Topeka, Kansas — The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) Board of Directors announced today that Kari Bruffett has been selected as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Her appointment to this new role is effective May 16.
Bruffett currently serves as KHI’s Vice President for Policy. She succeeds Robert F. St. Peter, M.D., who announced in October that he would be stepping down in May after 24 years as President and CEO.
“Kari is a proven leader and an expert in national and state health policy. During her time at KHI she has advanced efforts to support effective policymaking through new and enhanced services to policymakers, while continuing to ensure high-quality, unbiased research and analysis,” said David Graham, M.D., Chair of the KHI Board of Directors. “After a national search on behalf of the organization, the Board of Directors is very excited to make this announcement. I look forward to working with Kari as she transitions to her new role as CEO and as she builds on KHI’s remarkable reputation.”
Bruffett joined KHI in 2016 and has served as the Vice President for Policy since 2018.
“At KHI, Kari’s organizational leadership and knowledge of the policy issues have been vital to our efforts to improve the health of Kansans. I am grateful for Kari’s commitment to our mission and for the thoughtful, strategic approach she takes with stakeholder relations and business opportunities. I congratulate Kari on this appointment and know the organization will thrive with her at the helm,” said St. Peter.
Prior to KHI, Bruffett held executive leadership roles in the health and human services sector of state government. She served as Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and as the Director of the Division of Health Care Finance at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She also served eight years in government affairs at The University of Kansas Hospital, and four years in Washington, D.C., as a congressional staffer. Kari currently serves on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services on health care challenges in rural America.
“I am fortunate to work alongside the team at KHI and to collaborate with our partners and stakeholders. KHI has a long history of excellence in supporting effective policymaking and providing services that help build capacity within public health,” said Bruffett. “I appreciate the leadership and support the Board of Directors provides to the organization, and I am excited to continue this important work together.”