(WIBW) - Gov. Mark Parkinson made appointments to several commissions Tuesday aimed at improving the well being of Kansans.
The Kansas Commission on Autism was among them. The group serves to raise awareness and increase the quality of life for individuals with autism.
“I appreciate the efforts of this commission on behalf of children with disabilities. Through the work of the Commission, Kansans will gain a greater awareness of autism and help those with the disorder lead a better quality of life,” Parkinson said.
Donnelly, Topeka, currently serves as the director of Kansas Rehabilitation Services, a vocational rehabilitation agency for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Previously, he was the director of policy and outreach for the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Inc. and executive director of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Topeka, Inc. Donnelly has also been recognized for his efforts by former-Governor Hayden, who appointed him to the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns in 1989.
Perrin, Olathe, holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Life from the University of Kansas and is a certified behavior analyst. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Special Education, Early Childhood from the University of Kansas. Perrin is also the director of Children’s Network Clinical Services and the Early Childhood Autism Program at Community Living Opportunities in Lawrence. Additionally, Perrin has served on numerous legislative task forces and committees relating to disabilities and human behavior.
Dr. Ellerbeck, Kansas City, holds a master’s degree in Hygiene and Public Health from Johns Hopkins, where she also carried out her preventive medicine residency. She is currently an assistant professor on a Clinical Scholars Track at the Center for Child Health and Development/Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Ellerbeck is also the president-elect for the Kansas chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Commission on Autism advises and makes recommendations to the governor in regard to matters related to autism, families with an autistic child, and service providers. Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.
Taylor, Topeka, was a member of the Kansas Silver Haired Legislature and served as an alternate to the White House Conference on Aging. She gained experience in adult care homes from serving as an assistant activity director, then activity director for multiple nursing homes in the Topeka area. She was also an activity therapy specialist at Topeka State Hospital.
Taylor holds an associate’s degree in gerontology from Washburn University and has served on numerous memberships to organizations on aging, including previously serving as Chairperson to the Shawnee County Advocacy Council on Aging.
The purpose of the Board of Adult Care Home Administrators is to establish and uphold regulations for licensing adult care administrators, including complaints against administrators.
Conyers, Kansas City, is currently the director of the Respiratory Therapy Services Department at the University of Kansas Hospital after serving as assistant director for 14 years. He earned a master’s degree in management from Baker University and graduated from the Respiratory Therapy Registry Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center, both with honors.
The Respiratory Care Council encourages and develops educational programs statewide for individuals interested in the field of Respiratory Care. It aims to advance the science, technology, ethics, practice, and art of Respiratory Care and facilitate cooperation and understanding among Respiratory Care personnel and the medical profession.
Ralston, of Liberal, is a registered nurse and holds a degree from Friends University and a certificate in Public Management from the University of Kansas. He has served in county government for almost 30 years in numerous capacities, including as an EMT/paramedic, firefighter, and currently as director of the Seward County Ambulance Services.
The Governor also reappointed five members to the Advisory Committee on Trauma: Dr. Craig Concannon of Beloit, Cathy Heikes of Dodge City, Kristine Hill of Peck, Pamela Kemp of Clay Center and Terry Siek of Hays.
The Advisory Committee on Trauma serves in a consultative capacity to the secretary of Health and Environment on the development and implementations of a statewide trauma system.
Since 2003, Dr. Franklin has been at the private practice Topeka Ear, Nose and Throat, P.A. Prior to holding this position, he was the chief of otolaryngology at Mike O’Callahan Federal Hospital at Nellie Air Force Base and chief resident at Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Franklin holds his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Kansas and has been honored with awards throughout his career, including the Meritorious Service Medal for Outstanding Service from the United States Air Force.
The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing advocates for and facilitates equal access to quality, coordinated and comprehensive services that enhance the quality of life for Kansans who are deaf and hard of hearing.
For the past decade, Mackey has served as the director of Child Nutrition and Wellness for the Kansas Department of Education. She also devotes her time to leadership positions on numerous organizations focused on improving nutrition for children and all Kansans. Mackey is on the board of the Junior League of Topeka, and the School Nutrition Association of Kansas, as well as the national organization. She is also a member of Healthy Kansans 2010, Kansas Action for Healthy Kids, Sunflower Foundation’s Obesity Task Force and the Kansas Food Security Task Force. Mackey holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Secondary Home Economics Education from Washburn University.
The Governor’s Council on Fitness aims to encourage Kansans to increase physical activity, healthy diets and prevent tobacco use by sharing information and partnering with businesses, schools and individuals to promote healthy lifestyles. In addition to advising the governor, the council works with medical, dental and other professional societies to promote health and well-being. It also assists educators in developing quality school health and physical education programs
Dr. Warren, Topeka, attained his Doctor of Medicine from Temple University. He has used his expertise in rehabilitation across the state of Kansas, including in his roles as the Director of Rehabilitation Unit at Mercy Hospital in Manhattan and as the Director of the VA outpatient clinic at Colmery O’Neil, Veterans Administration Eastern Kansas Medical Center in Topeka. Currently, he practices general rehabilitation at a private practice in Topeka and is a part-time medical examiner for the Disability Determination services for the State of Kansas.
The Kansas Athletic Commission oversees regulated sports and wrestling within the State. Regulatory responsibilities include the licensing and supervision of referees, judges, physicians, managers, contestants, timekeepers, seconds, promoters, and matchmakers for regulated sports contests in addition to event oversight and policy review.