31st Judicial District Chief Judge Hon. Daniel D. Creitz and his son Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Daniel S. Creitz pose in the Allen County Courthouse.

Health center attorney, father sworn in before U.S. Supreme Court 

Fathers and sons share countless experiences, but few have the opportunity to be sworn in simultaneously before the United States Supreme Court.  

The duo, 31st Judicial District Chief Judge Hon. Daniel D. Creitz and his son Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Daniel S. Creitz, were recently sworn in before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Those sworn in can appear before the court, write briefs, and sit in on hearings. Daniel is eligible to participate in the court proceedings about healthcare topics, legislation, and issues that are at a national height right now.   

“Not many attorneys are in health centers,” Daniel says, “and even fewer are eligible to practice before the United States Supreme Court.”   

Swear in day was a day to behold, they said. The entire Supreme Court was there surrounding those being sworn in.   

Their names were listed in succession, a surreal experience for Daniel.   

“The Honorable Daniel D. Creitz of Iola, Kansas, Daniel S. Creitz of Pittsburg, Kansas, Jeffrey D. Jackson of Topeka, Kansas,” as read aloud before the Clerk and the Justices of the Supreme Court.  

“Something I’ll remember is sitting in that courtroom, the nine justices coming up, and the Judge is on my right, and the dean of law school is on the left,” Daniel says. “It was really neat, the three of us being there together and reading our names back-to-back as we stood in front of everyone. It was a pretty surreal moment.”   

Before becoming a judge, Judge Creitz had his own law practice in Erie, Kansas, and practiced for 17 years, holding criminal and civil trials. He represented school districts, cities, and small and large companies.  

In the summer, starting at eight years old, Daniel would ride his bike down to the town’s drug store and grab two sodas — one for him and one for dad — then ride to his dad’s law office, where he would listen to his father share about the ways he was going to be helping people that day.   

This was the start of his interest in law, and it began to solidify as the years went by, particularly after his father became a judge.    

“I think he wanted to effect change a little bit more broadly,” Daniel reflects. “I think he wondered if he was helping people as much as he could. That taught me a lot about always looking out for others and trying to be the best version of yourself. All the while, my mother (an educator of 40 years) continued to teach. She greatly influenced me with her consistency, working hard and trying to influence young children.”  

Daniel and Judge Creitz have the same degree from Washburn University but couldn’t have used it more differently. One thing’s for sure: they both had public service in mind.   

Judge Creitz has been on the bench for 22 years, and his docket includes domestic cases, felony cases, protection cases, civil actions, and the list goes on. As the chief judge of his judicial district, he assigns cases to other judges in the 31st Judicial District, which is composed of Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson Counties, among other duties.  

To Judge Creitz, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program and Drug Court really make a big impact on the community. CASA helps secure placement for children in the child welfare system because of alleged or confirmed abuse or neglect.    

“They are unbelievable programs; we are actually changing lives,” Judge Creitz says, crediting the staff who work the Drug Court and the CASA volunteers.   

This type of public service was aspirational for Daniel, and he found his own way of serving his community by becoming the very first attorney employed at CHC/SEK, one of the few health center attorneys in Kansas. Daniel leads CHC/SEK’s compliance efforts that oversee many components of the health care system, including risk management, legal, health information management, pharmacy, and the contracting and vetting of providers.   

“Less than one percent of attorneys get to do what I get to do every day,” Daniel says. “There are very few attorneys who work within charitable organizations and even fewer work in health care. I’m infinitely blessed.”  

CHC/SEK is the largest provider of health care in rural eastern Kansas and northeast Oklahoma. According to Daniel, Kansas is the 34th healthiest state in the union, but if you remove nine counties, it would be the 10th healthiest.  

Similar to his father, he is helping establish a Drug Court in the 11th Judicial District, which is composed of Crawford, Cherokee, and Labette Counties. This was made possible through a grant to CHC/SEK from the Kansas Fights Addiction Grant Program.   

Both Judge Creitz and Daniel credited their success to Daniel’s mother, Shaila, who has always been a guiding and supportive hand. They also credited Daniel’s wife, Kylie, who has been supportive since his beginning days in law school.  

“The accomplishment, the career—it’s all a credit to him, my mom, and my wife,” Daniel says. “I wouldn’t be doing what I do today without them.”  

“And, of course,” Judge Creitz added, “As a parent, you’re always proud of your kids.” 

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