State hospital hires new medical chief

From the Salem Statesman Journal, September 18 2009

Oregon State Hospital has hired a new chief medical officer, filling a key position that had been vacant for almost two years.

Dr. Mark Diamond comes to Oregon from Colorado, where he practiced psychiatry in both private and government sectors, including mental health institutions and corrections facilities.

Diamond, 54, succeeds Dr. Marvin Fickle, who stepped down from his dual role as hospital superintendent and chief medical officer in October 2007.

“Dr. Diamond brings both the clinical expertise and the leadership skills we need to ensure the hospital continues to move forward successfully as we implement a new model of treatment now and in the replacement hospitals,” OSH Superintendent Roy Orr said.

New psychiatric facilities are planned to be built in Salem and Junction City, opening in 2010 and in 2013, respectively. Budgeted costs for the two hospitals total $458 million.

Spurred by a federal investigation into possible violations of patients’ civil rights, the state has made a concerted push to improve care and conditions at the existing psychiatric facility in central Salem.

“With its movement toward centralized care and focus on recovery, I believe Oregon’s mental health system is one of the most progressive in the country, Diamond said. “The CMO position affords the ideal opportunity to be part of a care system that is driven by patient need and a plan of continuous improvement to meet those needs.”

As chief medical officer, Diamond’s base pay is $20,000 per month, or $240,000 annually.

READ – Resume for Mark Diamond, DO