Hope for a Healthier Tomorrow
We are KANZA and we are here to support you and your mental wellness.
Kanza has been serving clients since 1963. Our core mission has always been to help clients learn to positively and effectively cope with life’s difficulties, demands, pressures, and perceptions.
While our core mission remains the same, the factors that impact mental health have changed significantly. Everything from how we define family and role expectations, to instant access to information on the internet, and the fact that others have access to huge amounts of personal data about us online have all evolved since 1963. Additionally, what is also seeing a radical shift is our sense of security and stability as the result of economic pressures, increased violence, and most recently a world-wide pandemic.
One of the more positive changes that has happened since 1963 is the evolution of how society views mental health. People have moved from viewing mental health as something that is stigmatized and that we don’t talk about, to recognizing it is as important as physical health when it comes to quality of life. Society is beginning to embrace an openness about the fact that most individuals deal with a mental health event at some point in their life.
As our clients’ needs have changed, Kanza’s professional, caring staff have embraced new ways to meet our clients where they are. We now offer opportunities like telehealth, a therapy dog, and more presence in the schools to meet the needs of children. We care about improving our clients lives and further illuminating the benefit of robust mental health services. We believe recovery is a process and is possible with the right support.
We hope you join us on our path, either as a client when we can help, or as a community supporter or a donor when you can help. Together, let’s keep the evolution going!
Chief Executive Officer, LCPC
Jackie is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 12 years of experience working in the mental health field. She joined Kanza in 2017 as an outpatient therapist and advanced to the Clinical Director role in 2020. As of February 2022, Jackie filled the role of Chief Executive Offier for Kanza Mental Health and Guidance Center.
Prior to joining Kanza, Jackie served as a school-based behavioral health specialist in Kauai, Hawaii and as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Albany, Oregon helping individuals who were homeless and experiencing mental health issues. Jackie earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a master of science in counseling from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. She has special interests in trauma care, anxiety, and mood disorders, utilizing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and CBT as treatment approaches. She is dedicated to everything counseling and mental health, helping others on their path to healing and growth, and being a positive example of contribution and change.
Clinical Director, LSCSW
Lanie is a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Master of Addiction Counseling in Kansas. Lanie connected with Kanza in 2018 as an Outpatient Therapist and is now working as the Clinical Director. Prior to earning her Master of Social Work degree, Lanie received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from Wichita State University (go, Shockers)! Lanie spent several years serving children, adults, and their families, and she continues to help others rise to healthier lives. Fun fact: she has a licensed therapy dog, Vitani, who began accompanying her to the office in 2019. Vitani is a rough collie who loves attention, so when you see her, feel free to greet her with plenty of love.
Cheif Financial Officer
Jenny began her duties as Chief Financial Officer on January 2nd, 2019. Her 23 years of accounting experience include 10 years in the agriculture industry and most recently 13 years in healthcare. During her healthcare accounting career she managed the revenue cycle and accounts payable, was active with a professional organization, served on a committee through the Kansas Hospital Association, and served on a leadership development team for her employer.
Jenny, along with her husband and daughter live near Hiawatha and farm north of Everest. When not at work, Jenny enjoys working in the yard and reading. She also very much enjoys traveling with her family to the mountains to fish, hike, or ski.
Director of Community Support Services, LSCSW
Courtney is a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker, Certified Play Therapist, and Certified First Responder Counselor. Courtney earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with two minors, Women's Studies, and Conflict Analysis and Trauma Studies from Kansas State University in 2014. She then began her career in social work at the University of Kansas and graduated with her Master of Social Work degree in 2016. She has experience in a variety of fields including foster care, end of life, court advocacy, health care, domestic violence, and higher education, and most recently devoted her time to individual therapy in a private practice setting.
Courtney is passionate about serving others and is honored to fulfill this leadership role at Kanza. She brings a drive for positive change and healthy challenges for overall growth to the organization. She believes in resiliency and inspiring others to rise above life's adversities.
Running, concerts and all things family are how Courtney spends her time outside of work. She and her husband have five children and a growing hobby farm.
Human Resources Director
Sierra joined the Kanza team as the Human Resources Director in September 2021. Sierra recently earned her graduate degree in Industrial and Organizational (IO) Psychology at Bellevue University. IO Psychology in the science of human behavior within the workplace. To study and understand the human behaviors in the workplace helps improve both individual and organizational performance while ensuring the physical and mental well-being of employees. Before attending Bellevue University, Sierra attended Peru State College for her undergraduate degree. Go Bobcats!
Outside of work, Sierra serves as a councilwoman for the City of Fairview. She is also known for her fur-family. Her Australian Sheppard pup was born dead and Sierra taught him sign language commands after he joined the family. In addition to Aussie, she has two Border Collies - one being a working cattle dog, and the other a retired cattle dog. A few of her favorite pastimes consist of completing jigsaw puzzles, spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks, or watching documentaries.
Director of Community Based Services
Christi began her career at Kanza as an Attendant Care worker and then Case Manager at the age of 19. She returned as the CBS Director in 2019. Christi has worked with at-risk youth and families for over 20 years teaching Life Skills and Parenting classes. She began working with community coalitions through the Tobacco Prevention Program in Kansas. She learned community mobilization, grant writing and team building skills through the Drug Free Communities Federal Grant where she worked with community coalitions to reduce underage drinking in Missouri and Kansas. She is trained in the Strategic Prevention Framework which mobilizes coalitions to make community level change. Christi also worked for a food bank as a grant writer and helped develop the strategy for the Mobile Food Pantry by identifying food desserts in 19 counties. Christi understands how basic needs not being met affect the health and well-being of all citizens, especially children.
Christi is the President of Break Every Chain, an anti-human trafficking coalition in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. She works with a coalition, board, and local police departments to educate, empower, and enforce anti-trafficking efforts through speaking, teaching, and sting operations.
Christi has a passion for youth and helping them see their potential and reduce barriers. Christi believes local communities can solve local problems.
LCMFT (Hiawatha Office location)
Karen is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist (LCMFT) with over 17 years of experience. She uses various therapeutic approaches including Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Therapy, Structural-Strategic Therapy, DBT Therapy techniques and Trauma Based Care. Karen also utilizes Strong Marital House Theory and Family Systems Theory in working with families.
Karen’s experience includes working with all areas of mental and behavioral health with individuals, couples and families who struggle with functioning due to Depression, Anxiety or other Mental Health Disorders including Co-Dependency, Parenting and Co-parenting Concerns, Foster Care Placement, Relational and Behavioral Issues, Anger and Spiritual Issues. Karen specializes in working with those who have experienced Trauma/PTSD or have Loss/Grief Issues. Traumatic Brain Injury and accident trauma is something that Karen has many years of experience in. Karen has been successful with helping “cut-off” families restore connection and heal hurting relationships. Karen enjoys working with a broad variety of people of all age ranges, cultural backgrounds, and challenges. Her hope for each of her clients is that she can help them identify their strengths and lift them up to reach for their potential.
MSN, APRN (Hiawatha and Holton Office locations)
Arlene is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner. She joined Kanza in 2009. She worked in public health and a rural health clinic prior to coming to Kanza. “My job at Kanza is assessment, diagnosis, formulating and treating any client who would like medicines prescribed at the facility. I see pregnant woman, pediatrics, adult, and elderly clients. I coordinate the Patient Assistance Program and administer long acting antipsychotic injections to specific clients with bipolar and schizophrenia every month.”
“I am very proud of the care delivered at Kanza. One special accomplishment is helping to keep a client with unstable schizophrenia home and out of the hospital for the last eleven years. Through a combination of medication, therapy, and case management we have been able to improve their quality of life. I am very dedicated to Kanza clients and the co-workers I engage every day. We are a truly remarkable team.”
Outside life is also very busy. I have been married to a wonderful man for over 36 years. Sam and I have 2 sons who are grown We have 4 grandchildren. We have been blessed with a beautiful life on the farm. I enjoy helping Sam with crops and caring for the Angus cattle we raise. The Lord has blessed my life. I also have a beautiful lab named Honey Pie who makes me smile. Life is good.
LSCSW (Holton and Hiawatha Office locations)
Al is a clinical social worker having earned his master’s degree in social work with honors from Washburn University in 2000. Al began working with Kanza in 2000 as an outpatient and emergency clinician. With his LSCSW, he can provide therapy services for individuals with Medicare and Tricare insurance and he enjoys providing services for the adult special population as well. “As a rural Kansan myself, I felt at home from the start with the people I serve every day in our area. I look forward to continuing to provide services as part of Kanza.”
LMSW (Holton and Hiawatha Office locations)
Simone is a Licensed Masters Social Worker practicing in the Hiawatha and Holton offices for over 10 years. “My education and professional background have led me to approach therapy through a humanistic perspective. Prior to my professional experience as a psychotherapist at Kanza, I worked with adults in a clinical psychiatric residential treatment setting and youth/families involved with the child welfare system.”
Simone earned her master’s degree through a clinically focused Social Work program at Washburn University and specializes in Parent Child Interaction Therapy / Trauma Focused Parent Child Interaction Therapy. These are evidence based, directive play therapy treatment geared towards parenting children with special needs including those exposed to trauma. Her additional training and professional experience include working with individuals who have experienced trauma (including complex trauma), anxiety, depressive moods, relationship/personality issues and bipolar related issues.
Simone is also a professional member of the National Association of Social Workers and has served on the board of Kansas Association of Counsel for Children, a group committed to training legal and social work professionals who work with children in the child welfare system
LMLP (Holton Office location)
Ryan Smalley is a Licensed Masters Level Psychologist who joined Kanza in 2017. He earned both a BA in Psychology and MA in Psychology at Washburn University. Most of Ryan’s experience has been in working with individuals dealing with depression, anxiety, trauma, and with children experiencing behavioral issues. He utilizes a variety of techniques from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Behaviorism, Interpersonal Process Therapy, and Cognitive Processing Therapy to aid adults and children depending on the issues that they are working on.
“I do my best to make therapy as structured as possible in sticking with evidence-based practices. I believe that the most important component of therapy is working toward taking the lessons and coping skills learned in treatment and applying them to everyday life. I work to try and help individuals implement these lessons/skills into their lives. Therapy is a process of change and I want to help people to become the best version of themselves.”
LPC, NCC (Hiawatha, Holton, and Sabetha Office locations)
Vivian is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, and an Art Therapist. She joined Kanza in 2019 as a clinical intern and is happy to have joined the Kanza team as a full-time therapist in the outpatient department. Prior to joining Kanza, Vivian worked with survivors of interpersonal violence in a rural agency in Northeast Kansas. Vivian earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washburn University and a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Master of Science in Art Therapy Counseling from Emporia State University. Vivian serves on the multicultural committee of the American Association of Art Therapy and has presented about diversity in higher education in both state and national conferences. Vivian speaks Spanish fluently and has an interest in working with marginalized populations. Vivian enjoys using her background and knowledge in art and counseling to help clients reach their personal goals.