A Lawrence man who serves on the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities has been hired by the state to be the ombudsman for KanCare enrollees.
James Bart, 50, started the job today. He will office at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services headquarters at 503 S. Kansas Ave. in Topeka.
Bart said he has a law degree from Creighton University but had not practiced law since leaving Nebraska for Kansas about 17 years ago. He is married and the father of a 19-year-old son with developmental disabilities and three younger children.
"I'll make a serious commitment to consumers of Kansas Medicaid to help them in any way I can," Bart said.
Bart said he previously worked in the automotive and insurance industries but preferred to not discuss the details. According to the profile he posted on Linked-in, an online network for business professionals, his employment before this job was as an auto damage appraiser for Crystal Carstar.
Bart said his passion has been advocating for the disabled and that the ombudsman job will allow him to wed his professional experience with his desire to help others.
According to KDADS officials he has worked with ARC of Douglas County, an organization that helps disabled persons and their families in Douglas, Jefferson, Osage and Franklin counties. He completed training in "community-based outreach and graduate network development" with the Kansas Council of Developmental Disabilities and also graduated from a "Special Education Law Boot Camp," conducted by Wrightslaw. He has a bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management from the University of Iowa.
KDADS officials said Bart would be responsible for assisting Medicaid enrollees with "unresolved access, service and benefit problems," particularly those who receive home- and community-based services or are in long-term care situations. His annual salary will be $62,500.