TOPEKA– Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard announced July 24 that Dr. Lindsey Dinkel has been appointed Superintendent at Larned State Hospital (LSH) effective August 20, 2023, when current Superintendent Lesia Dipman officially retires, according to a media release from the agency.
“Dr. Dinkel has the clinical and academic familiarity with hospital programs to seamlessly take over the role of superintendent and continue the hospital’s progress toward improved resident experiences and exceptional mental health care,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “I believe her range of professional knowledge is an asset that will enable her to transition smoothly and contribute immediately in this role.”
Dr. Dinkel has more than 10 years of experience in the mental health field including roles in clinical, administrative, research, and academic settings. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Fort Hays State University followed by her master’s degree in forensic psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Dinkel became a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology in 2020 with a specialization in Mental Health Policy and Practice. She began as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Kansas in 2013 and became a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in 2018. She has specialized in treating mental illness in the forensic population and held clinical roles in other settings including child welfare, in-patient psychiatric care, involuntary commitment, and outpatient community service. Dr. Dinkel has been an active adjunct instructor teaching in the fields of forensic psychology, criminal justice, and counseling. She has held several roles during her tenure at LSH, including contract therapist within the Sexual Predator Treatment Program, Chief Operations Officer, and Assistant Superintendent.
Dr. Dinkel will have a month to work alongside Superintendent Dipman to facilitate a smooth leadership transition.
“KDADS and the State of Kansas extends its sincere gratitude to Superintendent Dipman for her steadfast commitment to the Larned community, her staff, and the residents we care for at the hospital,” KDADS Deputy Secretary of Hospitals and Facilities Scott Brunner said. “Lesia has been instrumental in leading the hospital through some very challenging times in her years in this role and is known and respected for successfully tackling some of the unique concerns on campus as well as her administrative and crisis management skills. She has been a great asset who will be missed.”
LSH Superintendent Dipman has served the State of Kansas for 38 years, starting her career at LSH in 1984, working in various positions from food services to the nursing department, and in multiple departments, from the State Security Hospital to the adolescent unit and youth center. Dipman attended Fort Hays State University and Kansas State University (KSU) and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from KSU in 1994. By 2004, she was promoted to Director of Social Services at the hospital, and a year later earned a master’s degree in social work from Newman University in Wichita.
In 2006, Dipman transferred to the State Security Program at LSH as the Administrative Program Director, her most recent position before being named Acting Superintendent by KDADS Secretary Howard in February 2019, then Superintendent in May 2019.
In her nearly 5 years as Superintendent, Dipman was instrumental in leading LSH staff through the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting the hospital’s incident response plan to effectively operate in an infectious disease incident. She oversaw the isolation and quarantine processes in three separate hospital programs while continuing to admit patients regardless of COVID status and keep patients and staff safe. While other state agencies moved to remote work, Dipman’s staff continued to provide 24/7 care across hospital programs and units. She advocated for staff pay increases to retain direct care and security staff, including base pay increases, incentive payments during the pandemic, and incentives for hourly employees working through the COVID-19 public health emergency. Dipman also led the implementation effort for statutory changes passed in 2022 to increase the number of providers conducting forensic competency evaluations in jails and expanding mobile restoration services among more than 20 counties.