inthecenter.jpg (29482 bytes)
10 February 2000 • Volume 2 • Number 6

Million-dollar contract will extend School of Nursing-MRI research

research by the KU School of Nursing and Midwest Research Institute (MRI) into the important role nursing plays in patient outcomes will continue for the next three years, thanks to a $1.1 million contract recently awarded by the American Nurses Association (ANA).
The ANA contract is the first received since the University of Kansas and MRI formed an alliance in December 1999 to promote joint research projects and other collaborations. The project is designed to build a national database that will help health care providers and the public understand the effect of nursing care on patient outcomes.
“It’s exciting to be able to work with MRI on this project,” said Roma Lee Taunton, RN, PhD, professor, Grants and Research, and co project director. “Separately, neither of us would have the strength to do it. MRI offers the technical expertise to build and manage a database, and we offer nursing expertise and research experience related to the quality of health care.”

Dr. Roma Lee Taunton

The project began 18 months ago, when KU and MRI teamed up to design the database and begin collecting data from six nursing associations. Under the current contract, hospitals across the country will be recruited to supply monthly data on nursing care indicators such as staffing levels and patient satisfaction with nursing care. In turn, participating hospitals will receive quarterly reports based on the information submitted, and can compare their outcomes with similar hospitals nationwide.

The role nurses such as Angela Rueter, RN, play in patient outcomes is the focus of the joint KU-MRI study. Rueter, Unit 42, is shown with Harold Dixon of Kansas City, Kan.

Researchers believe the information will help hospitals staff efficiently while maintaining high quality patient care. 

KUMC recognizes Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and KUMC has planned a number of activities to recognize African American heritage, culture and contributions.
As part of “Critical Issues in Minority Health Care in the New Millennium,” a presentation on Nicodemus, Kan., will be made by Angela Bates-Thompkins, 
president of the Nicodemus Historical Society. KUMC students who 
participated in the 1999 KUMC outreach program, the Nicodemus Adult Health Screening and Summer Scholarship Program, will also speak. The event will be Friday, Feb. 11 from 1:30 to 2 p.m. in Battenfeld Auditorium. 
The Feb. 11 program also includes former U.S. Surgeon General M. Jocelyn Elders, MD, who will answer questions by KUMC students from 4 to 5 p.m. and sign books from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in Battenfeld Auditorium. At 6:30 p.m., Dr. Elders will present the keynote address, “Culturally Competent Healthcare in the New Millennium,” at a dinner, book signing and dance at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel. Admission is $25 for students, $35 for non-students. For more information, contact Charla Tunget at ext. 5292, or e-mail <ctunget>. 
From Feb. 15 through 17, the Main Cafeteria will feature African American food and music. A book display is also planned just outside the cafeteria on Wednesday, Feb. 16.
On Thursday, Feb. 24, the Intercultural Film Series will present “Soldiers Without Swords” in Sudler Auditorium, followed by a discussion facilitated by Lewis Diuguid, columnist and vice president of community relations for The Kansas City Star. Refreshments will be served at 4:30 p.m.; the film begins at 5 p.m. 
In mid-February the KUMC Bookstore will mount a display of books, posters and artifacts as part of the National Association of College Stores African American History Month Display Contest. The bookstore will also offer books, brochures, buttons, tote bags, coffee mugs and other items that celebrate African American heritage. Throughout the month, the Nicodemus Adult Health Screening and Summer Scholarship Program will be the topic of a Dykes Library display.

Executive Forum

Making KUMC a national leader in research will require vision, partnership with Kansas 

Michael Welch, MD
Vice Chancellor for Research 
University of Kansas Medical Center

A busload of 20 visitors descended onto the KUMC campus last week with a singular motive: to determine if  KUMC is positioning to be a national leader in research.
The members of the Kansas House Appropriations Committee, led by Committee Chair David Adkins (R-Leawood), heard about biomedical trends that are dramatically changing the way medicine will be practiced in the near future. They heard that medicine is moving away from today’s norm of diagnosis and treatment to prediction and prevention. That’s because research on the human genome is rapidly unraveling the mysteries of genetic causes of disease. The race for dollars to fund this research is intense throughout the country at public and private universities, and pharmaceutical laboratories.
KUMC took the opportunity to demonstrate the exciting research happening here. John Wood, PhD, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, explained research on the mechanism of injury to small blood vessels resulting from low oxygen levels in the blood. Alan Godwin, PhD, Physiology, showed the legislators his research on “hox” genes, important transcription factors that control the patterning of our bodies. Billy Hudson, PhD, Biochemistry, Jared Granthem, MD, Internal Medicine, and Dale Abrahamson, PhD, Anatomy, explained the research that has made KUMC one of the top kidney research programs in the world. Bill Narayan, DVM, Microbiology, toured the group through his state-of-the-art viral laboratory while explaining his promising research on the AIDS virus.
The House Appropriations Committee left convinced that KUMC is positioning itself to be a national research leader. And, they want to know more.

Research Institute
At the KUMC Research Institute, Executive Director Tom Noffsinger and Director of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Jim Baxendale explained the step-by-step process of transferring biomedical technology into a product. Then, how this medical technology will add to economic development in Kansas and an improved quality of life. It was apparent that economic development is of great interest to these legislators. And, it was very important to show how the University plays an important part in transferring the scientific development into economic development.

A partnership
Much of KUMC’s future success is dependent on the Kansas Legislature’s commitment to lend state support. Compared to many states, Kansas is a generous supporter of medical education. Yet, it is imperative that the state support the building of the medical research infrastructure. The economic benefits to the state are enormous.
There are clear indications that KUMC’s positioning for research is on target. Two recent events support this: the recent formation of Kansas City’s Life Sciences Institute and Chancellor Hemenway’s intent to make KU one of the top 
20 research institutions in the country. KUMC’s success will not 
be achieved by merely asking for state support. It will be achieved by helping our state leaders to believe in this vision and by building a partnership with them that will last far into this new century.

CEO’s goal is to position group as national leader

Wayne Coventon

Kansas University Physicians Inc. (KUPI) has a new chief executive officer. 
Wayne Coventon came to the position last month from Oklahoma, where he served as a health care consultant for four years. Prior to that, he spent one and a half years in Kansas City as senior vice president and chief operating officer of TriSource Health Care Inc., a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Most of Coventon’s career was spent at Oklahoma City Clinic, where he was executive director for 20 years. During that time, he helped grow the practice from 27 physicians and one location to 180 physicians practicing in seven 
facilities—making it one of the largest multi-specialty clinics in the state. Coventon also worked to develop 18 
specialty outpatient clinics throughout Oklahoma in cooperation with 
local hospitals. 
Coventon’s goals in his new job are no less ambitious, as they include 
“positioning Kansas University Physicians Inc. as a national leader among academic practice plans.
“I’m delighted to be here,” Coventon said. “I’m very impressed with KUMC, and I look forward to the 
continued involvement of Kansas University Physicians Inc. in the advancement of research, education and patient care.”

Medical Center to convert from four- to five-digit dialing Feb. 20

On-campus calls will soon require an extra digit, when the KUMC phone system converts to five-digit calling Sunday, Feb. 20.
Beginning about 5 a.m., calls to all extensions within the KU Medical Center campus, KU MedWest and the Dialysis Center must be preceded by an 8 (for example, ext. 5555 will become 85555). Five-digit dialing will also be available to the KU campus at Lawrence—thus eliminating long-distance calls—by dialing 4 and the last four digits of the number. Calls to the KU School of Medicine-Wichita can be made by placing a 3 in front of the current four-digit extension.
“The new system is needed because KU will soon run out of useable four-digit telephone numbers,” said KUMC Director of Telecommunications and Networking Don Stanze. “Converting to five-digit diaing will allow 2,000 additional telephone 
numbers to be used.”
To facilitate the change, normal phone service will be shut down from 4:30 to 5 a.m. and voice mail service will be unavailable from midnight to 5 a.m. Feb. 20. The Emergency Back-up Phone System will be available during this period.
Stanze added that employees will need to re-program speed-dial buttons on telephones and auto-dial buttons for fax machines that now use a four-digit extension or a KU Lawrence phone number. If you’re not sure how to re-program, try the instructions located at speeddial.asp. Modems on PCs that currently dial four-digit extensions will also need to be re-programmed.
To access voice mail, dial 82222 for Audix services, and 8 plus your current four-digit voice mail number to log in. Remember that any printed or web-based material containing four-digit extensions will also need to be changed. Dialing 911 and off-campus phone numbers will remain unchanged, as will calls from off-campus to a KUMC phone number.
If you have questions or need more information, contact Stanze at <dstanze>, or the Information Resources Help Desk at ext. 7995 or <helpdesk>.

Front & Center

The Student Wellness Program presented a Feb. 2 “Campus Safety Awareness” program as part of its “Discovering Balance” series. Pictured are John Murphy, program panelist, left, Jennifer Miller, campus safety student representative, Troy Rice, KUPD, and Carrie Swartz, Student Wellness Committee. 

J. Michael Casparian, MD, assistant professor of dermatology, presented “Time Management” on Feb. 4, the first of four management workshops offered by the KU School of Medicine Office of Faculty Development. The next workshop, “Negotiation Skills”, will be Feb. 11, at 1 p.m. in 
1025 Orr-Major.

Tim Slitor, left, Saul Velazquez and Tony Bridgewater of Performance Glass, DeSoto, Kan., install glass panels to the front of the Nursing Education Building. Construction is expected to be complete by spring.

Local news media scrambled Feb. 8 to make sense of and report on the death of KC Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas. As part of the live coverage, Linda Wagar of WDAF-4 interviewed Paul Arnold, MD, assistant professor of neurosurgery and director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program.

Residents, staff physicians, lab technicians, secretaries and other members of Evelyn Gates’ “family” gathered Feb. 3 to celebrate Gates’ 45 years of service in the Surgical Pathology Department. 

A check for $10,500 -- the proceeds of a silent auction at last December’s KU School of Medicine Faculty Gala -- was presented by the KUMC Auxiliary to the Silver City Health Center, Kansas City, Kan. At the Feb. 7 presentation were School of Medicine Executive Dean Deborah Powell, MD, left, Silver City Medical Director Candace Moseley, MD, Auxiliary President Carolyn Warren, and School of Medicine Assistant Dean of External Affairs Mary Beth Gentry, who served as auction chair. 

Upcoming events

February 14-18: The KUMC Student Wellness Program observes National Condom Week with a booth from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Courtyard Café. The booth will include free educational materials and condoms from the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.
February 14: President’s Round Table meeting, noon to 1 p.m., 1023 Orr-Major.
February 15: Internal Medicine Student Interest Group meeting, noon to 
1 a.m., Wahl Hall East.
February 17: Presidents’ Round Table General Meeting, 5:30 to 7 p.m., 1016 Student Center.

Six KU School of Nursing students were recently selected as Outstanding Clinical Students for the 1999 fall semester. Students were chosen for demonstrating performance in the clinical area at a level above that expected in course requirements and Level 1 objectives. The students are, clockwise from bottom, Cherie Tuason, Trang Luu, Jill Tibke, Jill Miller, Millie Ables and Michelle Martin.


Bucklin dissertation defense

Scott Bucklin will present the final oral defense of his dissertation for the PhD in Microbiology on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. in 1023 Orr-Major. The title of the dissertation is “Effects of Antibiotic-Mediated Endotoxin Release on the Pathogenesis of Gram-Negative Sepsis - Role of Interleukin 6 and Interferon-y.” The chairman of the Examining Committee is Joseph Lutkenhaus, PhD, professor, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics 
and Immunology.

Rx benefit clarified
The recent mailing of KU Med employee insurance identification cards from Advanced Paradigm, the pharmacy benefit manager for all KU Med health insurance plans this year, included a listing of pharmacies where cards are honored. Although the KU Med outpatient pharmacy was not among those listed, all KU Med employees with prescription benefits through Advanced Paradigm or AdvanceRX may fill prescriptions at the outpatient pharmacy. The KU Med pharmacy was not on the list because it is considered a “closed” pharmacy, or available only to employees and patients of KU Med. The mailing, which goes to anyone with coverage by Advanced Paradigm, lists only “open” pharmacies. The possible exceptions are prescriptions for medications the outpatient pharmacy does not stock or cannot obtain, as with any other listed provider.

Labs accredited
KU Med’s clinical laboratories recently received word of their accreditation by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on an on-site evaluation completed in October. CAP, the world’s leading laboratory accreditation program, awards this designation to only a select group of laboratories nationwide. This year’s inspection produced one of the best evaluations in the history of the medical center. The clinical laboratories include both clinical and anatomic labs.

Inpatient Transportation
Centralized Inpatient Transportation (CIT) was established four months ago to transport patients between hospital departments. Due to the success of the program, CIT is currently re-evaluating the transportation process with a view to expand its services and increase efficiency. The re-evaluation, combined with some recent staff changes, means a temporary reduction of CIT’s operating hours. Effective Feb. 7, these hours are 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Blades tickets
The last chance to buy tickets for KUMC Night at the Blades will be Feb. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. outside the Main Cafeteria. KUMC Night at the Blades, Feb. 18 at Kemper Arena, features “KUMC on Ice” from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by the 7:35 p.m. game between the Blades and the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Tickets are $9 each, no limit.

Doctor’s Day
Doctor’s Day will be March 30. KU Med nurses will soon begin nominating attending staff and residents for top awards. The Department of Nursing asks other departments to join in recognizing quality physicians on the KU Med staff.

Junior Volunteers sought
The Office of Volunteer Services is accepting applications for its Summer Junior Volunteer Program, which will run June 5 through August 11. Applications must be received by May 2. For more information or to receive an application, contact Marilyn Coup, ext. 6560, or e-mail <mcoup>.

February Lucky Numbers
The KUMC Credit Union Lucky Numbers for February are: 10250; 13835; 14209; 19712, and 31108. The Lucky Birthday is Feb. 10. Prizes may be claimed at the Credit Union, 1037 Delp.

Steuben Floret bowl, clear glass, 7 3/4” diameter, produced ca. 1952, pattern discontinued, current insurable value $495, asking $250 OBO. Call 

816-241-0402, leave message.Bag cell phone w/instruction booklets, $70. Call 

Dishwasher, 10-15 years old but in good working cond., need to pick up, best offer, will go cheap. Call 816-763-9550, evenings.

1997 Saturn, 5-spd., A/C, cruise, CD player, 50K mi., 10K mi. left on warranty, $8,500 OBO. Call 816-466-3834.

1995 Eagle Vision Tsi, leather, dual power seats, auto. climate control, moon roof, power windows & locks, cruise, AM/FM cassette, anti-lock brakes, dual air bag, exc. cond., 79K mi., $7,200 OBO. Call 913-403-9726.

1994 Ford Escort, 4-dr., auto. 58K mi., $4,200. Call 913-384-1532.

1986 Chevrolet S10 pickup, 2.8L V6, auto., A/C, AM/FM cassette, w/camper shell, exc. cond., $2,500. Call 913-599-3106.

Honda Accord, black, 4-dr., sunroof, 4-cyl., auto., aluminum wheels, anti-lock brake system, AM/FM cassette. Call for details, 816-767-1859.

Four 14” 5-lug Chevy S-10 wheels & hub caps, two new snow tires, $200 for all. Call 913-962-9973, evenings.

Healthy adult subjects, 18-50 years of age needed to participate in non-invasive study of memory and learning. Involves 1 hour visit to the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab for the recording of event-related brain potentials (ERPs or brain waves). For more information, contact Jennifer Vavold, ext. 5997.

Women 25-35 years old who have had at least 1 sunburn needed for a study on hormone receptors. Involves 2-3 short visits and 2 skin biopsies. $200 compensation. Call Karen or Kyra, ext. 2029.

Post-menopausal women not on hormone replacement and who have had at least 1 sunburn needed for study on estrogen and the skin. Involves 2-3 short visits and 2 skin biopsies. $200 compensation. Call Karen or Kyra, ext. 2029.

Participants are needed to offer reader feedback about In The Center. Two focus group sessions will be scheduled soon, with 10-12 
participants in each group. Employees from KU Med, the University and KUPI are encouraged to participate, as are students from KUMC schools. Focus groups will last about one hour. All comments from participants will be kept strictly confidential.
If interested, call Laurel Garrett, ext. 1291.


Friday, February 11:
• Pediatrics Grand Rounds, “Update in Pediatric Transplant Surgery,” 8 a.m., Lied Auditorium.
• Psychiatry Grand Rounds, “Depression, Antidepressants and Sexual Dysfunction,” 10:30 a.m., Clendening Amphitheater.

Monday, February 14:
• Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group, noon-1:30 p.m., Delp Cafeteria.
• Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver’s Workshop, 5-7:30 p.m., Delp Cafeteria.
• National Stuttering Project Support Group, 7-9 p.m., 1018 Orr-Major.
• Heart of America Alliance for the Mentally Ill Support Group, 7-9 p.m., Kansas City Community College Continuing Ed. Bldg., 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

Tuesday, February 15:
• Kansas Cancer Institute Research Round Table, noon, Lied Auditorium.
• Cognitive Therapy Addiction Treatment, 1-2:30 p.m., Family Medicine.
• Center on Aging Lecture Series, “Demyelinating Diseases of the Central Nervous System,” 4-5 p.m., Lied Auditorium.
• Weight Management and Nutrition, 6-7 p.m., Blue Ridge Family Physicians, 12121 Blue Ridge Blvd., Suite M, Grandview, Mo.

Wednesday, February 16:
• Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., 1107 KU Med.
• KUMC Interfaith, noon-1 p.m., 4893 Eaton.
• Anxiety Support Group, 4-5:30 p.m., Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic.

Thursday, February 17:
• Burn Patient Family Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Burnett Burn Center Waiting Room.
• Prostate Cancer Support Group, 7-9 p.m., Rieke Auditorium.

Donald Hagen, MD - Executive Vice Chancellor KUMC
Irene Cumming - CEO and President KU Hospital
Ken Arnold - Editor

IN THE CENTER is the employee and student publication of the University of Kansas Medical Center. It is published weekly by the office of Public Relations and Marketing. The deadline for submitting news briefs is noon on the Thursday before they are to appear. Send story ideas to Ken Arnold, editor, G114 Hospital, or e-mail: <karnold> or call ext. 1298.

Ad Policy
Send or bring your ad to G114 KU Hospital, or fax to ext. 1225, or e-mail: <karnold> by noon Thursday of the week before it is to run. Ads run free of charge for employees, students and volunteers. For-sale ads are limited to three items. All ads must include the advertiser’s name and work extension (or medical student box number) for verification. Only home phone numbers–no pager numbers or KUMC extensions–will be published. No ads for commercial services or pets for sale will be accepted. Ads will not be taken by telephone. Only one phone number per ad. Ads may be held a week of space is limited.

Prepared by Printing Service Imaging