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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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The County Manager's Office is responsible to the Board of County Commissioners and the residents of Johnson County for the effective and efficient delivery of programs and services, using sound management and financial principles while emphasizing high ethical values, innovation, and continuous improvement.

Department News

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Johnson County EMS System receives Gold Plus recognition
June 14, 2019

If you’re in need of emergency medical services in Johnson County, you can feel confident that you’re in great hands. This week, the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Recognition program awarded Johnson County’s EMS System with a Gold Plus Award, its highest honor.

In order to receive this rating from Mission: Lifeline, the Johnson County EMS System, which is comprised of MED-ACT and fire departments in Johnson County must have received at least a silver recognition last year, a 75% or better compliance on all measures evaluated, and meet the minimum volume requirements in a calendar year.

The program evaluates, among other things, the immediacy with which life-saving measures are administered prior to arrival at a hospital.

“This award is a direct reflection of the teamwork among the Johnson County EMS System,” said Melody Morales, Johnson County EMS System Medical Director program manager. “The Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Award is one way in which we can demonstrate that we make a difference and to ensure that we are providing the best care to our community.”

Morales provides an example to demonstrate how the team’s work is assessed to achieve a rating: A person calls 911 for chest pain. The clock starts ticking as soon as the crew arrives and makes contact with the patient. They have 10 minutes to make contact with the patient, assess what is going on and obtain a 12 Lead (tracing of the electrical activity of the heart). Then, the provider determines from the 12 Lead that the patient is having an ST elevation myocardial infarction. It’s important that this information is shared quickly with the cardiologist in order to determine the best treatment for the patient.

“It is a team approach, and EMS plays a huge role in the survival and outcome of the patient,” Morales said.

Learn more about the Mission: Lifeline® EMS Recognition program.

His passion for art inspires hope in others
June 13, 2019

David Judd, custodian for the Department of Corrections, demonstrates how working in public service often means going beyond the definition of your job description.

His artistic talent first came to light when he entered a painting in the ArtsKC show. His supervisor and co-workers took notice and consequently, he has moonlighted and created 11 murals for three correctional facilities.

In an environment where people are struggling, his artwork carries messages such as strength and the will to overcome adversity and has been said to inspire hope and belief.

“I paint to improve people’s lives, perceptions and perspectives,” Judd said. “I believe we are all influenced by images and words, everything around us,” he remarked. “I think it has an impact.”

As this video shows, David devotes his many talents to the public good. And as you’ll see, he is very talented.

County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson notes, “David does so much more than just show up and work his shift. He has taken it upon himself to help create a therapeutic environment for the clients in the various Corrections facilities.”


County staff speaks at Human Service Summit
June 12, 2019

The intersection between health and housing took center stage yesterday, at the 2019 Human Service Summit, hosted by United Community Services (UCS) of Johnson County.

Elizabeth Holzschuh, an epidemiologist at Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, co-presented a session called “Health Starts at Home – a Look at Local Health and Hosing Data,” along with Julie Brewer, UCS executive director. Below are some key facts Holzschuh shared.

  • Johnson County residents are spending 30% or more of their income on housing, which makes prioritizing other bills difficult and leads to tough choices about how to spend their limited remaining income.
  • This stress leads to both physical (18% of residents) and emotional (33% of residents) symptoms, and research shows this chronic stress can increase your risk of conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
  • Social/emotional support is critical for well-being, and 1 in 9 (12%) of Johnson County adults lack social or emotional support.
  • Increasing social connectedness (which has decreased when looking at the Social Capital Index Score and community feedback) could help solve some of these problems.

Also at the event, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Deputy Director Mary M. Beverly, MPH, served as a panelist on a discussion about why accessible housing choices matter.  

“When a person or family cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage, this means that they may not be able to pay their medical bills, car payment or plan for unexpected expense. This can put a person or family into a downward spiral,” said Beverly. “We want to get ahead of this situation and prevent it from happening in the first place.”

You can access UCS data on homelessness, health insurance coverage and other data at this link.

Johnson County staff complete tornado recovery assistance
June 12, 2019

Several Johnson County departments played integral roles in advance notification of the EF-4 tornado that struck the Kansas City Metropolitan Area on Tuesday, May 28. 

Following the disaster, more Johnson County staff responded to requests for assistance from affected jurisdictions to begin recovery efforts.

The Public Works department sent a seven-person crew to Leavenworth County the day after the tornado. They helped clear fallen trees, open roadways and remove debris for several business days.

Jim Sherman, contractor licensing program manager for the Planning Department, and Jeff Finch, a county building inspector, volunteered to assess storm damage in Douglas County.

Emergency Management staff supported recovery activities by coordinating resource requests and temporarily providing staff support for affected emergency management offices.

The state of Kansas and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will use the damage assessments they conducted to help determine whether there was enough damage sustained to be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

JoCo's The Best Times magazine wins numerous awards
June 12, 2019

The Best Times Magazine received six writing awards Saturday, June 8, at the Kansas City Press Club’s 2019 Heart of America Awards Banquet.

The Heart of America Awards handed out annually by the KC Press Club, which is the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, recognize print (daily, non-daily and magazine) and broadcast (both TV and radio) journalists from across eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

In the trade and specialty publications category, The Best Times received one silver award for column writing and four bronze awards for editorial/commentary, profile, feature and business reporting/writing. The magazine also won an honorable mention award for profile writing. Award-winning stories included: Small Railroad Keeps Air Center on Track; Father Survived War, His Son Did Not; 911 Dispatchers Take Calls from Tragic to Quirky; Changing Lives by Teaching Welding Skills; Words Always Matter; Yes, Barbara, There’s….

The recognition comes on the heels of the 2019 Awards of Excellence Contest by the Kansas Press Association when The Best Times placed third place in the magazine category for non-daily publications and received two writing awards – second place for editorial writing and third place for seniors’ story. The magazine also won a second-place award for community service project in its promotion/support of the 2018 Veterans Day event that recognized approximately 500 veterans of the Vietnam War Era.

Johnson County Mental Health Center earns maximum accreditation
June 6, 2019

CARF International has issued a Three-Year Accreditation to Johnson County Mental Health Center (JCMHC) for several of its programs after an extensive evaluation process. JCMHC is one of only two Community Mental Health Centers in Kansas with this recognition. The accreditation recognizes that JCMHC is guided by internationally recognized service standards and best practices.

“We’re very excited about this accreditation,” said Tim DeWeese, JCMHC director. “This demonstrates that we’ve made a specific commitment to put the needs of our residents at the center of everything we do.”

The accreditation process began with an internal review of program and business practices. Then a survey team of CARF-selected expert practitioners performed an onsite visit to review these practices and collect feedback from clients, community members, staff and key stakeholders.

“The survey team specifically remarked about the positive work culture we have here,” said JCMHC Deputy Director Susan Rome. “Their written report highlighted our commitment to person-centeredness and focusing on the strengths of each and every person. This speaks to the work of staff at every level of our organization.”

The accreditation applies specifically to these services: mental health case management for children, adolescents and adults; mental health crisis stabilization for adults; mental health outpatient treatment for children, adolescents and adults; and residential alcohol and other drug treatment at the Adolescent Center for Treatment. The accreditation extends through April 30, 2022.

“One of the requirements of this accreditation,” said DeWeese, “is a commitment to continual process improvement. This means an ongoing emphasis on reducing risk, addressing safety concerns, respecting cultural and individual preferences and providing the best quality of care.”

CARF International was founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. It is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.