Each year at our Annual Conference, the Kansas Home Care & Hospice Association likes to recognize some of the special people in the home care and hospice industry. This award honors an individual who serves in the KS state legislature or represents KS in the US Congress and who has demonstrated consistent leadership on legislative initiatives that advance and support the home health care and hospice industry and who has demonstrated active involvement with constituent agencies.
Kent ThompsonState Representative, District 9
His nomination reads: “Rep. Thompson has been supportive of Medicaid expansion in Kansas from the beginning. As a matter of fact, per Dennis Franks, CEO of NMRMC, he believes Rep. Thompson was one of the first to support the expansion when it came up the last time and he has supported Medicaid expansion every since then.
"Rep. Thompson also talks with other legislator to try and make them understand how important expanding Medicaid is to not only hospitals but also many other organizations and to the economic growth of Kansas.
"Rep. Thompson has also been very supportive of making sure the health of Kansas residents is important and focuses on getting better.
"It is important to understand that being one of the early supportive Republican members for Medicaid expansion, he was definitely putting himself out there in the spotlight and we appreciate his strong drive and dedication to the health of Kansans."
US Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins
2nd District of Kansas
Now serving her fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Jenkins was elected by her colleagues to serve as the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference during the 113th and 114th Congressional sessions becoming the 30th woman in history to hold a leadership position in either branch of Congress, and the 14th Republican woman to be in Leadership.
Congresswoman Jenkins currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the chief tax writing committee in the House of Representatives. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, she serves on both the Health Subcommittee and Trade Subcommittee.
Representative Jim Ward
Kansas House of Representatives, 86th District
Pictured with Ed Schulte, KHCA PresidentRep Jim Ward, a democrat from the 86th District in Wichita, is the ranking minority leader in the House Health & Human Services Committee & serves as the assistant minority leader. He serves on the Joint Bob Bethell HCBS & KanCare Oversight Committee, the Joint Committee on Rules & Regulations, the Joint Committee on Corrections & Juvenile Justice Oversight, the House Pensions & Benefits Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. He was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2003 and has been a vocal supporter of Medicaid Providers –often questioning the practices of the MCO’s and the state departments who oversee KanCare during the oversight hearings.
Rep. Ward also served in the Kansas Senate from 1991 to 1993. He received his Juris Doctor from Washburn University School of Law. He currently practices law in Wichita.
Representative Barbara Ballard
KS House of Representatives, 44th District
Pictured: Cynthia Lewis, CEO, VNA, Lawrence, KS; Rep. Barbara Ballard; and Jane Kelly, Executive Director, KHCAA portion of her nomination reads: "Representative Barbara Ballard serves the 44th district in the Kansas House of Representatives, a position she's held for more than 20 years. Barbara's legislative leadership roles include Democratic Caucus Chair, the House Appropriations Committee, and the House Committee on Social Services Budget. She is a staunch advocate for community-based services, and was appointed to the Joint Committee on Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and KanCare Oversight in 2013. That committee is charged with overseeing HCBS services for the elderly and disabled and effective implementation of KanCare. Despite her many obligations, Representative Ballard creates opportunities to learn from her constituents, including home-and community-based service agencies. Prior to the beginning of each legislative session, Barbara facilitates “hearings” for agencies to meet with local legislators to share and discuss issues and concerns for legislative attention. In addition to access through other forums, I've had the privilege of meeting with Representative Ballard (and others) twice to share the impact of KanCare implementation to our agency, both administratively and financially. Given her advocacy position, I've shared with her I always feel as though I'm “preaching to the choir,” to which she responded with the most delightful anecdote! As a member of her church choir, Barbara reminded me, “The choir is always present; don't ever stop preaching to the choir, they will always be available to you!” It is so true of Representative Ballard that her choir membership is enduring, and despite the many challenges facing Kansas legislators today, she remains a positive influence for change."
Jerry Moran, United States Senator for Kansas
Pictured: Mike Zamrzla, Deputy State Director, Wichita, receiving on behalf of Senator Moran