Neil Barnett has called Kansas City home since graduating from the University of Kansas in 1983 with a degree in finance and accounting. For 21 years, Neil worked in the local offices of Wells Fargo, KPMG Peat Marwick and, finally, at Sprint Corporation, building a successful career in finance and international business development (finding time to earn his MBA from Rockhurst University along the way). In 2004, though, he ran across an opportunity to apply his expertise to work he found more meaningful and fulfilling.
Neil’s grandmother had struggled with Alzheimer’s disease. Because Neil’s father was a neurologist, his grandmother received the best medical treatment available in their hometown of Wichita, Kansas. More difficult was finding the round-the-clock personal care she required.
Years later, in 2004, Neil was intrigued to learn of a novel approach to Alzheimer’s care being pioneered by another Wichita native – Charles Stark. Unable to find an acceptable option for his own mother, Stark had been among the first to take Alzheimer’s care out of an institutional setting and into professionally staffed, ranch-style residences designed specifically for dementia care. Well-trained caregivers had the time to offer personalized care in a warm, safe home environment.
By 2004, Stark’s ComfortCare Homes dotted the quiet, suburban neighborhoods of several cities – but not those of Kansas City. Neil invested in a license to introduce the ComfortCare concept to the metro area. On August 1, 2005, he opened the first ComfortCare home in Kansas City, not far from his own house in Prairie Village.
Neil, his wife Lisa and his father-in-law Howard Mick all are deeply committed owners of this family enterprise. Recently, to avoid confusion with the many area organizations that make prominent use of the word “Comfort,” Neil changed the company’s name to “Care Haven Homes.”
Neil oversees the management of all our homes. For more information on Neil’s operational responsibilities, visit About – Management.
Howard Mick is recently retired from a legal practice that spanned a period of more than 52 years. He joined Stinson, Mag & Fizzell (a predecessor of Stinson Morrison Hecker, LLP) in 1959, later becoming a partner of that firm and serving in various management as well as legal capacities. Howard’s law practice focused primarily on business, corporate finance and banking matters. He has served on a number of bank boards and is currently a director of a privately owned company with manufacturing plants in the Midwest.
Howard has shared his expertise with his church and various civic organizations. He is an ordained elder of Second Presbyterian Church and has served as its finance chairman. He is an active member of the Downtown Rotary Club. He also has served as a volunteer, board member or advisory board member for a number of organizations in the not-for-profit community.
Ask Howard what contribution he makes to Care Haven, and he’s likely to overlook the valuable insights he provides this small business, operating in a highly regulated industry crowded by large national chains. He’s more apt to tell you about the times he takes care of food shopping, or pitches in with meal preparation, or spends gardening with residents. Whenever Howard visits a Care Haven home, he brings another pair of watchful eyes, an extra pair of helpful hands, a ready smile and an empathetic ear.
Alison Allen, RN, MSN, FNP, MPH
Joining Neil’s family in the ownership group are long-time friends Alison & Keith Allen. The Allens both are knowledgeable health care professionals: Keith is a vascular surgeon, while Alison is a Nurse Practitioner who has earned degrees as both a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Health.
Alison, in particular, brings the professional experience of more than 20 years in the public health field … as well as practical experience as a mother of, and caregiver to, five children of her own. Caring for her children has drawn Alison away from day-to-day operations during the past several years, but she remains an engaged and trusted advisor.