Kansas Senate panel backs appointment of new healing arts board director

    Kansas House candidate Charles Smith's campaign finance report includes payment of nearly $5,000 to a Catholic church in Pittsburg for postage costs of campaign mailers, a collaboration that may not be against state law but could run afoul of Internal Revenue Service rules for nonprofit churches. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)
    Kansas House candidate Charles Smith's campaign finance report includes payment of nearly $5,000 to a Catholic church in Pittsburg for postage costs of campaign mailers, a collaboration that may not be against state law but could run afoul of Internal Revenue Service rules for nonprofit churches. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

    TOPEKA — A Kansas Senate committee voted Monday to recommend confirmation of a new executive director of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts following resignation one year ago of the top administrator of the organization licensing and regulating health professionals.

    Tucker Poling, interim executive director of the agency, won endorsement of the Senate’s confirmation committee following brief testimony at the Capitol. If confirmed by the full Senate, he would replace Kathleen Selzer Lippert, who resigned in October 2019.

    Prior to stepping down, Lippert had been placed on six months probation in June by the Board of Healing Arts. There were news reports Kansas physicians remained licensed despite repeated criminal convictions and that the agency’s website contained inaccurate information.

    The 15 people on the Board of Healing Arts blessed Poling’s nomination to lead the agency with oversight of 31,000 health professionals.

    “The board strives to serve its mission of public protection by licensing only well-qualified and safe practitioners and then enforcing the laws and regulations that seek to prevent and address incompetent and unprofessional practice by those who have been granted the privilege,” Poling said.

    Poling, who has served on the Prairie Village City Council, said his career had focused entirely on Kansas health care law. He said he understood medical and legal issues addressed on a daily basis by the board.