As Secretary for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Shawn Sullivan heads a $1.67 billion state agency. He gladly embraces the responsibility of promoting the security, dignity and independence of older adults and persons with disabilities.
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is the state’s second largest cabinet level agency, employing 2,650 people. KDADS is responsible for overseeing and administering Older American’s Act programs, the distribution of Medicaid long-term care payments, survey and certification for adult care homes, behavioral health programs, home and community based services for older adults and persons with disabilities and the management and oversight of five state hospitals.
Secretary Sullivan was appointed by Governor Sam Brownback in January 2011 to head the Kansas Department on Aging (KDOA). He led KDOA through one of the largest executive reorganizations in state history. On July 1, KDOA became KDADS.
He also played an integral part in the development of KanCare, which is Governor Brownback’s Medicaid reform plan that will be implemented in January 2013. KanCare will provide integrated and coordinated care for the 383,000 Kansans currently served by Medicaid programs.
Prior to his appointment, Secretary Sullivan served Kansas in various roles related to aging and health care delivery services. His experience spans two decades. He was the administrator and executive director of four different aging service providers in Atwood, Lyons, Newton and Wichita. Three communities he led were recognized by the Kansas Department on Aging as PEAK award winners for their efforts in culture change and person-centered care. The Secretary helped lead the way in transforming senior-living communities from traditional institutions to residential homes where elders make decisions about their own lives.
Secretary Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in gerontology from the University of North Texas. He has been an active member in advocacy groups and has served on various boards on both the state and national levels.
Secretary Sullivan is a native of Rose Hill, Kansas. He and his wife Jenny have four children — Drew, Grace, Brooke and Claire.