Jim McLean

Jim McLean, Executive Editor of KHI News Service, oversees the KHI News Service. From 2005 until 2013, McLean coordinated all communications activities at KHI as Vice President for Public Affairs. The position he now occupies was created as part of a strategic initiative to solidify the editorial and operational independence of the KHI News Service. Prior to coming to KHI, McLean had a distinguished career as a journalist, serving as the news director and Statehouse bureau chief for Kansas Public Radio and a managing editor for the Topeka Capital-Journal. During his more than 20 years in Kansas journalism, McLean won numerous awards for journalistic excellence from the Kansas Press Association, regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. In 1997, McLean and two Capital-Journal colleagues received the Burton W. Marvin News Enterprise Award from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism for a series of stories on the state’s business climate. McLean holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Washburn University.


The recent arrest of a Topeka couple on child abuse charges is raising questions about a custody battle that some say illustrates a pattern of discrimination against gays seeking to adopt.

The 2014 custody case pitted a same-sex couple from Wichita against Jonathan and Allison Schumm, the Topeka couple now facing child abuse charges. Jonathan Schumm is a member of the Topeka City Council.

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

Two of the four Kansas lawmakers recently relieved of their health committee assignments are pushing back. They say their removal won’t stop the debate on Medicaid expansion. 

Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick ousted Reps. Don Hill of Emporia and Susan Concannon of Beloit from the Health and Human Services Committee because they supported Medicaid expansion.

Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Wichita Chamber has added Medicaid expansion to its list of legislative priorities. But as Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, there are conditions attached to that support.

The board of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce has voted to support expanding Kansas’ privatized Medicaid program--known as KanCare--so that it covers more poor adults.

But that support is conditioned on two things:

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Kansas lawmakers are scrutinizing the state’s foster care system. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, the review was prompted by reports about children who died in the system.

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature pushed for an investigation of the state’s foster care system last summer following the deaths of two young children. A four-year-old boy was beaten to death in Hiawatha. And a Wichita infant died in a hot car after being forgotten by her foster parents.

Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor

An advocacy group is saying that Gov. Sam Brownback’s latest plan to avert a budget deficit will hurt some of the state’s poorest children. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has more on concerns being raised by children’s advocates.

Stephen Koranda

Republican Speaker Ray Merrick has removed three Kansas lawmakers who support Medicaid expansion from the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Robert Hruzek, flickr Creative Commons

A journalism watchdog group is giving Kansas state government a failing grade for transparency.

The nonprofit Center for Public Integrity says the deaths of several children in the foster care system should have prompted an audit of the state agency that oversees the system. But Republicans on the Legislative Post Audit committee blocked an investigation.

Susie Fagan / KHI News

For the past three years supporters of expanding Medicaid to cover more poor Kansans have gotten nowhere in the Legislature, but they’re hoping to change that in the upcoming session by getting Kansas lawmakers to look at expansion plans crafted in other so-called red states.

Indiana’s plan was the focus at a forum held here in Wichita on Tuesday that attracted an overflow crowd, including Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean.


Kansans seeking health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplace will soon have fewer choices. That’s because a major provider is withdrawing from the marketplace. Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean has the story.

Mercy Hospital Independence

The closure of a hospital in southeast Kansas has sparked a new debate over Medicaid expansion. Supporters say federal expansion could have helped save Mercy Hospital in Independence. But expansion opponents, including Governor Sam Brownback, say that isn’t true. Even so, as Heartland Health Monitor's Jim McLean reports, the hospital’s closure has made it harder for expansion opponents to ignore the issue.