America's breadbasket indeed

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After Monday's announcement that Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson would become the new Bruce Yarwood as president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, one of the thoughts that came to mind was: What's next — Dorothy and Toto to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?

It seems Kansans have created a fairly well worn path to official positions in the nation's capital lately.

Parkinson presumably will be moving to Washington after his term as governor expires in January. (He's not running for re-election.) He will follow in the footsteps of Kathleen Sebelius, his predecessor as Kansas governor who was named Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year. As her lieutenant governor, Parkinson filled the vacancy in the big office in Topeka when she headed East.

Sebelius and Parkinson, however, were both only following in the jet fumes of her predecessor, former Kansas Gov. Bill Graves, who moved to Washington to become president of the American Trucking Association in 2003.

Not to be lost in all this is Kathy Greenlee, the former secretary for aging in Kansas whom Sebelius appointed as the assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Maybe next spring, when long-term care and aging associations usually hold fly-in “summits” to mix with big shots in Washington, they ought to just point the airplanes to Kansas instead.

Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.