Featured business person: Jean Hogan

03/29/2012 5:00 AM

03/29/2012 6:56 AM

Jean Hogan

Executive director, Medical Service Bureau

Hogan’s departure from her last job drew headlines. In her new post at the Medical Service Bureau , she’s drawing praise.

“She is well loved in the community,” said Lisa Vayda, chairwoman of the board that hired Hogan.

Last May, Hogan was fired by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration from her job as regional director of the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, angering many of those who knew of her work with the welfare agency.

Hogan said she enjoyed spending time in “semi-retirement,” but “knew I wanted to come back to the social services field and work again.”

The Medical Service Bureau, founded by a group of doctors 75 years ago, is a nonprofit that provides low-income residents with financial assistance for prescription medication, eye exams and eyeglasses. It has seven employees, including Hogan, and is primarily funded by the United Way, a contract with Sedgwick County, grants and individual donations.

The bureau served more than 4,000 people last year.

“It’s an ideal job for me at this point in time,” said Hogan, who started work Feb. 27. “I love the grass-roots nature of the agency. It’s a small enough agency that I get a real feel for the direct services we do on a daily basis. I’m just having a fun and exciting time.”

Hogan, 60, grew up in rural Hutchinson. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and a master’s degree from the University of Kansas. She worked for the SRS in Wichita for almost 38 years, starting as a social worker handling foster children and spending the last six years as regional director. In that role she oversaw as many as 600 employees.

At the Medical Service Bureau, Hogan said her main job is to “make sure we have the resources needed to meet the expectations of the board of directors.”

To do that, she wants to raise the visibility of the bureau, located at 1530 S. Oliver.

“A lot of people are not aware of us,” Hogan said. “We want both people who can support us and people who can benefit from us to know about it.”

Hogan and her husband, Dan, who will celebrate their 40th anniversary next month, have two daughters and three grandchildren in Wichita.

Outside work, she enjoys playing bridge, reading, playing with her grandchildren and gardening.

“Herb gardening is my biggie,” she said. “I’m excited about it being spring time and digging in the dirt.”

Joe Stumpe

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