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KVC Hospitals Strengthens Senior Leadership Team to Expand Children’s Psychiatric Treatment in KS & MO

KVC Hospitals Strengthens Senior Leadership to Expand Children's Psychiatric Treatment in KS and MO

Responding to increasing demand for acute psychiatric treatment for children and adolescents, KVC Hospitals has strengthened its senior leadership team. The changes made enable KVC to replicate its unique, effective treatment model at its new Wichita, KS hospital opening in 2019 as well as merging with sister subsidiary, Niles, bringing it under KVC Hospitals’ system of care.

Ryan Speier, LMSW, President at KVC Hospitals, announced changes for three Hospitals leaders:

Astra Garner

Astra Garner, LPC, LCPC, RPT, is now Vice President for Clinical Advancement. Garner has been with KVC for 9 years, most recently as President of Niles. She brings strong clinical knowledge and expertise into our network of care and is excited to lead these initiatives that will span to each KVC Hospitals location. The leadership that Garner has displayed at Niles over the past two years has been integral to its revitalization and will be used in leading all clinical operations.

Bobby Eklofe

Robert (Bobby) Eklofe, MHSA, is now Vice President of Behavioral Health Operations. Eklofe has been with KVC for 29 years and fosters a culture focused on customer care and achieving targets for safety, risk, quality assurance, and cost control optimized operations.

James Roberson

James Roberson, LMSW, is now Vice President of Programs and Innovation. Roberson has been with KVC for 14 years and oversees inpatient and residential programming, performance improvement, and implementation of evidence-based practices.

Vishal Adma, MD, MS, CMQ, remains as Medical Director.

The KVC Hospitals senior leadership team collaborates with campus leaders at its three locations.

  • KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital (Kansas City, KS) led by Sara Schlagel, LMSW, Program Director. Schlagel has been with KVC for 7 years.
  • KVC Wheatland Hospital (Hays, KS) led by Audrey Lindenmeyer, MLS, Program Director. Lindenmeyer has been with KVC for 8 years.
  • Niles (Kansas City, MO) led by Karyn Finn, Program Director. Finn joined KVC last month.

While KVC Hospitals served 3,000 youth and adults struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts in the last fiscal year, there was an additional 2,000 youth it was unable to serve due to limited capacity. This is why KVC Hospitals is opening a new children’s psychiatric hospital in Wichita in 2019 and discussing training, consultation, direct service, and collaboration initiatives in several other locations.

Armed with the latest neuroscience, KVC Hospitals helps thousands of children build healthy brains and resilience every year. Each campus contains a cutting-edge Resilience Center where youth do interactive activities to learn how to regulate their emotions and strengthen their brain’s capacity to handle life’s challenges. They also benefit from innovative new treatment approaches such as using virtual reality (VR) to provide safe, creative spaces for healing.

Ryan Speier

“We are eager to expand our psychiatric treatment services to Wichita and the greater Sedgwick County area to expand access to care for youth in crisis,” said Speier. “By replicating our proven treatment model and organizational structure throughout the United States, we can provide effective care for more youth and ensure efficient operations at each hospital location.”

About KVC Hospitals

KVC Hospitals is a nonprofit network of children’s psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment facilities, alternative education programs, and other behavioral health services. Each year, we help thousands of children and adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis by providing treatment, care, and skill-building so they can understand their diagnoses, connect to their support network, and thrive. What makes KVC Hospitals unique is our use of advanced neuroscience regarding healthy brain development and the impact of trauma, and our proven ability to translate this science into innovative, hands-on tools that guide treatment. The organization is accredited by The Joint Commission, considered the gold standard in healthcare, and part of KVC Health Systems. Learn more.

To learn more about KVC’s Wichita hospital and how you can support its “HOPE LIVES” capital campaign to raise the funds needed to open the hospital, please contact Michelle Lawrence at 913-322-4941 or mlawrence@kvc.org.

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