for Regional State Hospital Associations organized by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD). WPSHA’s efforts to compare performance measures among member hospitals also provided a model for the development of a national performance measurement system for state psychiatric hospitals to meet JCAHO’s ORYX requirements. WPSHA conferences are designed to provide an opportunity for participating hospitals to learn from others and to discuss effective approaches for addressing common problems.
The Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association is committed to ensuring that effective, state-of-the-art mental health treatment and rehabilitation services are provided to the citizens served by publicly operated hospitals.
The Western Psychiatric State Hospital Association will serve as a model for regional collaboration, continuing to provide a forum both for the education of the executive management of state psychiatric hospitals and participation in the national debate on issues relevant to public hospital services.
Provide input as an organization in national policy development regarding standards of care, i.e., to federal regulators and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Share innovative approaches to treatment provision and hospital management through staff development activities within the region, presentations at the annual Association conference, and the publication of position papers.
Participation in joint research and surveys to continuously improve services.
Act as a resource, sharing expertise and responding to individual hospital needs.