We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Kenneth Bruntel, an attorney from Crowell & Moring who was one of Legal Aid’s most valued and dependable volunteer lawyers. Since the initial implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program in January 2006, Ken helped ensure that numerous low-income District residents were able to fill their prescriptions drugs despite the program’s confusing complexity.
For the past three years, Ken participated in “clinics” sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of DC and the Whitman-Walker Clinic Legal Program in which clients received one on one counseling to help them choose prescription drug plans that would serve their needs. His help made the difference between clients’ being able to go to the pharmacy and purchase their drugs at an affordable price or being turned away without their drugs or an adequate explanation.
The clients who need help with Medicare Part D face many challenges – old age, physical or mental disability, limited literacy – which can make it difficult to explain their rights and serve their needs. Ken rose to this challenge on many occasions, treating our clients with dignity and respect, and they appreciated his help. Even after he had completed their counseling and changed their plans, clients would call to check in with Ken and ask his advice about their prescription drug plans.
The entire staff of Legal Aid -- particularly those in the Public Benefits Unit who worked closely with Ken -- send our thoughts and best wishes to his family and to his colleagues at Crowell and Moring. He will be deeply missed.