TOPEKA (KSNT) – The new Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment was sworn in on Monday during a ceremony at the statehouse.

Governor Laura Kelly announced that Stanek would be taking over the role from Dr. Lee Norman, the former Secretary of the KDHE, at the end of November last year. Previously, she was the acting secretary until the Kansas Senate could confirm her earlier this month.

Stanek was sworn in by Shawnee County District Court Judge David B. Debenham during a ceremony on the first floor of the rotunda in the Kansas Statehouse. She comes to the position as the spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially since the Omicron spike earlier this year in January. Stanek says that the KDHE will be reevaluating some of the COVID-19 procedures as the state transitions into a new phase of the pandemic.

“Some of the activities that we had to do. Various meetings, incident command and things like that that we’re going to be re-evaluating how often we do them, how often we post reports, the statistics and so forth, and then just try to continue to do our work be prepared for surge capacities and so forth,” Stanek said.

Stanek comes to the position after serving as the Director of the State Employee Health Benefits Program. She also spent more than 20 years at Topeka’s Stormont Vail Health where she served as the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President.

Moving forward, Stanek said she’s looking forward to working on non-pandemic-related issues within the agency, including some of the work the KDHE does where the environment intersects with public health.