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Patients and clients at Western State Hospital deserve quality care. As state nurses, this is what we fight for every day.

But years of continued budget cuts to our state’s behavioral-health system and a broken state revenue system constrain our ability to address the gaps.

Fixing Western State Hospital and bringing our facility back into compliance will only happen when we expand and build needed services in the community, stop the backlogs in and out of our hospital, and fully fund behavioral health.

Gov. Jay Inslee and legislative leaders have made this a priority from the start, and we need to keep going. The governor has been right there with us to fight for real solutions.

Western State Hospital can only work as well as the full system. We see the challenge ahead, and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves to keep going.

Barb Shelman, Roy, RN, Western State Hospital, and Jane Hopkins, Snohomish, RN, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW