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Interim Superintendent Named For Larned State Hospital

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

A health care consultant who lists experience with hospital turnarounds will take over the top job at Larned State Hospital for the next six months.

Tim Keck, interim secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, announced Wednesday that he had appointed Chris Mattingly to serve as interim superintendent.

Tom Kinlen, who had been Larned’s superintendent since 2012, resigned in March, and Bill Rein, who is KDADS commissioner of behavioral health services, served in an interim capacity until Mattingly was appointed this week.

Keck emphasized that KDADS will continue searching for a permanent superintendent and said in a news release that he expected Mattingly’s tenure to last about six months.

“We believe he will be a great asset to Larned State Hospital and assist us in addressing the most pressing concerns there,” Keck said. “Chris will build on the work that Commissioner Rein has done at the hospital and move us forward.”

Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for KDADS, said the department expects Mattingly’s experience will prove helpful in addressing long-standing staffing challenges at the hospital.

Larned is in a rural area and has a mix of involuntary psychiatric patients, people committed who are involved with the legal system and sexually violent predators being treated after serving a prison sentence. A recent audit found its sexual predator treatment program near capacity.

KDADS began transferring about 60 inmates from the hospital’s special units to a correctional facility on the same campus this week to address staffing shortages at the hospital.

Mattingly has worked as an independent health care consultant since 2006, mostly taking on interim roles, according to a resume provided by KDADS.

Some of his previous roles included interim CEO at the SandyPines residential mental health facility in Florida, where he listed accomplishments that included starting a physician recruitment process; interim director of accounting at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado; and interim CEO of NeuroPsychiatric Hospital in Indianapolis.

He also listed reducing workforces at several hospitals and in one case bringing more employees in-house to reduce the cost of contracts.

The other state mental hospital, in Osawatomie, lost its federal certification in December because of staffing and safety concerns.

The state hospitals have been a hot topic during the current legislative session, with lawmakers keeping an eye on proposals to privatize the facilities.

Megan Hart is a reporter for KHI News Service in Topeka, a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team. You can reach her on Twitter @meganhartMC

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