Local News

Beleaguered psychiatric hospital director quits

Posted June 11, 2008 3:19 p.m. EDT
Updated June 11, 2008 11:09 p.m. EDT

— The director of the new Central Regional Hospital, who came under fire recently for commissioning a portrait of herself, submitted her resignation Wednesday.

Dr. Patsy Christian said she wants to pursue other assignments in the state Department of Health and Human Services.

When it opens in Butner, Central Regional will replace Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh and John Umstead Hospital in Butner. But the new facility has been plagued by staffing and safety issues that have forced DHHS officials to delay its opening four times in the past year.

Dr. Michael Lancaster has been appointed interim director of Central Regional while DHHS conducts a search for Christian's replacement. Lancaster is co-director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services.

Mike Hennike, former chief of State Operated Services, has been named associate director of Central Regional. Dr. Jim Osberg, chief of State Operated Services, has been named interim director of Dorothea Dix to allow hospital administrator Cliff Hood to focus on his role as assistant director at Central Regional, officials said.