ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state has hired Ronald Cowan as the state's new long-term care ombudsman.
The ombudsman investigates and mediates complaints about the care of elderly Alaskans in nursing homes and assisted-living homes.
Cowan, 46, has worked in Alaska and in Washington state, supervising the licensing of health care facilities. He has also worked as a therapist and social worker.
''My agenda is to try to be seen as not only an advocate for the elderly but also as a resource for the providers'' of health care, Cowan said.
The state has had difficulty filling the ombudsman position in recent years. Cowan is the fourth person to hold the job since 1999.
The most recent ombudsman, John Richard, resigned last August after serving in the job for about nine months.
Cowan will make about $63,000 annually.
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