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Colorado says new leader for state hospital coming soon

Author: Erin Prater - February 13, 2018 - Updated: February 13, 2018

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A guard is reflected in a security mirror in the hallway at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. (Helen H. Davis/ Denver Post File)

PUEBLO — The Colorado Department of Human Services says a new superintendent will soon be joining the state’s mental health hospital.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported Sunday that the department has been looking for a new leader for the Colorado Mental Health Institute since former Superintendent Ron Hale resigned last June when the hospital was in danger of losing federal Medicare and Medicaid funds because of a chronic shortage in direct-care staff such as nurses.

The department hired a consulting “headhunter” to help it with the difficult search to bring in a new top administrator.

The department’s Executive Director Reggie Bicha says the recruitment process was difficult because candidates can get better pay working in the private sector.

Longtime-administrator Teresa Bernal has been serving as interim chief while the search was ongoing.

Erin Prater

Erin Prater

Erin Prater is Colorado Politics' digital editor. She is a multimedia journalist with 15 years of experience writing, editing and designing for newspapers, magazines, websites and publishing houses. Her previous positions include military reporter at The Gazette, general assignment reporter at The Huerfano County (Colo.) World, copy editor at David C. Cook publishing house and adjunct mass communication instructor at Pueblo Community College. Her bylines include The New York Times Upfront, The Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Military Spouse magazine and Omaha Magazine (Omaha, Neb.). Her syndicated bylines include The Denver Post, MSNBC.com, Military.com and wire services.