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29 April 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 7
Formerly “Topics”

 

KUMC leads in imaging technology with newly installed MRI equipment

More than 50 KU Medical Center patients have received state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the past few weeks thanks to the installation of a new MRI scanner. The machine, a Siemens Vision Plus n1.5 Tesla MRI Scanner, operates almost twice as fast as previous equipment and provides greater detail for physicians, said Louis Wetzel, MD, associate professor of radiology.

Photo by Leslie Champlin
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Martha Suter, radiology technologist, demonstrates the new MRI. The equipment permits previously unavailable diagnostic tests, increases accuracy and doubles the speed of each procedure.

The new scanner enables KU Medical Center physicians to request diagnostic tests previously unavailable, Dr. Wetzel said. Among them are MRI angiography of the body, non-invasive diagnostic imaging of the bile ducts, imaging for early indicators of stroke, and hydrogen spectroscopy of the brain. As a result, physicians have more accurate results in distinguishing between a tumor or stroke and in identifying the precise source of seizure activity in the brain.
"The vast majority of scans we do are for the head," said Dr. Wetzel. "This is the best way to image central nervous system pathology. We also do MRI scans of the spine for herniated disks, cancers and trauma, and we provide scans for musculo-skeletal problems in the knees, shoulders, wrists and elbows."
KUMC performs between 15 and 25 MRI scans a day, serving an average of 80 patients a week. The new Vision Plus scanner will replace an MRI machine purchased by KUMC in 1985.

Photo by Jeff Wright
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The University of Kansas Medical Center

Spring showers didn't deter more than 100 KUMC employees from participating in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica at Swope Park, April 24. Among them were Pat Adams, MBA, Kansas Cancer Institute, left, and Gail Harkness, RN, Crisis Stabilization Center. An estimated 8,000 people took part in this year's walk to raise funds to fight birth defects.


Executive Forum

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Graduation and the
KU - KC Connection
By Donald Hagen, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor

Graduation for medical, nursing and allied health students at KU Medical Center is often viewed without the connection to the university graduation in Lawrence. That's unfortunate.
Even though the health sciences campus is in Kansas City, we are an integral part of the university in Lawrence, 30 miles away. The impressive ceremony and the walk down the hill are all beneficial for graduates here. By attending the graduation ceremonies in Lawrence, students are cementing a connection that is lifelong.
We are proud of the long-standing traditions of the university and the integral connections between our schools and the programs in Lawrence. I would like to see a great deal more combined student activities between the campuses. In "the old days," students from the medical center campus organized bus trips and parties on football days and made a day of going to Lawrence.
"KU in Kansas City" is more than a theme, more than a goal. It is reality, and the connection with Lawrence is growing. The university's stature and noted research are an asset for this metropolitan area. The wealth of resources on the Lawrence campus benefits the state of Kansas and Kansas City.
This great city provides KU with an urban environment necessary not only for medical and health care studies, but also business, architecture and communications studies. A major segment of KU alumni reside in Kansas City and a major portion of KU students are from this area. It is a mutual benefit and a connection that is vital.
This KU - KC connection is especially strong at graduation time. I hope each of our graduates takes advantage of the benefit of commencement in Lawrence.

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KU Hospital building
base of financial strength
By Scott Glasrud
KU Hospital Chief Financial Officer

During a recent conversation with Irene Cumming, KU Hospital president and CEO, Irene said, "Staff and employees have been asking questions about the hospital's financial performance and outlook. We are encouraged by the hospital's performance over our first six months of Authority operation. Even with some significant one-time transition expenses, the hospital has been profitable."
There are several encouraging signs of improvement. The hospital's revenues have been significantly higher than expected. Patient admissions during these six months are nearly 7 percent greater than for the same period last fiscal year. This is a trend that hasn't occurred for several years. Volume increases have also occurred in outpatient and ancillary services.
In addition to the increase in volume and revenue, the hospital has improved processes for collecting accounts and reducing bad debt write-offs, and has improved cash reserves. Although there are still tough challenges ahead, the hospital currently has a solid financial position.
As the Hospital Authority prepares for a proposed bond issue and its first full year of operations, we have a base of financial strength.
The budget for the new fiscal year will continue to focus on opportunities to reduce expenses, but it will also incorporate strategies to continue increasing revenues. We have finalized a long-term capital financing plan which incorporates these strategies and identifies budget goals for the coming year. Because of this and other transition changes, the budget process will have a "top-down" focus, with executive team members working with their respective departments.
The hospital's financial outlook and the organization's direction will be the focus of a Town Hall meeting series, providing a progress report in mid-May.


Campus elevator service going up

Don't be surprised during the next few months to find a few "Closed for Repairs" signs around campus, as KUMC undertakes an extensive elevator renovation project.
The project is designed to provide faster, more reliable service and more aesthetically pleasing elevator interiors. The program, which comprises either upgrading or modernizing existing elevators, began with an upgrade of the Radiation Oncology elevator, which is now complete. Next will be the full replacement of machinery and elevator cars in Orr-Major, said Dave Roland, associate director in the Facilities Management Department.
Elevator upgrades will enhance physical functioning and will include such improvements as new operating panels, car position indicators and door controls to bring the elevators into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Downtime for elevator upgrades will be relatively short, according to David Lee Brown, construction administrator. Modernization, which is more involved, requires replacement of elevator controls, motors, hoist machines and cars and may require up to 15 weeks of downtime per elevator.
Upgrades are scheduled for elevators in Wescoe, Delp, Taylor, Smith and the west entrance to the Cambridge pedestrian bridge. Elevators scheduled for modernization include those in Orr-Major, Robinson, the Student Center, Children's Development Unit, Wahl Hall East and the Sudler and Miller buildings.
The improvements will require some inconvenience, particularly for buildings served by a single elevator. However, Roland and Brown are working closely with the buildings' occupants to minimize problems by moving heavy objects, stocking supply inventories on each floor and planning for the days when stairs are the only route to upper levels.
"The occupants have been very helpful," said Brown. "They all recognize that these are old elevators that need replacement."
The program, part of the Crumbling Classrooms Initiative passed by the Kansas Legislature, is expected to be completed in summer 2000.


Photo by Ken Arnold
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Staff members in the Burnett Burn Center held a farewell party April 23 for 6-year-old Darci Haggard of Missouri City, Mo. Darci had been a patient at the Burn Center since Dec. 6, 1998, after suffering second- and third-degree burns over 78 percent of her body in a house fire. In coming weeks, Darci will return to the Burn Center for dressing changes, rehabilitation and additional surgery.

Week-long fest greets nurses with credits, gifts, gratitude

KU nurses will receive free continuing education opportunities as part of this year's observance of National Nurses' Week, May 6-13. As an added treat, nurses in clinics, classrooms and inpatient units will receive a variety of gifts and goodies beginning May 3.
Nurses will have the opportunity to earn free continuing education credits on May 6, National Nurses Day. The CEU programs will feature Kathy Noelker Pendleton, LSCSW, who will discuss ways to rejuvenate the spirit in her presentation "Awakening the Spirit Within." Janalea Hoffman, a music therapist, will introduce music as a means of providing personal and patient relaxation in her program, "The Healing Power of Music for Nurses." In-service times and locations are 7:45 a.m. and a noon brown-bag lunch in Wahl West, or 3:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. in Clendening Amphitheater. Pre-registration is requested.
Lunch will be provided to all Department of Nursing employees working on May 6 and again on May 8 for weekend staff. Watch for more information about fun activities for nurses that week!


Front &
Center

Photo by Ken Arnold
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Jennifer Harris, daughter of Sue Harris, Patient Admitting, attempts to build an ice cream sundae while wearing special goggles during Take Your Daughters (and Sons) to Work Day, April 22. The activity, designed by senior occupational therapy students, was meant to demonstrate the challenges people with disabilities face, and the strategies occupational therapists use to treat them.

Photo by Jim Burton
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Bill Marting, director of Patient Financial Services, served up burgers and brats April 16 at a barbeque for department employees celebrating recent improvements in revenue collection.

Photo by Elizabeth Drisko
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An overflow crowd gathered in Battenfeld Auditorium April 27 to hear Hunter "Patch" Adams, MD. Dr. Adams spoke of his Gesundheit Institute, a 40-bed hospital where health care is free and health care workers combine a variety of philosophies and methods to treat patients. The program was sponsored by the Integrative Medicine Interest Group.

Photo by Ray Ruppert
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Several KUMC employees, families and friends turned out April 17 for the 11th Annual AIDS Walk Kansas City. Although the final tally won't be available until June 30, the walk has raised more than $300,000 in pledges thus far to benefit area residents living with HIV and AIDS.

Photo by Ken Arnold
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L-R: Kathy Huey, RN, BSN, Beth Leopold, RN, BSN, and Kelli Siefkes, RN, BSN, of Unit 42 were among the KUMC oncology nurses who received special recognition on Oncology Nurses' Day, April 28. The day was established by the National Oncology Nursing Society.


Johnson elected president
of Family Practice board

Cynda Johnson, MD, interim chair and professor of the Department of Family Medicine, has been elected president of the American Board of Family Practice. Dr. Johnson is the first female president of the board. The Department of Family Medicine will serve cookies and punch to patients Monday, May 3, in honor of Dr. Johnson's achievement.

Hagemaster appointed
to nurse healers board

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Julia Hagemaster, RN, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, Grants and Research Division, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for Nurse Healers- Professional Associates, Inc. Nurse Healers is the international organization for the research, teaching, and practice of therapeutic touch. As a board member, Dr. Hagemaster will serve as chair of the Research Committee.

Physical Therapy Ed. earns accreditation commendation
Congratulations to the KUMC Department of Physical Therapy Education for earning a favorable rating and high commendation from the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education. Among the areas cited by the commission were:
•     University administration leadership, with a special citation for Karen L. Miller, PhD, dean of the School of Allied Health.
•     Excellent leadership of Chukuka S. Enwemeka, professor and department chair.
•     The Distance Education Program with a special citation for Nancy Scott, academic coordinator.
•     Faculty excellence, with special citation for the high number of faculty members with a doctorate degree.
•     Strength of the program's curricula, particularly in orthopedics and research.
•     Students' flexibility and problem-solving abilities.

Upcoming events to benefit Children's Miracle Network
A book fair will be held in the Wyandotte Room Thursday, April 29, and Friday, April 30, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Children's Miracle Network (CMN). Participating area Dairy Queen restaurants will also donate 10 percent of sales Saturday, May 1, to CMN during the company's third annual "Million Dollar Day." The chain's goal is to raise $1 million nationwide. Stop by Dairy Queen this Saturday. Your purchase will help support the KU Children's Center!
On Monday, May 3, KUMC employees' annual two-week balloon sale launches in the Main Cafeteria. Balloons cost $1, with all proceeds going to CMN. The total will be announced on KCTV 5 during the June 5 and 6 telethon.

KUMC Telemedicine receives top national award
KU Medical Center's Telemedicine Services has received the 1999 American Telemedicine Association's (ATA) President's Award for the Advancement of Telemedicine. The award recognizes a substantial contribution toward the advancement of telemedicine in the United States
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"We are honored to accept this award and delighted that we have been recognized as a leader in the field," said Gary Doolittle, MD, director of KUMC Telemedicine Services. KUMC is a pioneer in the use of telemedicine to deliver health care to distant populations. Today, it is one of the leading programs in the country. Last year the program recorded 1,643 clinical and psychiatric consultations, making it the fourth most active telemedicine program in the country.


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Parking meeting set for May 4
Department parking passes for off-campus locations such as satellite clinics, bicycle parking regulations and additional fees for late permit renewals are among the topics to be discussed during a public hearing on parking May 4. The hearing will be 2 p.m. in Lied Auditorium. All KU Medical Center employees are encouraged to attend.

Free hearing screenings offered May 3-10
The L.B. Spake Hearing and Speech Department will offer free hearing screenings in recognition of "May is Better Hearing and Speech Month" and in celebration of the department's 50th anniversary. Screenings will offered 9 a.m.-noon, Monday, May 3; 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, May 5; noon-3 p.m., Thursday, May 6, and 9 a.m.-noon Monday, May 10. All screenings will be in the Audiology Clinic, room G027 in the basement of the Child Development Unit building. Please call 588-5730 for an appointment.

Scholarship application deadline is June 18
Applications for the Reathea Mae Resco and the Dr. W.S. Sutton scholarships are due June 18. The $3,576 Reathea Mae Resco Scholarship supports a student working in basic science cancer research. Two Dr. W.S. Sutton Scholarships for $4,383 are offered to students working in genetics research. Students should submit a letter of interest that describes their research, appropriate transcripts and a letter from their faculty advisor to the Office of Academic Affairs, 5015 Wescoe.

Auxiliary Plant Sale will be May 4
The annual Auxiliary Plant Sale will be Tuesday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Auxiliary Courtyard next to the link.

Medical Arts Symphony to perform May 1
From Brahms to Siebelius, Battenfeld Auditorium will be filled with music Saturday, May 1, when the Medical Arts Symphony performs a free concert.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. with a program that includes Carmen Suite #1 by Georges Bizet; Four Songs by Gerald Kemner; Choral Fantasy by Ludwig van Beethoven; Tragic Overture by Johannes Brahms, and En Saga by Jean Sibelius. The Medical Arts Symphony, established in 1959, is conducted by Dr. Merton Shatzkin.

Kirmayer early bird registration begins
Early registration will run through May 7 for Session 5 of aerobics classes, Yoga I & II, Finding Fitness and Living Fit at the Kirmayer Fitness Center. The aerobics and Yoga I & II classes will be five-week sessions. Early registration for aerobics is $14 for two times a week and $21 for three times a week; for Yoga I & II, it is $20.
Finding Fitness and Living Fit classes will each be six weeks long. The early bird cost for both is $39 for members and $54 for non-members. Register for all classes at the Kirmayer administrative office or call Lynette Henkel, ext. 7706.

Tuition assistance applications due May 5
Applications for tuition assistance for the summer semester are due May 5. All full-time KUMC employees who have worked at the medical center at least six months are eligible to apply. Application forms are available at Human Resources, 1044 Delp, or by calling ext. 5099. You may also use the form on the Human Resources Pulse site: http://www2.kumc.edu/hr/training/tuition.html.


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FOR SALE:
Three window unit A/Cs: two bedroom units, 5-6,000 BTU and one large, reconditioned 18,000 BTU unit, all in good working cond. Call Jim, 444-9366, and leave message if necessary.
Toy box, $15, other various toys, designer skirts size 12/14, make offer. Call 281-3942 after 6 p.m.
"Weed Eater" lawn mower, 22", mulch capable, used five times, must sell, $100. Call 397-6617.
Dining room table w/four chairs in exc. cond., top is wood and light gray tile, two years old, $500. Call 831-6108.
IBM Aptiva computer, 233 MhZ, 3.2 GB hard drive, CD ROM, theater sound, color monitor, Canon color printer, $950. Oak computer armoire, $300. Call 888-8126.
Kelvinator white upright refrigerator/freezer, exc. cond., eight years old, $250 OBO. Call 764-7657.
ProForm 485 E Ellipse exercise machine, used very little, new $400, asking $300. Call 384-4285 and leave message.
AUTOMOTIVE:
1989 Plymouth Vista minivan, exc. cond., low miles, $4,500. Call 338-3878 after 7 p.m.
1996 Saturn wagon (SW2), 39K miles, white, power windows/locks, A/C, cruise, AM/FM cassette, one owner, good cond., $10,500. Call 362-9234.
1993 Saturn, blue-green, auto, A/C, power sunroof, new AM/FM cassette, new brakes, good running car, good gas mileage, 92K, one owner, $4,500. Call 361-9230 after 4 p.m.
1991 Honda Civic DX, 5-spd., white, perfect body, no rust, 154K miles, new tires, battery, brakes, loan value from UMB Bank is $3,700, will sell for $3,000. Call Mike, 350-7400 after 5:30 p.m.
HOUSING:
For Sale: Shawnee townhome, 3BD, 1.5BA, two car attached garage, FP, fin. basement, large fenced back yard, subdiv. pool, 7120 Flint, $115,000, negotiable. Call 962-1588.
For Sale: 2BD poss. 3BD, 1BA, new carpet, linoleum, new paint inside and out, new gutters, 2 driveways, fenced back yard, large deck, central A/C and heat, full basement and walk-in storage attic, landscaped, 38th and State Ave. in KCK, $34,500. Call Rob, 371-6180.
Roommate Needed: Beautiful two story Cape Cod house eight min. from KUMC, private room, office, furn. if necessary, fenced yard, cats or outside only dogs welcome, $375/month plus utilities and deposit. Call 236-7845.


coming
up

Friday, April 30:
•    Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds, "Women's Issues in Substance Abuse," 10:30 a.m., Clendening Auditorium.
Monday, May 3:
•    Free prostate cancer screenings, KU Cancer Center, call 588-1227 for appointment.
Tuesday, May 4:
•    Kansas Cancer Institute Research Round Table, "Experimental Model of Ovarian Cancer," noon, Lied Auditorium.
•    Cognitive Therapy Addiction Treatment, 1 p.m., Family Medicine Conference Room.
•    Center on Aging Lecture, "Predictors of Stroke Outcomes," 4 p.m., Clendening Auditorium.
•    Tobacco-Free Teens, 4-5:30 p.m., Dykes Library Conference Room.
•    Cancer Management Series, "Communication is the Key: Talking with your Family, Friends and Healthcare Team," 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 5:
•    Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., 1107 KU Hospital.
•    Outcomes Management and Research Seminar Series, "Evaluating Outcomes in State Medicaid Managed Care Programs," 11:30 a.m., Lied Auditorium.
•    KUMC Interfaith, "A Pilgrimage of Holy Shrines in Europe," noon-1 p.m, 3041 Wescoe.
•    Anxiety Support Group, 4-5:30 p.m., Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, $10 fee. Call 588-1300 before attending your first meeting.
•    Liver Transplant Support Group, 7-8:30 p.m., Prairie Room, Delp Cafeteria.
Thursday, May 6:
•    Burn Patient Family Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Burn Center Waiting Room.


IN THE CENTER
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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