inthecenter.jpg (29482 bytes)
18 March 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 1
Formerly “Topics”

A new publication for a new KUMC

Welcome to the premiere issue of In The Center, the new weekly publication of KU Medical Center.

In The Center is designed to bring you news about the many facets of KU Medical Center. Inside, you'll find articles on upcoming events, timely updates on things that matter to you, and feature stories on the people and programs that keep KUMC at the forefront of medical education, research and patient care.

In addition to its new look and expanded coverage, In The Center will bring you more information through eight-page issues. Our weekly publication date will change to Thursdays, and during the next few weeks you'll also see a variety of new elements, such as guest columns, employee profiles and departments that highlight specific areas and groups within the medical center.

Whether it be regular components such as our "Coming Up" calendar of events, or more occasional sections focusing on faculty or physicians, one thing is certain: We'll strive to keep you "In The Center" of the action at KUMC.


We welcome your thoughts about In The Center. If you have a comment or suggestion, contact Ken Arnold, editor, ext. 1298, or e-mail <karnold>.

burnmove2.jpg (17752 bytes)
Nurses, physicians, aides, and numerous other staff members pulled together as a team to safely move patients to the new Burnett Burn Center and Hurlbut Recovery Pavilion March 10. After transferring critically ill patients to the new intensive care unit, staff moved patients who were in later stages of recovery. Here, Sidonie Campbell, RN, settles a critically ill patient into new quarters.

DeCarli part of national study to prevent Alzheimer's disease

Photo by Leslie Champlin
0317991.jpg (20027 bytes)
Neurologist Charles DeCarli, MD, was interviewed by Kelly Eckerman, health reporter for KMBC TV-9, following the recent announcement of
Dr. DeCarli's new Alzheimer's disease study.

Researchers at KU Medical Center have just stepped onto the front lines in the ongoing battle against the nation's leading cause of dementia. In a recent announcement, KU researchers will be participating in the first nationwide study into whether medical intervention can help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

As principal investigator for the KU study site, Charles DeCarli, MD, professor of neurology, will look at whether regular use of vitamin E or an investigational medication approved by the FDA for another use can prevent or at least slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. KU Medical Center is one of 60 sites nationwide to participate in the three-year study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.

Dr. DeCarli's research will begin by working with people who have mild memory problems-such as forgetting recent events, names of familiar people or how to complete simple math problems. Though they can live safely and productively in the community with mild impairment, these patients also are at higher risk for developing dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. DeCarli's research grows from previous findings that vitamin E appears to slow the course of Alzheimer's disease, and that the medication under investigation can improve memory.

Study participants will undergo a comprehensive screening, then take daily doses of vitamin E, the investigational medication or a placebo over a three-year period. Over that time, they will make periodic visits to the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center for evaluation.

KU gears up for major fund-raising campaign

The KU Endowment Association is gearing up for a major fund-raising campaign that would enhance the academic programs on all campuses, including KU Medical Center.

The Campaign Organizing Committee recently met to determine when to mount the campaign. The upcoming effort would be the third for the university, which raised $21 million in the 1966-1969 "Program for Progress" drive, and $265.4 million in the 1988-1992 "Campaign Kansas."
"We're fortunate to bring a similar strength to the planning of our next campaign with the selection of outstanding members for this committee," said Dolph C. Simons Jr., KU Endowment chairman and a member of the organizing committee. "In particular, I'm delighted that Forrest Hoglund has agreed to serve as chair."

"The preliminary work of defining the time frame, objectives and volunteer structure for a comprehensive campaign will determine, to a great extent, the campaign's success," said Hoglund, a KU Endowment trustee and 1956 KU graduate, who is now chairman of the board of Enron Oil & Gas Co., Houston.

"The support KU received over the years from alumni and friends through KU Endowment has meant the difference between average programs and excellent ones," added KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway of previous fund-raising efforts. "While our faculty and staff certainly appreciate this support, their needs continue to grow."

The Campaign Organizing Committee includes Dana K. Anderson, KU-1959, vice chairman of the board of the Macerich Co., Santa Monica, Calif.; Nancy Kassebaum Baker, KU-1954, former U.S. Senator from Kansas; Norman L. Martin, MD, School of Medicine-1962 and a Chancellor's Club Distinguished Professor of Radiology; Michael McCoy, MD, School of Medicine-1975, and Cordell Meeks Jr., KU Law School-1967, who serves on the School of Nursing Advisory Board.

JCAHO survey set for June

KU Hospital recently received word that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) survey will take place June 21-25. JCAHO surveyors will be on-site those days to review hospital standards of operation and employee job-related knowledge.

For the 1999 survey, KU Hospital has set a goal of achieving Accreditation with Commendation, the highest possible rating. To prepare for the survey, employees are asked to review the "Spotlight" publications that appear with In The Center, and to work with others in their department to identify, implement and track departmental improvements. Other staff education activities and mock surveys will take place during the coming months.

"While the JCAHO survey is important, the ultimate goals of our improvement efforts are to provide better patient care, and to help employees improve their professional expertise," said Noella McCray, RN, MN, practice specialist in Nursing Services. "Preparing for the survey doesn't have to be viewed as a ‘hassle.' It can be an effective way for the hospital and each individual to ‘Shine in ‘99.' Thanks to everyone for their efforts!"

Medical assistant's love for children keeps kids-and parents-smiling

Photo by Leslie Champlin
0317992.jpg (20164 bytes)
Hugs and smiles from children are the best benefit of the job, says Rhonda Register, a medical assistant who specializes in phlebotomy in the
KU Children's Center outpatient laboratory.

Every day, Rhonda Register deals with children's tears and fears. By the time the youngsters leave her laboratory, however, they're giving her smiles and hugs. That's the best part of her job, says the medical assistant who has specialized in phlebotomy in the Department of Pediatrics outpatient service since January 1998.

In fact, Register's empathy, patience and love of children have prompted families to let the department and hospital leadership know how special she is. Among their comments: "Rhonda really has a talent for working with children and putting them at ease," and "I just could not believe how well my child did when the blood was drawn."

Register works with infants through adolescents, running tests for everything from strep to diabetes. The blood samples she takes help physicians determine a diagnosis and monitor a health condition

on-site. She allays youngsters fears by telling them what to expect, in terms they can understand.

"If you get on their level, they feel better," she said, adding with a smile that it helps to work quickly and efficiently. "My motto is one stick per customer."

The result: "Eighty to 90 percent of my kids give me a hug afterward," said Register. "Even the babies-once I'm done-will have forgotten about what happened and sometimes they'll smile."

KU MedWest to launch spring wellness programs

In the few short weeks since its opening, KU MedWest has proven itself to be a valuable resource for residents of Shawnee and surrounding areas who need primary, specialty or urgent care. Beginning in April, residents will also find KU MedWest a valuable resource for staying well, as the facility launches a variety of wellness and preventive health programs.

In addition to ongoing programs such as weight management, KU MedWest will offer several one-time health screenings and informational meetings between April and June. All programs will be in the Community Room at KU MedWest, 7405 Renner Road in Shawnee, near I-435 and Midland Drive. Programs are free of charge, but appointments are required. To make an appointment or for more information, call 588-1227.

Nurse Competency Fair

center3a.jpg (19902 bytes)
Several hundred KU Medical Center nurses demonstrated their critical thinking, clinical and communication skills during the recent Nursing Competency Fair in Francisco Lounge. In addition to providing an efficient and fun way to assess nurses' skills, the annual fairs help identify areas of possible improvement.

KU MedWest Spring Wellness Programs

April 19     7 p.m.    Back Pain Management Options         Dan Hancock, MD
April 21     11:30 a.m.     Prostate Cancer Awareness Seminar
&               (Attendees receive certificate for
April 28    7 p.m.    free PSA blood test and exam on May 10)
April 29    7 p.m.    Men's Health: "Sexual Dysfunction: A Quality of Life Issue"
May 12    7 p.m.    Take Hypertension to Heart         Shadrach Smith, DM
June 16    Noon    Eye Care: Cataracts and Glaucoma         James Hardin, MD

For these sisters, nursing is 'All in the Family

Photo by Elissa Monroe
0317993.jpg (25648 bytes)
Clockwise from upper left: Diane and Phyllis Sims and Marquetta Sims-Berry, all students in the School of Nursing, were recently interviewed for a feature story in Kansas City Nursing News.

A span of 12 years separates youngest to oldest. But sisters Phyllis Sims, 39, Diane Sims, 27, and Marquetta Sims-Berry, 29, share a closeness most families would envy. What's more, they share it in the classroom as well as in their personal lives. That's because they all are completing master's degrees in nursing with an emphasis in family nurse practitioner at the KU School of Nursing.

Phyllis began her nursing career at age 17, when she completed training to become a licensed practical nurse in 1977. Marquetta became a registered nurse in 1993, and Diane completed a bachelor's degree in nursing from KU in 1995. All three sisters, who come from a family of 12 children, entered nursing because of their desire to give to others.

"The best part of nursing is the satisfaction of helping others and the satisfaction of teaching others," said Phyllis.

Marquetta agreed. "It's gratifying to know you're helping improve the quality of people's lives."

The sisters have also pursued higher education because, as nurse practitioners, they will enjoy career security and an income that would otherwise be out of reach.

"Phyllis convinced me that nursing would be a good fit for me," said Marquetta, who began her career in the insurance industry. "She convinced me that you can earn a good salary and get to interact with people, and I would really like it."

Throughout their studies, the sisters have provided support for one another.
"Phyllis has always mentored us in nursing," said Diane. "She was the one who knew everything. Now it's nice because we're all on the same level."

Diane and Phyllis now share one class, but in the fall, all three will share pathophysiology. That would be helpful to Marquetta, who likes to study with a partner. Her sisters, though, decline her entreaties. For one thing, they prefer to study alone. For another, as Phyllis notes: "Marquetta thinks out loud; she's an extrovert!"

student news

Leadership Award applications due March 19
KUMC Student Leadership Award applications are due to Katy Ferrarini, 3018 Student Center, by March 19. No late applications will be accepted.

KU Student Nurses officers elected
Members of KU Student Nurses, the local affiliate of the National Student Nurses Association, recently elected officers for the 1999-2000 school year.

The new officers are:
President Dawn Ridgway
Vice President-Membership: Candice Beek
Vice President-Community: Robert Dary
Secretary: Heather Mermis
Treasurer: Deana Wilhoite

Executive Forum

Editor's Note: In an effort to provide employees throughout KUMC with timely information in a more responsive and interactive format, In The Center will include frequent interviews with medical center leadership. In this issue, Donald Hagen, MD, executive vice chancellor, answers a frequently asked question, "What is meant by KU in KC?" Irene Cumming, KU Hospital president and CEO, addresses another often asked question, "How is the new Hospital Authority Board doing?"

Hagen.jpg (21212 bytes)

Hagen addresses 'KU in KC' question
" ‘KU in KC' means that our university is becoming a more visible and active partner in building a better, stronger community," said Dr. Hagen. "We are combining our strength with area colleges and research institutions to build new research programs. For example, we have several projects underway with Midwest Research Institute and UMKC. We hope to build a similar relationship with the Stowers’ Institute.

“Our faculty, employees and students are among the first to volunteer. We have active and dynamic leaders in civic clubs, faith-based organizations, United Way, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, American Lung Association, City Union Mission, schools and health departments. Our faculty are leaders in many professional associations. I work with Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry’s homeless shelter, the Partnership for Children, Local Initiative Support Corporation and Mid America Coalition on Health,” Dr. Hagen added.

“We need to let people know we’re from KU as we volunteer for these wonderful causes. Some of the programs from our Lawrence campus are available to Kansas City’s business and community organizations. We need to expand our influence in key groups, so we are more ‘accessible’ to the city. We have a tremendous depth of knowledge and talent and we want the community to think of us first as their partner and friend. When the community thinks of KU first, KU will have become Kansas City’s university.”

Cummings.jpg (28787 bytes)

Cumming gives Authority Board update
"The Hospital Authority Board has made incredible progress in nine months,” said Cumming. “The board has organized, become acclimated to the health care arena, and finalized the affiliation agreements . The board has also monitored and assessed the establishment of our new organization.

The Authority Board has 14 members, and is chaired by Chancellor Hemenway. The vice-chairman is George Farha, MD, of Wichita.

"The challenges and opportunities for the new organization are often the same," Cumming said. "The challenges have included establishing standards, developing a strategic planning process, and deciding to proceed with a major capital bond issue," she related. “Establishing a new organization provides an opportunity to change how we do things and how we succeed.

"Accomplishments are already being realized," she added. "Our organization is being built with ‘service and satisfaction' at the center. When we provide greater service and convenience, both physicians and consumers respond positively. Both KU MedWest and the Physician Referral Service are good examples of this.

"In conclusion, the new Authority Board has made tremendous progress in establishing and developing our new organization. We are positioned to succeed."

whatsnew.jpg (23507 bytes)

Parking Services to hold Town Hall Meetings March 22
Do you have an opinion or concern you'd like to voice about campus parking? If so, come to the Town Hall Meetings sponsored by the Parking and Landscape Services Department. Two half-hour meetings, at 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., will be staged Monday, March 22, in Lied Auditorium.

Daffodil Days at KU Medical Center
Heralding the coming of spring and celebrating a life of hope, the KU Cancer Center joined in the 1999 Daffodil Days on March 10. The American Cancer Society sponsors the annual event, which raises money for research, education, advocacy and services to cancer patients and their families.

This year, KU Cancer Center's donation to the project garnered 500 daffodils, which were delivered to patients and families throughout inpatient and outpatient units. Daffodils are used because they are the flower of hope and a portent of spring.

Auxiliary sale set for March 26
The KU Medical Center Auxiliary will sell baked goods and silk flowers outside the Main Cafeteria Friday, March 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the auxiliary.

MOD Garage Sale set for March 18 and 19
Support KUMC's involvement with the March of Dimes and pick up a bargain at the same time, at the annual March of Dimes Garage Sale, Thursday, March 18, and Friday, March 19, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., outside both cafeterias. Registration forms will also be available for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica on Saturday, April 24.

Kirmayer Center offers new fitness classes
The Kirmayer Fitness Center will offer "Finding Fitness" and its follow-up class, "Living Fit," from March 22 to April 30. The classes are designed to help people of any lifestyle or physical condition increase their level of physical activity. The cost for both classes is $39 for members and $54 for non-members during early bird registration, which ends March 19. Costs after March 19 are $47 for members and $65 for non-members. Those interested should register at the Kirmayer Administrative Office.

Sigma Theta Tau program examines nursing in the media
The Delta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the national honor society of nursing, presented a spring program March 11 in Lied Auditorium. Members were joined by representatives from Kansas City Nursing News, The Kansas City Star, WDAF-TV, and University Relations to discuss The Woodhull Report, which examines nursing's visibility in the media.

Summer Junior Volunteer Program applications
The Office of Volunteer Services is still accepting applications for its Summer Junior Volunteer Program, which will run June 7 through August 13. All applications must be received by April 15. Applications are available in the Volunteer Office, G443 Hospital, off the main lobby. For questions, contact Marilyn Coup or Susan Mong at ext. 6560.

classifieds.jpg (41132 bytes)

For Sale:
Ivers console medium oak piano w/bench and light, good cond., $1,100 OBO. Call Fran, 642-8069 after 6 p.m.

Designer skirts and blouses, size 14, price negotiable. Pendleton pantsuit, size 6, price negotiable. Call 281-3942 after 6 p.m.

Two Aerial cellular phones. Call 334-5753.

Antique couch, solid wine color, perfect cond., $160. Call 722-4707 after 5 p.m.

Area rugs: 6x9-ft brown & tan, $25; 9x11-ft. ivory w/rose print, $200. 10-pc. and place setting antique china, $100. Dining room table w/4 chairs & bench, $50. Call 363-0254 after 5 p.m.

Panasonic 2500 Mountain Bike, blue, exc. cond., $75. Call 831-1939 after 5 p.m.

Waterbed, king-size, foam and water, 8-drawer pedestal, mirrored headboard, lots of storage, needs heater, $75. Call 287-6297.

Queen-size foam and water bed, like new, queen-size brass head and foot board, needs cleaning, best offer. Call 385-1302.

Disney Theme Park tickets, good in all parks, expires May 15, 1999. Call 722-4277.

Pentium II 400 with CPU fan, 100 MHz FSB, 128 MB PC 100 SDRAM, 440 BX chipset, 8.4 GB ultra DMA hard drive, 44X CD-ROM, speakers, 8 MB AGP video, sound blaster, AWE 64 sound card, 17" .28 mm monitor, 56K modem, keyboard, mouse, Win98, Quicken 98, MS Office Pro., new, must sell, avail. in two weeks, $1,350 firm. Call 299-8408.

Great starter computer, Pentium 90, 32 MB RAM, CD-ROM, 3.5 floppy, 14.4 fax modem, 14" VGA monitor, keyboard, mouse, Win95, $300 firm. Call 299-8396.

1990 Dodge Daytona ES, 2-dr., auto, white, sporty and beautiful, runs well, clean, 112K miles, $2,800 OBO. 1994 Pontiac Sunbird, 2-dr., auto, green, A/C, cassette, AM/FM radio, 123K, $4,850 OBO. Call 831-4204.

1995 Chevy Blazer LT, black, CD disc changer, fully loaded, must see. Call Jim or Andrea, 441-6275.

1986 Acura Integra, blue, 4-cyl., 5-spd., one owner, 168K miles, runs well, AM/FM stereo w/new speakers, must sell, $1,295. Call 913-782-2988.

1997 Chevy Blazer Sport Utility, black, 4-dr., V6 4.3L, high output auto. trans., 4WD, 34K miles, $23,355 pays off loan. Call J. Carpenter, 764-5850, or e-mail <>.

For Rent: 2 BR house, C/A, fenced yard, full basement, across from Donnelly College, avail. March 15, $350/mo., $200 deposit, no pets. Call 342-0599 after 5 p.m.

Responsible teen-ager for babysitting, on average 2-8 hours a week and every other weekend, only responsible and reliable people need reply. Call Joey, 671-8298.

Studies and Clinical Trials
Adults for bronchitis study
Adults aged 18 and older with a history of chronic bronchitis who are having worsening of their symptoms and require antibiotics are sought for an antibiotic study. Free physician visits, free antibiotic and $25 per visit for four visits. Call Marilyn at ext. 4022.

Infant cognition study
Infants 3 months to 3 years with and without Downs syndrome to participate in research study of early cognitive development and reaching. Session includes recording brainwaves (EEG) and behavior. Lasts about one hour. Contact Jennifer Hill Karrer, ext. 5956.

coming up

Thursday, March 18:
•    Research Seminar, "Primary Care Management of Asthma: A Field Evaluation," Ty Partridge, PhD, noon- 1 p.m., G567 KU Hospital.
Friday, March 19:
•    Geriatrics Journal Club, 7:30 a.m., 5030 Robinson.
•    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds, "Surgical Psychiatry," Paul R. Schloerb, MD, 10:30 a.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
Tuesday, March 23:
•    Cognitive Therapy Addiction Treatment, 1-2:30 p.m. Family Medicine Clinic.
•    Center on Aging Research Seminar, "Prostate Cancer: Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention," Brantley Thrasher, MD, 4-5 p.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
•    Center on Aging Case Management Conferences, 5-6:30 p.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
•    Burn Center Family Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Burn Center Waiting Room.
Wednesday, March 24:
•    Center on Aging Visiting Professor Lecture, "Strategies and Initial Results of the Hispanic EPESE," David Espino, MD, University of Texas School of Health Sciences - San Antonio, noon-1 p.m., Sudler Auditorium.
•    KUMC Interfaith meeting, discussion of Confucianism and Taoism, noon-1 p.m., Room 3041 Wescoe.
•    National Stuttering Project (NSP) Support Group, 7-9 p.m., Room 1018 Orr-Major.
Thursday, March 25
•    Manic Depressive/Depression Support Group, 7 p.m., Cottonwood Room, Delp Cafeteria.

Donald Hagen, MD - Executive Vice Chancellor KUMC
Irene Cumming - CEO and President KU Hospital
Ken Arnold - Editor
Leslie Champlin - Writer
Jim Burton - Graphic Designer

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