Heads roll, leadership of Alaska Psychiatric Institute fired



Following a report about worker safety at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson has fired one of her two deputy commissioners.

Deputy Commissioner Karen Forrest, who oversees the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health, and the division’s Director Randall Burns, along with Alaska Psychiatric Institute CEO Ron Hale have all been fired.

Davidson has appointed Monique Martin, as acting deputy of Family, Community, and Integrated Services. She has served as a health policy adviser to the department. Before coming to work for the Walker Administration, she was a government relations specialist for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

Monique Martin

Gennifer Moreau-Johnson is acting director of the Division of Behavioral Health.

Gennifer Moreau-Johnson

Duane Mayes is the new CEO of Alaska Psychiatric Institute. He was the director of the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services.

Duane Mayes

Deb Etheridge is the new acting director of the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services.

Deb Etheridge

“I have asked each of these individuals to help our department develop a clear path forward during this time of change,” Davidson wrote in a memo to the staff of DHSS.

The upheaval comes just weeks before the general election, and is a crisis not unlike the National Guard “scandal” that beset the Parnell Administration in the weeks leading up to the 2014 election.

But this time, the media is unlikely to latch on to the lapses of leadership, as they did when Parnell was attempting to correct a culture of behavioral problems at the Alaska National Guard.

A critic of the process asked why Commissioner Davidson has not submitted her resignation. There’s no evidence that during such critical election timeframe, when he desperately needs the support of Alaska Natives, that he will be demanding she step down.

[Read the report here.]

API safety report: Staff so fearful they don’t respond to ‘codes’



  1. Leadership starts at the top Davidson getting a pass from Walkie Talkie again proves Talkie is all about himself not the Good of Alaskans.

  2. I believe the reporters are simply reporting what they have been officially told, whereas Must Read Alaska is leaping to the small conclusion that they were fired, because it’s just more credible. -sd

  3. A commissioner of one of the largest state departments, or any state department, cannot live in Bethel and do justice to the organization. BUT she can and does do fundraisers at her home for Walker-Mallot, and the next one is coming right up as anyone can see on the Walker campaign Facebook page. Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent by this department, and millions of those are wasted; no oversight, liberals running wild, commissioner picking berries in Bethel. Petroleum revenues allowed Alaska to grow a government so huge that it now is an anchor holding back our economy, and this department is easily one of the best examples of that. But insiders will tell you that the Walker cabinet is very much like children play at management, and right now, with the administration being a lame duck it’s everyone trading for their own account. If you want your state back you will do something positive for the Dunleavy campaign today and every day until November 6!

  4. Who cares — Fired or Resigned……..
    All these folks are V Davidson’s people, she is the Commissioner and she needs to hit the road.

    This is a nuclear bomb for API — Davidson is the ultimate boss and is 100% responsible for the outcome.

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