Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Interim Secretary Tim Keck today appointed Bill Rein to be Superintendent of Larned State Hospital (LSH).
Rein previously served as the agency’s chief counsel and most recently has been KDADS’ Commissioner of Behavioral Health Services, a position which includes oversight of hospital operations as well as administration of the state’s behavioral health programs. A graduate of Washburn University School of Law, Rein established a private practice at Larned with an emphasis on mental health, criminal, juvenile and family law. Rein drafted the state’s comprehensive mental health reform legislation in 1985 and 1990 while working for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS). He supervised state hospital attorneys at SRS from 1984 to 1987.
“The state would be hard-pressed to find anyone more qualified to take the reins on a permanent basis at Larned State Hospital than Bill Rein. He has been working with and for the hospital over the past 30 years. He knows its weaknesses and its strengths, and is universally respected for his administrative and collaborative skills,” Secretary Keck said. “No one in Kansas knows more about our state’s mental health systems’ history and institutions. Bill is the right person at the right time for the challenges facing Larned State Hospital.”
Rein spent his childhood in Ellinwood and is a graduate of Stafford High School and Hutchinson Community College.
“My life began in Central Kansas,” Rein said. “I am very fortunate to have had two home communities in Kansas. My career in healthcare law, regulation and management has included work with behavioral health, acute care, and long-term care services for SRS, KDHE, KDADS, the Board of Pharmacy and the Kansas Department on Aging. I will use that experience to work with the staff of LSH, the Larned community, and every other community and type of service that touches the lives of persons with behavioral health needs in Central and Western Kansas. I deeply appreciate the many dedicated employees of Larned State Hospital, the Larned community, the network of community mental health centers, the courts, the law enforcement agencies and others who work to protect the behavioral health needs of Kansas citizens every day.”
His connection to Larned and its surrounding counties began when he worked for the Skelly Pipeline Company during the four summers of his college years. In fact, it was the Skelly foreman in Larned who helped him find his first job after law school.
Rein will take over from LSH Interim Superintendent Chris Mattingly, who was brought on board in April, 2016, to focus on long-standing staffing and other challenges at the hospital.
“I want to thank Chris Mattingly for all he has done at Larned State Hospital. His administrative expertise has been a great asset and he has helped us identify and tackle some of the most pressing concerns on the Larned campus,” Secretary Keck said.
Mattingly said, “It has been an honor to serve as Interim Superintendent, and I sincerely wish everyone all the best in their continued commitment of service to the patients and residents of LSH. This has been a positive team effort between LSH staff and KDADS, and it has been great to be part of it.”