updated 1/7/2011 2:46:15 PM ET 2011-01-07T19:46:15

Wichita, Kan., Jan. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kansas Masonic Home Executive Director 

to lead Kansas Department on Aging

KMH board of directors launches search for new executive director

WICHITA, Kan., Jan. 7, 2011 - Kansas Masonic Home (KMH) executive director Shawn Sullivan has been named Secretary for the  Kansas Department on Aging  (KDOA) by Governor-elect Sam Brownback, and will officially resign his KMH position this month. The Kansas Senate is expected to approve his appointment in January.

The KMH board of directors will begin an active search for a new executive director immediately, looking for a senior living expert who will embrace the new vision, philosophy and projects launched under Sullivan’s leadership.

"We congratulate Shawn, who has led remarkable change at the historic Kansas Masonic Home these past three years," says  KMH board  president T. Michael Fegen. "We know he will do a tremendous job for our state and our elders as Secretary.  We will continue the innovation he has inspired at KMH and are very grateful for all he has done here."

Sullivan’s leadership led to Kansas Masonic Home earning the KDOA’s prestigious  PEAK  (Promoting Excellent Alternatives in Kansas Nursing Homes) award last July.The PEAK award is given to Kansas nursing homes that demonstrate a high level of achievement in moving away from the institutional model of care to one that allows residents to have more choice and control over their activities and schedules.

Kansas Masonic Home  has benefitted from physical upgrades, technology investment and a service focused approach during Sullivan’s tenure. Among other initiatives, residents and visitors now enjoy wellness services, art exhibits, concierge services and greatly expanded dining options, including chef prepared meals and room service.

Now, the former "nursing home" part of KMH (in addition to assisted and independent living suites) is undergoing a life-changing transformation - from an institutional model to a "household model," where residents will enter their own front door and reside in "houses" within the existing structure.

Inside, each home will feature residential furniture and décor, private places such as a library and den, family space, and a lifestyle that provides residents a high level of privacy, community and choice. Each household will be home to a small number of residents and the number of private rooms will be substantially increased.  The upcoming project will also feature the addition of memory care households in the assisted living community.  The $14 million campus-wide construction project is expected to begin in June.

"The whole idea," says KMH director of marketing Jill Laffoon, "is to create an environment where people literally feel at home, yet with the care they need always close by."

KMH is working with Action Pact Development president Steve Shields on the ambitious transformation.  Shields is an international leader in the creation of the household model and provides consulting and education to providers on the model and its application.

Sullivan brought many years experience to Kansas Masonic Home, and now to the state of Kansas. He is a visible and committed presence in the local and national senior living industry and a member of the  Kansas Homes and Services  (KAHSA) board of directors and  Masonic Communities and Services Association (MCSA)  board of directors. He also serves as an  American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging ( AAHSA ) House of Delegates member, and is president of the Downtown Wichita Kiwanis Club.

Sullivan was formerly the executive director of Presbyterian Manor in Newton, Kan., where he led a successful campaign to renovate the health care center to households, as KMH is poised to do. He also has experience in rural Kansas, having served as the administrator of Atwood Good Samaritan Center and Lyons Good Samaritan Center.

# # #

CONTACT: Contact:  Jill Laffoon, Kansas Masonic Home Director of Marketing
         
         W 316.269.7777  M: 316.213.8789  jlaffoon@ksmasonic.org

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