Topeka, Kan.—The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) is pleased to announce that Kari Bruffett, currently the Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), will become the Director of Policy at KHI on January 6, 2016. In this role, Bruffett will be a member of the senior leadership team, overseeing the organization’s broad portfolio of policy work. She also will lead KHI’s efforts related to health care financing, Medicaid, provider issues and access to care.
“We are delighted to have Kari join the Kansas Health Institute,” said Robert St. Peter, M.D., President and CEO of KHI. “As a respected and well-known expert in health policy, her role at KHI will allow her to continue her commitment to improving the health and well-being of people in our state.”
Bruffett was appointed Secretary of KDADS in May 2014, where she leads the $1.6 billion dollar agency with more than 2,600 employees. KDADS is responsible for overseeing and administering the state’s Older American’s Act programs, behavioral health programs, home and community based services for older adults and persons with disabilities, the management and oversight of four state hospitals, survey and certification for adult care homes, and the distribution of Medicaid long-term care payments.
She previously served as director of the Division of Health Care Finance at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), where she oversaw Medicaid, playing a key role in the development and launch of KanCare. The Division also includes program finance and informatics and the State Employee Health Plan.
Prior to working at KDHE, Bruffett spent eight years as Government Affairs Liaison for the University of Kansas Hospital, where she coordinated policy analysis and advocacy, represented the hospital and formed alliances with health care partners. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication-Journalism from Fort Hays State University.