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25 March 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 2
Formerly “Topics”


KUMC researchers undertake
NIH-funded study on hearing disease

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Gregory Ator, MD
KU Medical Center researchers are trying to develop a test to detect Meniere's disease, a malady which causes deafness in millions of Americans. The study is supported by a $534,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Directed by Gregory Ator, MD, FACS, associate professor of otolaryngology, the five-year study employs a technique developed by Mark Chertoff, PhD, assistant professor in hearing and speech. Dr. Chertoff's technique measures electric responses in the inner ear, which change in Meniere's disease patients. The new technique is promising because it is a quick, non-invasive procedure that uses an electrode in the ear canal. If successful, the test can diagnose Meniere's disease early enough to prevent deafness.
Other researchers involved in the study are Dianne Durham, PhD, director of research, otolaryngology; John Ferraro, PhD, professor and chair of hearing and speech; and Dennis Wallace, PhD, assistant professor, preventive medicine.
Meniere's disease, also called endolymphatic hydrops, is caused by a fluid overload in the inner ear, which leads to rupture of delicate membranes. The mixture of fluids causes cells to die and thereby poisons the elements essential for hearing. As many as 7 million people in the United States suffer from Meniere's disease, which is characterized by vertigo, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and progressive deafness.

Preparing for Y2K

0408983.jpg (37078 bytes) Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles which will appear during the next few months on how KU Medical Center is preparing for Y2K.
As the last months of the 20th century tick away, more attention is focused on what is commonly called "The Y2K Bug." The phrase, a catchword for computer problems which may occur with the dawning of Year 2000, poses significant challenges, as computers today control everything from elevators to distribution systems to health care equipment. Some equipment could stop working because their computer chips tell them they haven't been maintained properly. Or, it could mean some computers might generate incorrect reports. Because virtually all computers contain these chips, no single company or business can guarantee they will not encounter a glitch in their services after Jan. 1, 2000.
If you, your patients or your neighbors have wondered what KUMC is doing about "Y2K," rest assured that the medical center is working on the problem. In fact, since late 1996, the medical center has budgeted significant resources to address Y2K issues. Both KU Hospital and Kansas University have developed "Y2K Teams," which include steering committees, a Patient Care Equipment Committee, a Contingency Planning Group and other groups made up of individuals from all areas and levels of the medical center. Together, they have worked to address a variety of potential problems in preparation for the beginning of year 2000.
The first step in the process is to address the date confusion problem, which requires several steps:
•     Take inventory of all equipment containing computer chips
•     Assess and test the extent to which this equipment will be affected by Y2K
•     Take steps to remedy the situation through program updates and other techniques
Beginning in January 1997, a team of dedicated information systems professionals began taking inventory and assessing on-site equipment. These professionals also have corresponded with the medical center's vendors to determine these companies' readiness for the year 2000.
In the next installment: More on how KUMC is addressing patient care issues as they relate to Y2K.

Lobby restrooms to be renovated

Beginning Monday, April 12, the men's and women's lobby restrooms on the ground floor of KU Hospital (near the elevators) will close for renovations. The facilities will be completely refurbished to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Both restrooms will be closed for initial work on the shared plumbing, which is expected to take approximately 10 days. Construction crews will then work on one restroom at a time until the project is completed. Signs will be posted directing restroom traffic to other facilities.

Pharmacy residency programs
receive special recognition

KUMC's Drug Information and Pharmacy Practice residency programs recently received full cycle, six-year accreditation from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Commission on Credentialing. The ASHP, which accredits all U.S. pharmacy-related residency programs, added a special distinction to the Pharmacy Practice program by awarding it accreditation with commendation, the highest possible honor. The Commission reported that it found no areas of non- or partial-compliance during its survey of the program. Less than 2 percent of the almost 500 ASHP-accredited programs receive this special recognition.

Corporate Compliance Plan
sets guidelines for ethical, legal behavior

KU Hospital has a proud tradition of ethical conduct and service. To preserve this tradition in the face of changes, new regulations and legal challenges within the health care industry, the hospital has recently developed a Corporate Compliance Plan.
The Corporate Compliance Plan, which includes a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, is a set of guidelines and systems to help all employees understand the legal and ethical responsibilities which apply to their jobs. The Plan and Code establish formal policies to ensure that KU Hospital complies with federal and state laws, requirements for managed care organizations and other health care payors, and our own ethics and business standards.
All hospital employees will undergo Corporate Compliance awareness training during coming weeks, and will receive a copy of the Corporate Compliance Plan and Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Everyone is expected to understand and follow these guidelines.

KUMC honors residents April 14

KU School of Medicine and the Office of Graduate Medical Education will celebrate Residents’ Appreciation Day Wednesday, April 14, with presentations by guest speakers from 1-4 p.m. in Battenfeld Auditorium. A reception will follow in Francisco Lounge. All KUMC residents will also be honored with an ad in The Kansas City Star.

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Annual computer fair features new applications
Any faculty or staff member who has a computer program to demonstrate at Info 99, the annual KU Medical Center computer fair, can contact Cassandra Campbell, ext. 7342 to participate. The fair is an opportunity to highlight innovative uses of computers. This year's event will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16 in the Instructional Technology Center (G010 Wahl West) and the Educational Resource Center (G004 Orr-Major). Info 99 is free to everyone.

Register by April 15 for Take Your Daughters (and Sons) to Work Day
Don't forget to register your children for the annual Take Your Daughters (and Sons) to Work Day by April 15. The annual event, to be April 22, will feature a welcome address by Irene Cumming, president and CEO of KU Hospital, and remarks by Donald Hagen, executive vice chancellor. Included in the day's activities are Future Vision Tours, an hour at the Kirmayer Fitness Center, remembrance bags and personalized certificates of participation. The day promises to be fun and informative for youngsters aged nine to 14. To register your child, contact Alisa Lange, ext. 5148, or e-mail <alange>.

Applications sought for Junior Volunteer Program
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.

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Sign up now for MOD WalkAmerica
Do something good for your body and help in the fight against birth defects at the same, by signing up for the 1999 March of Dimes WalkAmerica. This year will mark the seventh year KUMC has participated in the walkathon. Last year, KUMC employees raised more than $15,000 in pledges, making us the fifth largest corporate contributor in the Kansas City market. For this year's walk, KUMC has set a goal of contributing $20,000.
WalkAmerica will be Saturday, April 24, in Swope Park. Walkers who raise $50 will receive a KUMC WalkAmerica T-shirt. Those who raise $100 or more also receive a March of Dimes T-shirt. Participants must sign up by April 9 to get the March of Dimes shirt. KUMC employees will also receive free breakfast and lunch at the KUMC tent on-site. Registration forms are available in both cafeterias. Completed forms should be returned to your department WalkAmerica team captain. All employees will soon receive an e-mail listing department team captains.

Corporate Challenge registration still open
There's still time to sign up for the 1999 Kansas City Corporate Challenge, the annual city wide competition among organizations and businesses. This year's month-long Corporate Challenge is set for June, and includes such events as swimming, a one-mile walk, track, golf, bicycle racing, bowling, and more. Openings still exist in most events, although participants are most needed for track and swimming in the 18-29 and 60+ age groups. Entry forms for individual and team events are available at the Kirmayer Fitness Center. For more information, contact Jan Schmidt, ext. 7703, or e-mail <jschmidt>.

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John Deere 935, 72IN lawnmower, 22HP diesel, great shape, $17,500 new, will sell for $10,500. Mac 180 laptop, ext. color monitor, portable printer, $550. Mac 165 laptop, portable printer, $300. Both for $500. Weight bench, gift, 350 lbs., new, $150. Call Alex Bailey, 942-3407, after 6 p.m.
Washer, looks like new, $165; exercise bike w/adjustable speed and time control, exc. cond., $25; dining table and chairs, other tables, lamps, clothes. Call 894-9756, leave message.
Macintosh computer 6116CD, printer & modem, 3 years old. Call 789-9479 for more info.
Must sell Florida vacation package for two to four adults or two adults w/up to three kids, includes many extras like free rental car w/unlimited mileage and bonus mini-vacation to Cancun or the Virgin Islands. $300 OBO. Call Jim, 438-9769.
Orlando vacation at Westgate Lakes May 21-28, luxury 2BR condo, jacuzzi, full kitchen, W/D, sleeps eight, two miles from Sea World, four miles from Disney. Cost $1,750/week, asking $1,300 OBO. Call 384-6530.

For Sale: 3BD, 2BA home, great Mission location, priced below market value at $96,500. Call 262-6959 for appt.
For Rent: 2BD, 1BA duplex, garage, W/D hook-up, C/A, $675/month, no utilities, no pets. Call 649-4069.

Housing for summer research interns in Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, June 1-Aug. 8. Seeking furnished rooms. Contact Dorothy, ext. 7526 or e-mail <dmcgrego> and specify preferences for male/female, non-smoking, kitchen privileges, cost, etc.

Garage Sale, 5330 Woodson between Nall & Lamar off 53rd St., Friday, April 16, 7:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.; Saturday, April 17, 8 a.m.-noon.
Moving sale: Office furniture, metal desks, black 60 x 30, office chairs, all exc. cond., great prices. Call 722-4277.

Free to good home: 10-month-old gray, medium-long haired male cat, neutered w/all shots. Call 523-0153.

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 1 hour. Contact Jennifer Hill Karrer, ext. 5956.

coming up

Friday, April 9:
•    Multidisciplinary Tumor Conference, "Multi-disciplinary Approach to Non-Small Lung Cancer," 7:30-8:30 a.m., Sudler Auditorium.
•    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds, "Herbal Medicines in Psychiatry," 10:30 a.m., Clendening Amphitheater.

Saturday, April 10:
•    Kansas Cancer Institute Advisory Council, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Prairie Room, Delp Cafe.

Tuesday, April 13
•    Breast Cancer Weight Control Support Group, noon-1 p.m., Radiation Oncology Conference Room.
•    Center on Aging Lecture series, "Rural Communities: Cultural Characteristics Related to Relocation Issues," 4-5 p.m., Clendening Amphitheater.
•    Men's Health series, "Sexual Dysfunction: A Quality of Life Issue," 7-8 p.m., Reike Aud.
•    Heart of America Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 7-9 p.m., 1015 Olathe Pavilion.

Wednesday, April 14
•    Senior Health series, "Communication Skills after a Stroke," 2-3:30 p.m., Mission Center Mall Community Room.
•    KUMC Interfaith, "Islam, by Huston Smith" video, noon-1 p.m., 3041 Wescoe.

Thursday, April 15
•    Senior Health series, "Sleep Disorders," 10-11 a.m., Wyandotte Room.
•    CenterNet Special Broadcast, "The Clinical Management of Extrapyramidal Symptoms, Including Tardive Dyskinesia," 11 am.-12:30 p.m. and 2-3:30 p.m., 1014 Orr-Major.
•    Research Seminar, "Tube Feeding in Nursing Home Residents with Severe and Irreversible Cognitive Impairment," noon-1 p.m., G567 KU Hospital.
•    Cancer Care series, "Look Good, Feel Better," 1-3 p.m. or 6-8 p.m., Radiation Oncology Conference Room.

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.

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