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Health

Interim Superintendent Named At Larned State Hospital

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A health care consultant with experience in hospital turnarounds will take over the top job at Larned State Hospital for the next six months. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services announced Wednesday that Chris Mattingly will serve as interim superintendent of the facility.

The announcement comes on the heels of the resignation of former superintendent for the hospital Tom Kinlen. Larned faces ongoing challenges in hiring and retaining staff; earlier this year, internal reports found that employees racked up significant overtime hours.

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Chris Mattingly.

Tim Keck, interim secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services says the search for a permanent superintendent will continue.

Larned has a mix of involuntary psychiatric patients, people committed while they are involved in legal proceedings, and sexually violent predators being treated after serving a prison sentence. This week, the state began transferring about 60 inmates from the hospital’s special units to a correctional facility on the same campus to address staffing shortages.

State hospitals have been a hot topic during this legislative session, with lawmakers keeping an eye on proposals to privatize the facilities. A separate state hospital in Osawatomie, Kansas, lost its federal certification in December because of staffing and safety concerns.

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Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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