The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus announced that Susan Takacs will join its health system as chief operating officer, effective Nov. 5. Takacs comes to St. Francis Campus of Physicians Regional Health System in Naples, Florida, where she served as Chief Marketing Officer. Physicians Regional Health System is a three-hospital system with 357 acute care beds. As COO of the market, she was instrumental in several service line expansions, including the creation of an open heart surgery program that received a 3-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. She also supported the system’s stroke program to comprehensive status in 2023. “I know Susan is inspired by our long tradition of serving the community and our commitment to continue to advance health care in Kansas,” said Scott Campbell, president and chief executive director of the health system’s Topeka location. Takacs earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.
Each of the Foulston Siefkin LLP three Kansas offices added attorneys as six new associates joined the firm, bringing the firm’s attorney roster to more than 90. Cameron Bernard is based in Kansas City, Andrew repeats is based in Topeka, and Luke Kennedy, Lauren Page, Caityana Parks and Jacob Schmidt work out of the firm’s Wichita office. Wiederholt brings his experience as a professional engineer to Foulston’s litigation practice group. Prior to receiving his J.D. from Washburn University School of Law, Andrew was a Senior Project Engineer for Bartlett & West where he designed public works infrastructure and construction projects for local and state organizations and enjoyed working with the local authorities and design and construction specialists. Advises clients on construction and engineering matters. Andrew’s two undergraduate degrees are a BS in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University and a BS in Physics from Bethel College.
Stormont Vail Health welcomed Heather Morrison, an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in a wide range of women’s health services, to the Women’s Services team at Stormont Vale. Morrison provides a spectrum of women’s health services at Stormont Vail OB/GYN Lincoln Center, 800 SW Lincoln St., and Stormont Vail Topeka Campus Hospital, 1500 SW 10th Ave. “My daily practice is different,” Morrison said. “I have surgical procedures, hospital rounds, visit patients in the hospital, sometimes I deliver babies as an OB/GYN in a hospital, and other days I practice and see patients in the clinic.” Morrison, a native Kansan from Hiawatha, often watched popular medical shows like “ Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’ or ‘Quincy ME’ with her mother while her older siblings attended school. Although this experience sparked her interest in medicine, growing up in a family of teaching professionals instilled a deep respect for education. “Education is critical,” Morrison said. “It is at the heart of how I approach the care I provide to patients. I allow patients to direct their care and make choices that help them feel confident in their decisions.” Morrison completed his medical degree and residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas.
GO Topekathe lead economic development agency for Topeka and Shawnee County, announced the appointment of Israel Sanchez as the new director of equity and business development. Sanchez will succeed Glenda Washington, who has served as the Partnership’s Chief Equity Officer, overseeing minority and women’s business development since 2013. Sanchez joined the Partnership’s team in 2021, where she has made significant contributions to the organization’s efforts to Spanish language promotion. Most recently, he served as the Partnership Representative with the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and provided invaluable support to the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership, acknowledged Washington’s remarkable legacy, stating, “No one can ever replace Glenda Washington, but the Partnership is thrilled to foster from our own ranks. Israel is a tireless advocate for minority businesses, and this role will allow him to use his own experience as a Latino, a refugee, and a bilingual professional to ensure that every entrepreneur in Topeka has equal access to prosperity and success.” Sanchez said, “ It is a real honor for me to step into this role. My experience of coming to the United States as a refugee from Cuba as a child gave me a unique perspective. I saw what the American dream could be and I firmly believe that dream is alive and well in Topeka. I look forward to continuing the work to ensure all businesses feel represented, heard and have access to the resources they need to achieve their dreams.” Sanchez will take up his new role on November 6.
After serving as president and CEO of Sunflower Foundation more than 22 years, Billy Hall announced plans to step down from the health philanthropy in early 2024. Hall, who took over in August 2001 after the organization was founded in 2000, is the only CEO in the foundation’s history. “Billie has given the Foundation more than 22 years of exceptional leadership, compassion and vision, while developing relationships of mutual respect and support with our many partners,” said Liz Sosa, Chair of the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees. “On behalf of the current board members and all those who have served in previous years, we thank her for her unwavering commitment and guidance and wish her a very fulfilling retirement.” Sosa credits Hall for transforming the Topeka-based foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of all Kansas residents, from concept to nationally recognized and respected health philanthropy. Having the opportunity to lead the foundation as its CEO for two-plus decades has been an honor and a privilege, Hall said. “I’m proud of the relationships we’ve built across this great state — so many inspiring Kansans determined to improve the health and well-being of their communities,” Hall said. “I take with me memories of these extraordinary people, groups, nonprofits and advocates.” A native of Topeka, Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washburn University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Missouri.
The law offices of Stevens & BrandLLP and Newbery, Ungerer & Hickert, LLP announced their merger, creating an expanded Topeka office of Stevens & Brand, LLP. “The shared experience, strengths and values of the two firms are an excellent match and will only enhance our ability to offer superior legal services to our clients, particularly in the areas of tax law, estate planning, asset protection and Medicaid law,” said Brad Finkelday, Managing Partner of Stevens & Brand. Dave Newbery, founding partner of Newbery, Ungerer & Hickert, sees this merger as an opportunity to strengthen and expand their legal services, particularly in helping clients with comprehensive asset management and protection strategies. Since 1994, Newbery, Ungerer & Hickert, LLP has provided expertise in tax and estate planning, trust and estate administration, probate, business law, real estate law and mediation. Stevens & Brand, LLP offers a wide range of legal services with 30 attorneys in more than 40 areas of law and a history dating back to 1925, with offices in Topeka and Lawrence. The Topeka office of Stevens & Brand, LLP is located at 4848 SW 21st St., Suite 201, Topeka.
Craig S. Blumreichmanaging director of a Topeka law firm, Larson & Blumreich, Chartered, was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2024 Best Lawyers in America in Personal Injury and Defense. In addition, he was recognized as Topeka Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year for 2024. Lawyer of the Year recognition is only given to individual lawyers who have received the highest overall peer feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region.
Eight Goodell Stratton attorneys were recognized in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following practice areas: N. Larry Bork, Insurance Law, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Miranda K. Carmona, Trusts and States; Tracy Cole, Medical Malpractice Law—Defendants; Susan L. Mauch, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment; David P. O’Neill, Litigation—Insurance, Medical Law—Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation—Defendants; Patrick M. Salisbury, Mediation, Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers; Cynthia J. Sheppeard, Employment Law – Individuals, Employment Law – Management, Insurance Law, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants; and Kathryn Wahlberg, insurance law.
Topekan Lawton Noos was honored on the KU football field during a timeout of the recent sold-out game against BYU during KU’s Salute to Service. The capacity crowd recognized Nuss for his community service, first as a Marine Corps combat engineering officer and later as a Kansas Supreme Court justice. With him were his wife Barbara, daughter Asia Garrus and son-in-law Alex Garrus.
Hiring, promotion, retirement and other announcements in the Topeka area can be emailed to [email protected].