KDHE Welcomes Deputy Secretary of Public Affairs
Theresa Freed makes move from DCF to KDHE in a leadership role, continuing State service
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Jeff Andersen is pleased to announce that Theresa Freed will join KDHE today, Monday, May 7, to serve in a newly-created position of Deputy Secretary of Public Affairs. Theresa served as the Communications Director for the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) for five years, and prior to that, served as Public Information Officer for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
“I’m excited to have Theresa heading our Communications and Legislative divisions,” said Secretary Andersen. “She has done tremendous work at DCF, engaging the public and embracing new technology to share the good work of the agency. We look forward to her doing the same and more at KDHE.”
As DCF Communications Director, Freed was instrumental in leading many DCF public relations projects, including the launch and implementation of Foster Kansas Kids, digital signage, and the children’s room redesign. She successfully initiated DCF’s presence on social media and played a key role in the redesign of both the DCF public website and intranet. She worked closely with the agency’s Legislative and Policy division to create and review legislative testimony and supplemental information for lawmakers. Prior to State service, Freed worked for 13 years as a print and television reporter and anchor, honored with numerous journalism awards. She obtained bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and political science from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in mass communications from California State University.
“I have greatly appreciated my time at DCF,” said Freed. “After many years of working at an agency that assists families at some of the most difficult points in their lives, I am now looking forward to helping Kansans in this new capacity. KDHE does amazing work through a wide range of programs and services, and I am excited to share those stories.”
Relevant experience from State service that Freed brings to KDHE includes serving on the initial KanCare Communications Workgroup, supporting the work of the KanCare Ombudsman, leading communications planning on the KEES project related to DCF services, and working closely with the DCF child care program to launch and promote a quality recognition system. She has previously worked in collaboration with KDHE on joint messaging related to child care facility safety and hot car awareness related to children.
Freed will lead the team of communications professionals at KDHE, including Director of Communications Gerald Kratochvil and Public Information Officers Kara Titus and J.C. Reeves. She will also oversee the legislative division, which includes Legislative Liaison Liz Dunn.
Freed and her husband, Larry, reside in their hometown of Topeka, with their two sons.