TOPEKA – (September 5, 2019) – A new council aimed at strengthening statewide efforts to prevent elder abuse has been created and will have its first meeting in October, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
Schmidt established the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Council, which replaces a less-formal advisory group that had met for several years. The new council will be assigned to help develop local or regional multi-disciplinary teams to assist local authorities in investigating abuse and neglect, assemble working groups to focus on specific abuse-prevention topics, and coordinate and engage in education and outreach activities including creating a publicly available clearinghouse of information on elder and dependent adult abuse prevention.
“As the Kansas population over age 65 continues to grow in the coming decades, preventing and addressing elder abuse will become an increasing challenge throughout our state,” Schmidt said. “This council will provide a focal point to coordinate the state’s overall response to this demographic reality.”
The council was created through the attorney general’s statutory authority under Kansas law that establishes the Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (ANE) Unit in the Office of the Attorney General. That ANE Unit works with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), law enforcement and prosecutors statewide to help prevent and prosecute crimes against vulnerable adults across Kansas.
Schmidt has appointed the following members to serve on the council:
- Steven Karrer, Deputy Attorney General, Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division
- Jackie Williams, Deputy Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division
- Kate Carter, Acting Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division
- Niomi Burget, Consumer Outreach and Public Affairs Coordinator, Attorney General’s Office
- Dawne Stevenson, Director of Survey and Certification, KDADS
- Chrisy Khatib, Deputy Director of Prevention and Protection Services, DCF
- Ashley Goss, Deputy Secretary of Public Health, KDHE
- Kathy Greenlee, Former Assistant Secretary for Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Vanessa Riebli, Assistant District Attorney, Johnson County District Attorney’s Office
- Ruth Ritthaler, Chautauqua County Attorney
- Jacklyn Zickel, Detective, Overland Park Police Department
- Dr. Stephen Benson, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
- Kathy Taylor, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Kansas Bankers Association
- Mary Tritsch, Associate State Director, AARP
- Mitzi McFatrich, Executive Director, Kansas Advocates for Better Care
The council will meet at least quarterly, with its first meeting scheduled for October 4 at 9 a.m. at the attorney general’s office, Memorial Hall, 120 S.W. 10th Avenue in Topeka.
To report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of an adult in the community, telephone the Kansas Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330 at DCF. If elder abuse, neglect or exploitation occurred in a nursing home, hospital, or by a home health agency, please call the elder abuse hotline at 1-800-842-0078 at KDHE. In the event of an emergency contact your local law enforcement or call 911.