- Policy & Research
- About KHI
Oct. 8, 2007
Who: Connie Hubbell, lobbyist, former senior vice president, Kansas Foundation for Medical Care and former chair of the Kansas Health Policy Authority.
Bio: Hubbell, 60, was chairwoman of the board of the Kansas Health Policy Authority, the stand-alone state agency charged with crafting health policies and overseeing the state’s Medicaid, HealthWave and state employees’ health insurance programs. She stepped to pursue a lobbying career with a focus on health issues.
“I think Kansas will become — if it’s not already — one of the most pro-active states in the area of health reform,” Hubbell said. “We are not going to sit back and wait for federal government. We’re taking a strong leadership role in identifying the needs and trying to resolve those needs. It’s not easy.
“We have to educate the professionals and we have to get people and their communities to take better care of themselves, to take responsibility for their own health and wellness,” she said.
“It’s a huge undertaking but I’m convinced that if anybody make it happen over, say, the next five years, it’s the health policy authority. We have such a great board and a really terrific staff.”
Born and reared in Topeka, Hubbell graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in physical education. She taught and coached at Washburn Rural High School for three years before leaving to become, in her words, “a full-time mom.”
Hubbell and her husband, Pat Hubbell, also a well-known lobbyist, have two grown sons, both of whom live in Colorado.
Hubbell served 10 years on the Kansas State Board of Education before running for lieutenant governor in 1994. She and her Republican running mate, Fred Kerr, lost to then-Secretary of State Bill Graves in the GOP primary. Graves went on to become governor.
Hubbell later joined his administration, spending five years at the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services before becoming secretary at the Department on Aging in 1999.
“Being secretary at the Department on Aging was a wonderful experience,” she said. “We eliminated waiting lists and we took the lead, I think, in getting nursing homes to move toward ‘cultural change,’ the idea that instead of a nursing home being an institution, it should be seen as a home.”
After three years and a change in administration, Hubbell joined the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, a federally funded agency charged with measuring and improving the quality of care in the state’s hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and home health agencies.
She was appointed to the health policy authority board by then-House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka.
“I was surprised,” Hubbell said of her appointment. “Rep. Mays said he knew I had an interest in mental health and in aging and he wanted to be sure they were represented on the authority.”
Though mental health and long term care now fall under the health policy authority’s purview, plans call for the programs that deal with them remaining at SRS and Aging, respectively, until the agency has the time, staff and budget to take them on.
Interconnects: In her role as senior vice president at the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Hubbell oversaw the evaluation of Medicaid- and Medicare-funded services throughout the state. She has held leadership positions in the state departments of education, aging, and social and rehabilitation services. She is on the boards of the Topeka YWCA, Volunteer Center of Topeka, St. Francis Hospital Foundation, and the Topeka/Shawnee County Library Foundation.
In his lobbyist role, Hubbell’s husband, Pat, represents Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads, Southwestern Bell, and Tyson Foods.
Contact: Telephone: 785-633-2971 or 785-435-3390