A Wichita Republican lawmaker will leave office after Gov. Sam Brownback named him to a position within state government.
Brownback named Rep. Greg Lakin as chief medical officer of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Wednesday. The appointment is effective Jan. 8 – the first day of the legislative session. Lakin plans to resign that day as well.
Lakin is in his first term in the House representing District 91, which covers parts of north and west Wichita as well as Park City and southern Valley Center. He ran unopposed in the 2016 general election.
Under Kansas law, Lakin’s replacement will be chosen by Republican precinct committeemen and committeewomen in House District 91. No date has been set for that vote, but it will happen within the next few weeks, said Kansas Republican Party chairman Kelly Arnold.
“Healthcare has been my mission in life, and I look forward to bringing what I have learned from my years in the medical field to KDHE,” Lakin said in a statement. “I feel that this new position will provide an opportunity to make a more significant difference in the healthcare of all Kansans.”
Lakin, a physician, is the medical director for Valley Hope Rehabilitation Center.
Brownback also named Darian Dernovish as interim secretary of KDHE on Wednesday. Dernovish, a KDHE attorney, replaces departing agency secretary Susan Mosier.
Bob Murry, a spokesman for Brownback, said the governor will name a permanent secretary later.