Shawn Sullivan, secretary for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), grew up with an appreciation of healthcare.
He delivered 100 percent support for Larned State Hospital employees and staff during a recent 100th anniversary celebration. He said Larned State Hospital is a vital western Kansas cog for the $1.6 billion KDADS state agency.
There is a lot to like about Sullivan, who is engaging and personable.
The 37-year-old native of Rose Hill is the son of a registered nurse who worked as a certified nurse’s aide through high school and college at Kansas State University.
Sullivan worked at the Kansas Masonic Home in Wichita and has experience at skilled-nursing homes and assisted-living centers in Atwood, Lyons, Newton. He was honored three times by the Kansas Department on Aging for instituting non-traditional models of care.
Sullivan said working at different nursing homes has given him insight to “the difference that the quality of leadership could make.”
It’s clear that the selection of Sullivan as secretary by Sam Brownback is one of the governor’s most inspired selections. Sullivan earned degrees in business administration and gerontology from Kansas State and a master’s degree in gerontology from the University of North Texas.
“He’s one of the most innovative leaders in the aging industry in the state of Kansas,” said Brownback when he appointed Sullivan.
KDADS is responsible for promoting the security, dignity and independence of older adults and persons with disabilities.
He also played an integral part in the development of KanCare, which is Brownback’s Medicaid reform plan implemented in January 2013. KanCare provides integrated and coordinated care for the 350,000 Kansans served by Medicaid programs.
KDADS is responsible for overseeing and administering the state’s Older American’s Act programs, behavioral health programs, home and community based services for older adults and persons with disabilities, the management and oversight of five state hospitals, survey and certification for adult care homes and the distribution of Medicaid long-term care payments.