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May 21, 2012
TOPEKA Christopher Burke resigned today after less than a year as superintendent of Larned State Hospital, officials at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services said Monday. His resignation comes amid renewed concerns over long-standing problems at the hospital.
“I would like to thank Chris Burke, who is leaving to pursue other career opportunities, for his service to the hospital and to the state,” SRS Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said in an email statement.
Burke had been at the hospital since 2005. He was appointed superintendent in September.
An April report by accreditation inspectors underscored the severity of what has been a longstanding problem at the mental health hospital: the inability to hire and retain adequate numbers of doctors, nurses and other key personnel
Earlier this month, SRS announced a plan for correcting 14 of the 30 deficiencies cited in the report.
Thomas Kinlen has been named interim superintendent, effective immediately. He has served as director of psychology at Larned since September 2008. Kinlen has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and is the author of numerous articles in professional journals regarding forensics and psychology.
“We are fortunate that Thomas Kinlen was on board and able to step in, on an interim basis, while we conduct a nationwide search for a new permanent superintendent,” Gilmore said in the announcement. “His credentials are impeccable and he has been on staff at Larned State Hospital since 2003, so he is familiar with our personnel and our challenges.”
Watch this space for more on this story as details become available.
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