Leadership Updates for State Healthcare Facilities

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Photo courtesy of the Wyoming Department of Health.

Wyo4News staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

January 4, 2023 — A permanent administrator has been named for the Wyoming State Hospital (WSH) in Evanston, while interim leadership is also planned for the Veterans’ Home of Wyoming (VHW) in Buffalo. Both facilities are operated by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

Kristi Barker has been chosen to lead the WSH staff on a permanent basis. Barker took over as interim WSH administrator in October following the retirement of Paul Mullenax. Barker has a master’s degree in health administration and has been with WSH for 19 years in various roles, most recently working as WSH business manager before taking on the interim administrator role.

“Kristi’s knowledge of the hospital and her dedication to its mission are admirable. Her familiarity, dedication, and drive will serve Wyoming’s residents well in an ever-changing behavioral health system,” said Matt Petry, Behavioral Health Division senior administrator with WDH.

Stefan Johansson, WDH director, is also thanking Bruce Allison for his time leading the Veteran’s Home of Wyoming. Allison recently submitted his resignation as facility administrator, effective in early February. “Bruce led our staff in Buffalo during an important time of change as we constructed our new and recently opened skilled nursing community to expand the care we can offer to Wyoming’s veterans,” Johansson said.

Plans for interim and long-term VHW leadership are in the works. WSH, part of the WDH Behavioral Health Division, is Wyoming’s only state-operated psychiatric hospital and has been providing mental health services in Evanston for state residents since 1887.

Operating in Buffalo since 1903 to serve Wyoming veterans, VHW, part of the WDH Aging Division, offers domiciliary care, which is similar to assisted living care, as well as skilled nursing care, which is widely known as nursing home care.