Chief Operating Officer

HEARTSPRING INC. was founded as "The Institute of Logopedics" nonprofit organization in 1934 by Dr. Martin Palmer in partnership with the University of Wichita, now Wichita State University. Our early service model prioritized children with cerebral palsy experiencing speech, hearing, and mobility challenges. Located on a beautiful 35-acre campus in northeast Wichita, Kansas; Heartspring ( is now known as one of the most ground-breaking therapeutic schools and pediatric service centers in the world.

Heartspring serves children and young adults with multiple intellectual and developmental needs, such as: living with autism, challenges with speech, language, communication, mobility, or other motor functions, a limited ability to regulate stress and distress, and other pediatric healthcare complexities.


Heartspring School

Heartspring School a therapeutic school for children and young adults ages five to twenty-one years of age who live with significant intellectual and developmental needs. We serve children, young adults, and families across the United States and worldwide. Many of our children and youth are not able to be served adequately through their home school districts and look to Heartspring for our unique and individualized programming.

Heartspring utilizes evidence-based and emerging best practices, based in part on the National Autism Center’s Standards Project. This includes the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and integrated classroom education along with specialized therapies provided by Heartspring professional staff. While implementing each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), Heartspring focuses on understanding and decreasing problematic behaviors by following a consistent Student Support and Care Plan. This individually developed plan guides staff, in a consistent manner across all settings, to address what might be behind the student’s behaviors and guide the creation of more helpful social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills to take their place.

Heartspring focuses on increasing each student’s independence with his or her daily living activities, such as: gaining autonomy in their hygiene experience; how to manage their home environment needs; how to prepare their own meals; how to manage their stress response in social settings; and, how to successfully transition from one activity or environment to another. This increased independence offers students a more fulfilling and empowering life as they grow towards adulthood.

Increasing and enhancing communication skills is a vital part of each student’s program. Heartspring School utilizes assistive technologies to enhance the communication experience. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is used with students who have limited verbal communication to help them learn and participate in their educational program, with their family and peers, and in their community.

The Heartspring School is truly a unique educational setting that integrates all aspects of a student’s life. Our team includes professionals in the following areas:

  • Classroom Education
  • Home and Life Education
  • Medical Care
  • Psychological Services
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Vocational Training
  • Music Education
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Artistic Expression

Pediatric Outpatient Services

Pediatric Outpatient Services provides a full spectrum of therapeutic interventions for children ages birth to twenty-one. These services include assessments, evaluations, and interventions within occupational, physical, and speech therapies, audiology, behavioral health, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Our multi-disciplinary team works with the whole family system to assist with managing their home, community, and school-based needs. We utilize various mediums in order to meet the needs of families: in-office visits, home-based visits, and telehealth.

Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to helping children achieve success when interacting with their environment. Our Pediatric Outpatient Services:

  • offers a free developmental screening process to determine if there is a need in the area of fine motor, gross motor, speech-language, self-help, and social skills
  • evaluates the whole child rather than an isolated symptom and customizes individualized programs to meet the child’s needs
  • uses hands-on therapeutic interventions in an individualized setting, while teaching families how to continue therapy at home and in the community
  • specializes in working with children with diagnosed conditions as well as other needs that might impede or interrupt their development

Consultation and Partnership


Heartspring currently offers child and family-specific assessments and consultations, parent education, in-home services, telehealth education, contracted work with school districts locally and nationwide, and global partnerships building the capacity of families, local communities, and businesses to support children and families living with complex medical needs.


Legacy and Leadership


Heartspring has a rich history influencing best practice pediatric therapies in countries where specialized medical and educational services are limited. Heartspring spent nearly a decade working with individuals and professionals from China, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries to learn, educate, and inspire positive action for children with complex medical needs through our World Reach Training Solutions (WRTS) program. Organizationally, Heartspring reports a $29+ million budget and employs approximately 500 team members. We serve up to 84 Heartspring Therapeutic School Students and more than 1100 children and families in Pediatric Outpatient Services annually.


Executive leadership at Heartspring requires a resolute commitment to our guiding principles of inclusion, dignity, and respect for all persons. Additionally, Officers and Senior Leadership are expected to consistently model our six organizational values of Excellence, Celebration, Leadership, Service, Possibility, and Integrity while collectively supporting three common goals alongside all Heartspring Staff and Board Members:

  1. Create a world-class person-centered service model for children and young adults
  2. Create a world-class experience for families
  3. Create a world-class employment environment for staff

All Officers and Senior Leaders at Heartspring share corporate responsibility for:

  • Supporting Heartspring’s mission and strategic direction
  • Fostering a culture that enables and motivates staff to support our mission
  • Delivering the safest and highest quality care to children, families, and stakeholders
  • Creating and promoting a trauma-responsive environment
  • Achieving organizational objectives including compliance with all accrediting or credentialing bodies, KDHE, and DCF standards
  • Achieving the delivery of organizational targets and core performance standards
  • Maintaining the financial strength of Heartspring by fostering a growth mindset while balancing organizational capacity


Chief Operating Officer (COO)


The Chief Operating Officer (COO) assists the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by moving the Heartspring vision into operational reality. The COO is responsible for leading the planning, designing, developing, monitoring, and maintaining of strong and effective administrative and program operations, including those that relate to risk management, risk mitigation, quality improvement, and strategic development.

Heartspring is committed to an equitable, cross-functional, and team-oriented leadership environment. This position works closely with the President and CEO, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and the Chief People Officer (CPO). The four Officers lead the design, accountability, and support structure for Heartspring staff, families, and community.


The Heartspring COO currently supervises operations re: Heartspring School, Outpatient Pediatric Services, Community Outreach, Family Support, and Facilities Management. This role will also supervise special projects as are indicated by the CEO and senior leadership team.

This position will provide leadership and guidance as Heartspring transitions to a more complex and diversified organization, including the potential acquisition of new property, deploying a new Electronic Medical Record solution, investing in research partnerships, expanding our consultancy structure, and  engaging in growth strategies with the healthcare industry.


The COO will work closely with team members to understand:

  • what strengths we have that are not being amplified
  • what issues prevent team members from being successful in day to day operations
  • what problems staff identify that interrupt their ability to maintain quality service
  • how to collaboratively design innovative systems and solutions
  • how to address gaps in care, needs of families, trauma-informed/responsive strategies, and, growth objectives that take our future industry landscape into account


Under the direction of and in concert with the CEO, this position oversees the operations of agency administration. The COO will:

  • Supervise all quality improvement initiatives
  • Develop tools and integrated systems to:
    • Provide critical operational information to the CEO, Board of Trustees, and community
    • Make actionable recommendations on both strategy and implementation for administrative excellence
    • Monitor the effectiveness of operations, in terms of program measures and service outcomes
    • Assess organizational performance to ensure alignment with accreditation standards and best practices in terms of program deliverables, compliance (particularly federal and state requirements), and facilities management
    • Identify, develop, and implement strategic funding and program priorities
  • Maintain and enhance linkages with government agencies at local, state, and federal level to promote collaboration, growth, modification, and expansion of operations
  • Collect, track, curate, and interpret statistical data relating to quality efforts; recommend changes in standards, processes, staffing, equipment, and materials to facilitate work and maintain quality; create change cycles to test innovative ideas; and, guide innovation management in all areas
  • Foster internal partnerships between departments that enhance the participant experience and leverage internal and external resources
  • Coordinate with CEO to identify program needs and priorities
  • Coordinate with CEO to identify legal and advocacy issues affecting program delivery
  • Coordinate with team members to incorporate program needs and priorities into information gathering, analysis, and tracking systems
  • Create an Operational Excellence program across the organization through coaching and the creation of systems that support all functions
  • Monitor and manage the budget of programmatic improvement efforts
  • Advises management of project status and any significant trends and changes in project progress
  • Delegating the diagramming of workflows, including inputs and outputs, of all business or program processes in order to determine what to maintain, eliminate, and improve
  • Support and assist the CEO in diversifying funding for the agency, including grants, research partnerships, fee for service models, and future investments



  • Commitment – Models the principles and values of Heartspring
  • Effective Listener – ensures communication is heard completely and effectively interpreted into meaningful messages
  • Dedication – committed to achieving results under demanding conditions
  • Analytical – synthesizes complex or diverse information into actionable objectives
  • Problem-solving – identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner and gathers and analyzes information skillfully
  • Oral communication – speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations and demonstrates group presentation and facilitation skills
  • Delegation – delegates work assignments, gives authority to work independently, sets expectations and monitors delegated activities
  • Leadership – inspires and motivates others to perform well, accepts feedback from others
  • Management skills – includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating, and process improvement; coaches and advises staff; provides regular performance feedback; supports the professional development of staff; encourages professional progression and personal growth.
  • Quality management – looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Judgment – displays willingness to make decisions, exhibits sound and accurate judgment; makes timely decisions
  • Planning/organization – prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently and develops realistic action plans
  • Safety and security – actively promote and personally observes safety and security procedures; uses equipment and materials properly
  • Integrity – possesses high ethical standards and expects the same from all others in the organization.


  • Expert knowledge and skill relating to program quality/CQI, grant procurement, project management, compliance, and organizational operations
  • Expert knowledge and experience re:
    • The ability to develop and maintain positive relationships while driving for improved performance and accountability
    • State and federal regulatory requirements specific to the Heartspring mission
    • Statistical analysis, data analytics, and designing data collection systems relevant to Heartspring
    • Designing pro-formas for suggested innovations
    • Suggesting innovations that both solve problems and grow excellence,
  • Expert knowledge and experience in managing risk
  • Excellent administrative and human resources skills
  • Excellent understanding of facility management
  • Certification in quality improvement models (Lean Six Sigma, Kaizen, Developmental Evaluation, Design Thinking, Theory U, etc.)
  • Strong understanding of principles of adult learning and competency-based education
  • Strong understanding of how to create and sustain a trauma-sensitive environment
  • Organized and committed to meeting deadlines
  • Coaching-style leadership that inspires team members to give their best effort while setting the direction for the initiative
  • Strong communication and presentation skills (makes complex issues accessible to a business audience, clear, concise, and audience-appropriate)
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multiple initiatives simultaneously
  • Proficient use of computer and software application
  • Ability to manage resources both directly and via matrixed environment


  • Advanced degree (Master’s Degree minimum with an emphasis on business, public administration, healthcare administration, or a related field)
  • Minimum of five years of experience in operations with at least three at the Officer or Vice President level
  • Three to five years of progressively responsible management and supervisory experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Physical Requirements: Ability to lift up to 25 lbs
  • Training Requirements: Attend agency and department orientation and all staff meetings and training as required
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and auto insurance

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities as needed.


Heartspring offers a generous benefits package including paid vacation, sick leave, medical/dental/vision insurance, and retirement plans. 

Heartspring is an EEO employer. 


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Creating hope and opportunity that changes the lives of children with special needs and their families

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Equal Opportunity Employer

Heartspring is an equal opportunity employer. Heartspring does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability or genetics, pregnancy, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal law.

All job openings are located in Wichita, KS.

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