Meet the HCBS Staff

The Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) division is made up of a diverse group of individuals who are extremely passionate about the mission of the HCBS division and the goals of KDADS as a whole. We would like to take a few moments to introduce those individuals to you:

Brandt Haehn, Commissioner

Brandt comes to KDADS after working at the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) for eight years. At KDEM he served as the planning and mitigation director, overseeing emergency planning, resource management, geographical information systems and statewide hazard mitigation grant programs. Prior to his work at KDEM, Brandt gained valuable experience in the developmental disability field as a direct support professional at DSNWK in Hays, KS and later Starkey, Inc., in Wichita, KS. Brandt holds a degree in political science from Fort Hays State University  and a Master’s degree in public administration from Wichita State University.

George VanHoozer, Program Oversight Manager

George brings years of experience to the HCBS team. George worked at the Kansas Department of Revenue as a Field Representative/Special Investigator for 12 years. He was a Civil Tax Enforcement Divison Manager at Revenue for five years. He worked at the Atchison Juvenile Correctional Facility and Kansas Juvenile Correctional Facility as the Business Administrator for 9 years total. He joined The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services/Department for Children and Families as the Deputy Director of Operations for three years and three years at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services as the Oversight Manager.

Cindy Wichman, Director

Cindy serves as director for the seven Kansas Home and Community Based Services Programs for Kansans with disabilities. Cindy has a 25-year career in long-term services and supports including 15 years working with the I/DD system. She has additional work experience in acute care settings, continuing care retirement communities, skilled nursing facilities, home health and hospice services. Cindy holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Arts and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.

Central Office Staff

Carrie Proffitt, FE-PACE Program Manager

Carrie joined the KDADS team in 2016 and previously held the role as the Quality Assurance Program Manager for the Older American’s Act, Senior Care Act and the CARE program. She has an extensive background in working with children and adults with I/DD, Autism and Mental Health disorders. She holds a B.S. in Human Services/Management and an M.S. in Psychology. She also holds Certifications as an Autism Specialist, Intensive Individual Support Specialist and the National Certification for Employment Services. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and children as well as fostering children in need of care. She is passionate about helping people and enjoys giving back to the community.

John Barry, Program Manager

John is a program manager for the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) children with Autism and Physical Disability programs. These programs are operated under the Community Service and Programs Commission within the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS). John has been with KDADS since June 2014 and has a background in research and writing and has been working within state government for multiple years.

Karla Werth, Technology Assisted (TA) / ICF-IID Program Manager

Karla joined the KDADS team January 2011 as Special Assistant to the Secretary. In Dec. 2012 she accepted the position as HR/Legal Assistant processing the Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation cases. In 2013 she was tasked with developing and overseeing the Criminal History Security Clearance Background Check program for the four state hospitals and ten Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities. She comes from a background in Constituent Services and is experienced in working with the public and Federal, State and Local agencies.

Larry Kelley, Money Follows the Person Program (MFP)

Larry is responsible for the Federal Grant MFP (Money Follows the Person) program the objective of which is to help people get out of a nursing facility and back into the community with the assistance of one of four home care based waivers (PD / FE / TBI / IDD). Larry is responsible for reviewing eligibility requests for MFP, serving as a resource for consumer and MCO questions, and along with others  processing transition costs. Larry has been with KDADS since June of 2014. Prior to joining KDADS Larry’s background consisted of training, leadership development, and management.

Melissa McDaniel, HCBS Program Integrity Manager

Melissa is the HCBS Program Integrity Manager.  Melissa joined the HCBS team in March 2016. She has three Program Integrity staff who work in different locations across the state who receive and work referrals related to any sort of Adverse Incident or Fraud/Waste pertaining to any of the HCBS waiver programs. Melissa has a Master of Science Degree from Oklahoma State University and spent many years prior to KDADS working with providers in the field of aging services.

Sam Philbern, Autism/SED Program Manager

Sam has a B.S. in Psychology from Fort Hays State University. His background for the last six years has been direct service mental health. He has worked in an inpatient children’s psychiatric hospital as well as a PRTF and a respite/crisis home for a community mental health center. Sam has several hobbies including, comics, baking, and board games. Sam enjoys spending time with his pets; he has two dogs, an English Mastiff (Balou), a Yorkie mutt (Bear), and a cat (Kai). Sam is passionate about his work with children and looks forward to assisting in  creating a more comprehensive mental health environment.

Paula Morgan, IDD Program Manager

Paula is the program manager for Intellectual/Developmentally Disabled waiver services. She holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature from the University of Kansas.  Her 6 ½ years of experience in the I/DD system started in direct supports, then transitioned into working for a CDDO.  Prior to I/DD services, she spent several years working in Special Education and with At-Risk populations.  Paula also has experience working in foster care services, first as an SRS employee, then as a foster parent, and later as an adoptive parent of four.

Sandy Chatham, Administrative Specialist

Sandy has been with the State for 22 years; 19 of those years with the HCBS programs.  Sandy assists the HCBS Commissioner and Director as well as all of the HCBS Waiver Program Managers with administrative duties.  Those duties also include helping to resolve billing and eligibility issues with all the waiver programs and liaison duties between legal and the HCBS commission.

Susan Brinker, HCBS Program Access Coordinator

Susan joined the KDADS staff in March 2015. Susan assists Commissioner Brandt Haehn with administrative duties. She is responsible for the HCBS mailbox. Susan provides clerical support for the Physical Disability waiver and the Money Follows the Person program. Prior to joining KDADS, Susan had seven years of PRTF experience as well as one year of child support experience. Susan attended the University of Kansas.

Field Staff

Colin Rork, Program Integrity and Compliance Specialist - Northeast Region

Colin joined the HCBS team May 2016 and is responsible for following up on integrity issues received, work referrals relating to adverse incident reports and fraud/waste pertaining to all of HCBS waiver programs. Colin has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas. Before joining our team he worked for Disability Determination Services as a Disability Examiner for the State of Kansas.

Laura Garrison, Program Integrity Compliance Specialist - Western Region

Laura is the Program Integrity Compliance Specialist for the Western Region out of Hays. She joined the team in February of 2016. She will be focusing on the received and work referrals relating to Adverse Incident Reports and Fraud/Waste pertaining to all of the HCBS waiver programs. Laura has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has worked as a Residential Service Coordinator in a nonprofit organization for developmentally disabled adults. Laura has also worked for the State of Kansas Department of Corrections as a Sergeant in the prison systems ranging from minimum to special max, mental health prison. Before joining our team she worked as a Target Case Manager for a children’s mental health organization specializing in kids with high needs, extreme behaviors, and the SED waiver.

Linda Young, Program Integrity and Compliance Specialist - South East Region

Linda joined the KDADS staff in February, 2016. Linda is currently responsible for following up on program integrity issues covering primarily the South Central and South Eastern regions of the state. Linda graduated from the University of Kansas earning a Master’s in Social Work. Linda has previously worked in a variety of settings, including experience with the I/DD population, community mental health and the aging populations.