Parsons State Hospital and Training Center Superintendent Rea to Retire September 8; Interim Superintendent Named

For Immediate Release

September 1, 2017

For more information contact:
Angela de Rocha
Director of Communications
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

TOPEKA – Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck today appointed Dr. Mike Dixon to serve as Interim Superintendent of Parsons State Hospital and Training Center when current Superintendent Dr. Jerry Rea retires from the hospital September 8.

Dr. Rea has served as superintendent at the Parsons facility since 2004, having begun his professional career there in 1982. He also serves as an assistant research professor at the University of Kansas’ Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies.

Dr. Dixon has been Director of Psychology at Parsons since 2005. In addition, he has served as Chief Forensic Psychologist at Larned State Hospital since 2015 and has been Program Director for the Sexual Predator Treatment Program at Larned since 2016. He first joined Parsons State Hospital and Training Center in 1987, and has held a variety of positions there. Dr. Dixon holds a Ph.D. from Wichita State University in Community Clinical Psychology, and is a licensed psychologist.

“The State of Kansas is very grateful for Dr. Jerry Rea’s long, distinguished service to Parsons State Hospital and the patients who are cared for there. His commitment to our patients has been unwavering, his scholarship and research exceptional, and I am sorry to see him leave,” Secretary Keck said. “We wish him the all the best in the next phase of his life.”

“I am very pleased that Dr. Dixon has agreed to serve as interim superintendent at Parsons. He has the clinical experience and administrative skills to take over the reins at the facility and ensure the continued first-class care, treatment and training of the patients,” Secretary Keck said.

Secretary Keck said the agency will begin the process of identifying candidates to serve as permanent superintendent for Parsons immediately.

Parsons State Hospital first opened in 1903 as the State Hospital for Epileptics. In 1957 the facility was renamed the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center and began providing programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. The hospital, which occupies 43 buildings on 163 acres in Parsons, Labette County, Kansas, currently serves approximately 170 residents.