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09 MARCH 2000 • Volume 2 • Number 10

STAR trial part of KUMC’s continuing commitment to breast cancer research

Last summer, the Kansas Cancer Institute (KCI) made headlines by announcing its participation in a breakthrough national study, the STAR (Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene) breast cancer prevention trial. Nine months later, the STAR study is in full swing and expanding throughout the state 
of Kansas.
The STAR trial seeks to examine whether a drug called raloxifene, which has been approved for the treatment of osteoporosis, might also be effective in reducing the incidence of breast cancer in women who are at increased risk. The drug tamoxifen has already been shown to help prevent breast cancer in high-risk women by 49 percent. If raloxifene is proven equally effective, it could become an alternative medication for women who experience side effects from tamoxifen.

KUMC was the site of a March 1 meeting and luncheon for members of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The Foundation contributes funding for KUMC breast cancer research. Shown left to right are: Jennifer Klemp, MPH, Senior Coordinator of Clinical Oncology; Carol Fabian, MD, professor of Clinical Oncology and director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Center; Komen Foundation member Floriene Lieberman; and KU Med President and CEO Irene Cumming.

In order to qualify for the STAR study, participants must be post-menopausal and at increased risk for breast cancer. So far, over 40 women have agreed to participate in the five-year trial. However, KCI hopes to recruit as many as 300 before the study’s end. To achieve this number, KCI is partnering with physicians across the state and into Nebraska. As well as working with a patient’s primary care physician, a nurse practitioner will travel to an out-of-town participant’s location to perform risk assessment and follow-up examination. Participants are also being recruited from the new Breast Center at KU MedWest.
“It is our goal to give women throughout the state of Kansas the opportunity to participate. These women are in a unique position not only to make a difference in their own lives, but in the lives of generations to come,” said Renea Studer, RN, STAR Project Coordinator. 
For more information, please contact Studer at ext. 8-4719.

Council sets sights on educating public about injury prevention

Everyone knows that the best way to deal with injury is to prevent it from happening in the first place. With that thought in mind, the KU Med Trauma Program has recently launched the Injury Prevention Council.
The council is designed to bring more focus and consistency to existing community injury prevention programs sponsored by KUMC, and to develop new, effective programs and presentations.
“This is a way to bring under one umbrella the different injury prevention activities done by groups across campus, such as Rehab Services and the Burnett Burn Center,” said Jeff Strickler, RN, MA, CEN, Trauma Program director and council chairman. “By working together, we can gain some strength in the injury prevention programs we offer to the community.”
Among the many activities planned by the council is an educational program called “Trauma Nurses Talk Tough.” The program includes a complete slide presentation on injury prevention from the perspective of the trauma nurse caring for a patient. Because it covers a wide range of topics—including bicycle and motorcycle safety, seat belt usage and drug abuse—the program can be tailored to specific audiences or age groups, such as scout troops, drivers education classes, health occupation groups or senior citizens.

Trauma Program Director Jeff Strickler, RN, MA, CEN, discusses the Injury Prevention Council with Rehab Services Neuro-Trauma Team members Sheila Schmalz, PTA, left, and Rehab Services Director Sally Brandt, PhD.

Strickler said the program is also flexible enough that different medical disciplines can further personalize the presentation to meet their needs. Even the title can be changed (for example, “Physical Therapists Talk Tough”) to reflect a specific area of expertise.
Strickler has recently begun meeting with representatives from a number of departments that offer injury prevention programs, to introduce the program and coordinate future presentations in the community. Any group interested in making the presentation, or any employee who would like “Trauma Nurses Talk Tough” made at a group in which they participate, should contact Strickler at ext. 8-5428.

Executive Forum
‘The Nursing Shortage’ and how it impacts all of us

Karen Miller, RN, PhD, FAAN,
Dean KU Schools of Nursing and Allied Health

Kansas University Medical Center is on the forefront of advances in biomedical and health care technologies. And, with each new treatment comes the requirement for skilled health care professionals to ensure the highest quality care for our patients.
However, the major medical advances may be facing a detour affecting these advances. Since nurses comprise the largest single component of health care delivery, everyone on the health care team at KUMC may feel the effects of this shortage. Many experts believe the current shortage may be of longer duration and less easily solved than nursing shortages in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
There are several reasons for the anticipated shortage:
Fewer people are entering the health professions because of increasing opportunities in technology and computer-related fields.
Nurses are considering early retirement and part-time work as they get older.

Nurses such as Renee Madison, RN, Unit 46, play a crucial role in patient care. Madison is shown with James Miller of Fairway, Kan.

Changes in health care reimbursement have led to highly- publicized “cutbacks” at some hospitals, adversely influencing public perception of job availability.
Some nurses may be discouraged about the high stress and complex demands of today’s hospitals and choose opportunities in other health-related fields, such as the pharmaceutical industry.
The higher level acuity of hospitalized patients requires nurses with specialization, experience and more education than ever before.
There is no way to eliminate the core of responsibility and obligation that is embedded within the caregiving relationship. The status of our health care system depends on nurses. The KU School of Nursing and the Department of Nursing at KU Med are taking aggressive actions to attract and retain professional nurses. We need your help and, especially, your support of our expert KU Nurses during this time of  “nursing shortage!”

Student Research Forum 2000 will feature top pathologists 

Two prominent researchers who played a pivotal role in a potentially deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus will be the keynote speakers at the 27th annual KUMC Student Research Forum, April 5 and 6.
The Forum is an opportunity for students from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health and Graduate Studies to present their research to faculty and fellow students. The activities begin at 8:30 a.m. on April 5, with student presentations made in Orr-Major until 11:45 a.m. Additional presentations will be made from 1:30 to 3 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception from 4 to 5 p.m. in Hixson Atrium.
At noon on April 5, the keynote address will be given in Rieke Auditorium by Col. Nancy K. Jaax, DVM, chief of pathology at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), and Col. Jerry P. Jaax, DVM, university research compliance officer at Kansas State University. The two will speak about their experiences during the 1989 Ebola outbreak at a primate facility in Reston, Va., which inspired the best-selling novel “The Hot Zone.” 

Col. Nancy K. Jaax, DVM, and Col. Jerry P. Jaax, DVM.

Nancy Jaax received her DVM from Kansas State University in 1973, later focusing her research on the pathogenesis of chemical and biological warfare agents, including highly infectious viruses such as Ebola and Marburg. Jerry Jaax obtained his degree in veterinary medicine in 1972 from Kansas State University. He was previously chief of veterinary medicine at USAMRRID in Ft. Detrick, Md., and director of the Biological Arms Control Treaty Office in Ft. Detrick. 
On April 6, a grant writing workshop will be held in Lied Auditorium from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided at noon. The workshop is open to the public; however, reservations are requested. The forum concludes with an awards banquet, open to all presenters, at the Golden Ox Restaurant.
For more information, visit the Student Research Forum website at


Nursing students embark on Dominican Republic mission

Last fall, a group of nursing students approached Clinical Assistant Professor of Academic Affairs Vicki Hicks, RN, MSN, about the possibility of earning independent study credit by participating in a medical mission. On March 11, that idea will become reality as Hicks and six nursing students journey to the Dominican Republic.
The mission, organized by the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kan., will send approximately 25 health professionals to the Dominican Republic for a week. Participants will set up health assessment and treatment clinics for Haitian sugar cane workers and their families, and help teach and empower local health promoters to provide quality care for their communities. 

The Family Medicine Interest Group prepared dinner for the residents of the Shalom Center on Tuesday, Feb. 29. 
The Shalom Center offers temporary shelter to homeless individuals in Kansas City, Kan. Group members pictured are Lisa Beran, left, Scott Corcoran, Michele Decker and Benjamin Dolezal.

School of Nursing students participating in the mission are Deana Wilhoite, Karah Ungeheuer, Becky Burnham, Joni Thayer, Tiffany Spratt and Aly Berry.

Front & Center

Wanda Jackson, office specialist at the KU Med Information Desk, is surrounded by daffodils on March 6. The flowers were distributed to cancer patients and placed around the hospital as part of Daffodil Days, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. 

Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology S.K. Dey, PhD, was honored at a Feb. 25 reception for his appointment as the 1999 KU Distinguished Professor. Dr. Dey is one of only three KUMC researchers to have received the appointment in the last 30 years.

Dawn Walters, RN, BSN, left, Leigh Ellis, RN, BSN, CEN, Paula Carter, MS Ed., and Ilene Brawner, RN, MS, were program coordinators for “Specialty Trauma: A Diverse Perspective.” The Feb. 24 conference for trauma care specialists examined how to identify and treat patients with varying types of trauma injuries.

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back . . . and Back . . . and Back. Phlebotomist Myrna Washington, left, and Nurse Manager Deanne Kilian, RN, PNP, of the KU Children’s Center, assumed the guise of the well-known book character to honor the March 2 birthday of Dr. Suess (Theodore Geisel). 

Associate Professor Nancy Hoffart, PhD, RN, left, and Professor Carol Smith, PhD, RN, center, presented session six of “Scholarship Savvy” Feb. 23 and 25. The nine-session seminar is sponsored by the School of Nursing to help participants develop skills related to scholarly projects. Also shown is Assistant Professor Julie Koehler, PhD, RN, a class participant.

KU Med has extended its health care coverage in the community through neighborhood services such as State Line Family Care, one of 10 Jayhawk Primary Care Practices. Shown are State Line staff members Debbie Johnson, LPN, left, Rosemary Burks, MA, Elliott Bass, MD, Melanie Yuen, MD, and Debbie Luckman, RN. 

KUMC in the news

Last month, KUMC received both local and national media coverage. Here are some of the highlights. 

• Wednesday, Feb. 9. Local media continued to call on KUMC experts to discuss Derrick Thomas’ accident. Paul Arnold, MD, assistant professor of Neurosurgery and director of the KU Med Spinal Cord Injury Program, spoke to KMBC-9 news and the Topeka Capitol Journal. KMBC-9 also interviewed Noreen Thompson, MSN, RN, CS, clinical nurse specialist in Psychiatry, on coping with Thomas’ death.

• Monday, Feb. 21. KU Med was featured on a PAX-TV program called “Miracle Cures,” hosted by Della Reese. The Feb. 21 episode focused on a girl who lost both feet in a lawnmower accident 11 years ago and received treatment from the KU Med Department of Orthopedics.

Chief of Staff William Barkman, MD, center, visits with radio station KMBZ-AM 980 radio morning news anchors Ellen Schenk and Noel Heckerson. 
Dr. Barkman can be heard on KMBZ every Thursday at 6:40 a.m.

• Wednesday, March 1. Scott Parks of news radio station KMBZ-AM 980 interviewed Carol Connor, MD, assistant professor of Surgery, on the STAR (Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene) breast cancer prevention trial. 
William Barkman, MD, chief of staff, also discussed the STAR trial during his March 2 radio interview on KMBZ.

Kemper nominations
Nominations are being accepted for the Kemper Fellowships, which honor KUMC faculty in Kansas City and Wichita who have demonstrated outstanding teaching and advising. The fellowships are $5,000 for one year. Send nominations to Joseph Bast, PhD, Office of Academic Affairs, 5015 Wescoe. The deadline is Friday, March 24.

Food for thought
March is National Nutrition Month, and the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition has planned several activities to promote this year’s theme, “Food and Fitness: Health for a Lifetime.” Recipes for healthy food dishes will be available in the Main Cafeteria this month, and a poster campaign will challenge employees to take the stairs instead of the elevators. Plus, stop by the booth outside the Main Cafeteria on March 15 and test your nutrition knowledge while sampling from the “Dietitian’s Pick of  Transportable Foods.”

Info 2000 exhibitors 
KUMC will stage the annual computer fair, Info 2000, on April 7. The fair will highlight innovative uses of computers at KUMC by faculty and staff. Anyone wishing to demonstrate a computer application which was created or is being used on campus should contact Cassandra Campbell, ext. 8-7342, or e-mail <ccampbel>. Info 2000 will be held 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Instructional Technology Center (G010 Wahl West) and the Educational Resource Center (G004 Orr-Major). The event is free and open to the public.

Kirmayer Classes
March 10 is the last day of early bird registration for all Kirmayer aerobics classes, Yoga I and II, Tai Chi Chuan and Tae Kwon Do. And if you’re signing up for Tai Chi Chuan, don’t forget to request your coupon for $5 off the registration fee. All classes will begin March 13.

Nursing nominations
The Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society is seeking nominations for two awards. The Community Leadership Award recognizes a member of Sigma Theta Tau who has demonstrated leadership in nursing. The Excellence in Clinical Practice Award is given to a Sigma Theta Tau member who has developed creative approaches to nursing that contribute to patient care. All candidates must be nominated by a Delta Chapter member, and certain guidelines for nomination apply. For information, contact Peggy Miller, RN, MS, at ext. 8-1648 or <pmiller>.

Heinz labels for CMN
Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) is collecting Heinz baby food labels. For every label collected, the KU Children’s Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital will receive a 6-cent donation. If you think your baby would enjoy Heinz baby food—or already does—pick up a few jars and send the labels to the KU Children’s Center or place in the box located in the KU Children’s Center Outpatient Clinic Nursing Station. 

Recliner chair, navy blue, $50. Call 913-814-7966. 
Maytag dishwasher, portable, 1 yr. old, exc. cond., super capacity, delay start option, 28”x 24”x 36” dimensions, $175. Call 913-648-5938.

1992 Ford Explorer XLT, V6, auto., 140K mi., new A/C & front brakes, $5,750. Call 816-444-6183.
1987 Audi 4000, standard trans., sunroof, 46K mi., exc. cond., $3,000 OBO. Call 913-384-4763.
1993 Chevy Blazer, full size, 2-dr., 4-wd., V8/350 engine, auto., power mirrors, windows & locks, blue two-tone, $11,500. Call 913-484-5126.
1987 Dodge Daytona, 2-dr., 5-spd., 83K mi., runs well, $1,100. Call 913-814-7966.
1986 Ford Mustang, 4-spd., sold as is, priced for quick sale, $350. Call Linda, 913-371-2841. 
1994 Saab 900-S, 4-dr., leather int., V6, 5-spd., 77K mi., $9,800. Call 913-831-2829.

For Rent: Share home within walking distance to KUMC, 4138 Springfield, large loft bedroom and bath, completely furnished, central air/heat, month to month lease, $350/mo. + 1/3 utilities, available immediately. Call 816-468-5411.
For Sale: 3 BD, 2 BA home, can be contract for deed with the right down payment, dining room, deck, new A/C, carpet, aluminum siding, basement, furnished, within walking distance to KUMC, 4138 Springfield, currently being rented as a sharehome bringing in $900/mo. rent, $79,500. Call 816-468-5411.

Study Subjects Wanted: 
Healthy adult subjects, 18-50 years of age, 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. 8-5997.

KC READS is seeking a person to fill a one-year Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) literacy position. Will assist in coordinating KC READS at 13 local sites. Six-hour day, nominal pay, benefits include health care, two-week paid vacation, two-week sick leave and educational stipend. A three-day VISTA training program is required prior to beginning the position. The next training will be in Kansas City April 12-14. Applications must be received at least three weeks prior to training date. For more information, call ext. 8-2793.

Book Fair continues today and March 10

The Department of Student Services is sponsoring a Book Fair today (March 9) and March 10 in the Wyandotte Room from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers can save up to 70 percent off retail prices for books and gifts. Proceeds will go to the Community Outreach Program, which directly benefits residents of Wyandotte County. For more information, call 
ext. 8-6681.


Friday, March 10
• HIV/Women’s Perspective, 9 a.m., Lied Auditorium.
• Psychiatry Grand Rounds, “Treatment Strategies for Antidepressant Resistance,” 10:30 a.m., Clendening Ampitheatre.

Monday, March 13
• Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group, noon-1:30 p.m., Delp Cafeteria.
• Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers Workshop,5-7:30 p.m., Delp Cafeteria.
• Heart of America Mentally Ill Support Group, 7-9 p.m., Kansas City Community College, 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.
• National Stuttering Project Support Group, 7-9 p.m., 1018 Orr-Major.

Tuesday, March 14
• The Latest in Hernia Treatment Options, 7-8 p.m., KU MedWest Community Room.
• KU Women in Medicine presentation, “A Joint Mentoring Session: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me,” 1023 Orr-Major.
• Center on Aging Lecture, “Biological Aging and Survivorship in Mennonites of the Midwest,” 4-5 p.m., Clendening Ampitheatre.

Wednesday, March 15
• Outcomes Management and Research Seminar, “A Theory of Change Improves Your Chances of Successful Interventions,” 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Wahl West Auditorium.
• KUMC Interfaith, noon-1 p.m., 4893 Eaton.

Thursday, March 16
• Integrative Medicine Seminar, “Energy Healing,” noon-1 p.m., 1025 Orr-Major.
• Self Esteem: It’s What’s Inside That Counts, 7-8 p.m., KU MedWest Community Room.

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.

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