Officials at Parallax under SRS scrutiny

The state social services agency is investigating complaints against officials with the Wichita nonprofit substance abuse program Parallax, an agency spokesman said.

SRS began an on-site investigation Monday at Parallax Program Inc., said Steve Mock, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Parallax, which has been operating in Wichita for more than 30 years, draws clients from across the state and provides inpatient and outpatient services. This year, Parallax has served 368 clients, 267 of which have been funded by the Addiction and Prevention Services division of SRS, Mock said.

Mock said he couldn't comment on the nature of the complaints against Parallax officials. "Concerns have been relayed to our staff," Mock said, without elaborating.

He said the investigation "is definitely not routine."

SRS is working with the Parallax board of directors to "make sure all clients are safe and the services are appropriate and the provider is operating in accordance with all the applicable rules and procedures," he said.

The investigation is in the early stages. "We're working to understand the situation," Mock said.

Troy Fowler — Parallax chief financial officer and son of Milt Fowler, Parallax CEO and founder — said Thursday "we have cooperated fully" with the SRS investigation.

"We won't have any more comment until we get the report back from the state," Troy Fowler said.

The Parallax board met Thursday. Board president Danny Bardezbain, a retired Sedgwick County sheriff's major and current Eastborough police chief, said he couldn't comment on the SRS investigation or on any action at the board meeting, which was closed to the public.

Parallax, which is licensed by SRS, receives state and federal money for its substance-abuse services.

So far this year, Parallax has been paid $806,000 from Value Options, with $280,000 of that coming from Medicaid and the rest from the Addiction and Prevention Services division of SRS, Mock said.

Value Options is a managed care organization that contracts with Parallax to provide services with federal and state funds.

According to the 2010 Wichita city budget, Parallax programs received $385,280 from state liquor tax revenue that goes to cities.

Parallax has an outpatient services facility at 830 S. Hillside and residential facilities at 3410 E. Funston.