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DSHS and DOC Partnership

April 27, 2018

By DOC Communications

portrait of anmarie aylward

Anmarie "Anna" Aylward (DOC Communications)

TUMWATER – Previous Department of Corrections Assistant Secretary of Community Corrections Anmarie “Anna” Aylward has joined the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) as of June 1, 2017.

Her new role as service alignment administrator allows her to improve services to individuals leaving state hospitals and state correctional facilities who are reentering local communities. The position additionally serves to bridge the services offered between corrections and DSHS.

Aylward is passionate about the roles she has had with assisting in the reentry process. “There are nothing but benefits to supporting the transition of previously incarcerated individuals back into their communities. We all benefit by having healthy communities.”

Aylward has over 30 years of state service and in-depth knowledge of correctional policies and procedures. She has served in leadership positions with prisons, reentry and community corrections. Aylward has also implemented statewide initiatives and led legislative changes to support correctional programs and services.

She served for 10 years as a correctional mental health unit supervisor in the sex offender treatment program at Monroe Correctional Complex, eventually serving as the statewide director of the program. Prior to becoming assistant secretary in 2009, Aylward administered a portfolio of programs specializing in the assessment, management, treatment, and transition of the department's high risk individuals.

As service alignment administrator, she attributes her success to ensuring information is shared completely between all parties. Aylward has started the process of developing a project charter intended to create an organized shared pathway between agencies to capture and support the work to which each agency is committed. The result is to align the results for improvement in service.

Although Aylward is thriving in her new role, she has found that moving to a new agency was challenging. The transition was eased by all the support she received from the staff in both of the state agencies. The staff “with their expertise and resolve to transform lives has made the difficult move smooth.”

She feels that the mission and vision of both DSHS and the Department of Corrections are very similarly aligned. DSHS focuses on ensuring people are healthy, safe and supported. Corrections ensures public safety. “There is so much each agency accomplishes separately, the possibility of merged resources and expertise really moves towards a shared vision of improved safety and lives for Washingtonians through better aligned services,” said Aylward.

Aylward feels lucky to have the opportunity and challenge of bridging the knowledge and assets of both agencies to improve services for everyone involved.