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24 june 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 15


New KUMC Dialysis Center offers
first-rate care and room to grow

More than 80 people visit the University of Kansas Medical Center for dialysis treatment each week. Now, with the opening of the new Dialysis Center, they are greeted with convenient parking and a bright and spacious new facility equipped with the latest in medical technology.
The center, located at 4720 Rainbow Blvd., represents a great improvement over the previous location on the 4th floor of the Delp Pavilion. In addition to doorside parking, the new 12,000 sq. ft. facility features floor-to-ceiling windows and an open, spacious floor plan, allowing for 28 dialysis stations as compared to 17 in the former facility. The new center also includes a sophisticated, dialysis-specific computer system as well as patient training rooms and an advanced dialysis water treatment system.

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Kal Kerns, Dialysis Center administrator, says the spacious new facility is designed to provide complete patient-centered care.

“This facility is state of the art,” said Kal Kerns, Dialysis Center administrator. “The old center had been undersized for years. We had great potential for growth, but no place to put people. We now have room to expand,
and our future plans call for adding a
third shift.”
The center now serves 110 patients, of which about 80 receive dialysis on-site three times a week. The remaining patients are located throughout Kansas and western Missouri, and receive or self administer regular dialysis treatments at home. The staff, which Kerns said has doubled in the past year, now totals 33
and includes RNs, health care assistants, bio-med technicians, dietitians and
two social workers.
Kerns added that the smooth start-up of the center would not have been possible without the extra effort and teamwork of several departments, including Hospital Information Systems, Hospital Executive Offices, Clinical Laboratories, Tele-communications, Materials Management, Environmental Services and Pharmacy. Kerns said the center, which opened for business June 13, also underwent an intensive two-day Medicare survey on the first two days of operation, which resulted in an excellent report.
“The surveyors commented that the staff was, ‘very competent and very confident,’” he said. “Obviously, we couldn’t be more pleased with the new center. And the patients just love it.”



Executive Forum

06249902.jpg (21888 bytes)A building
block approach





“The problems we face here are not a negative reflection on the hardworking and dedicated people at the University,” said Ed Phillips, vice chancellor for administration. Phillips was an admiral in the U.S. Navy for 31 years and was named vice chancellor in May.
“We are in an environment that is constantly changing due to economic and technological factors and changing demographics,” he continued. “The University is a complex social institution, which must accomplish multiple, complex missions, with a diverse multi-specialty team. There are similarities between universities and military organizations, which is my experience base. To be successful, each must develop effective processes and then be able to integrate into systems to achieve results,” he explained.
“We must first take an unflinching assessment of our responsibilities, processes and accomplishments. If a process isn’t achieving the goals and outcomes needed, we then must rethink how it should be done,” Phillips stressed.
“The next step is to accept our responsibility to solve the process problems, and understand the complex missions and interrelationships. Once we possess the mind-set, then we can find ways to turn data into useful information,” he continued.
Phillips explained, “Systems are really a simple building block approach. It isn’t rocket science or magic. However, it does require commitment, hard work, an open mind, trust, leadership and a constant search for systematic opportunities for reinvention and innovation to improve our processes and system and our outcomes,” concluded Phillips.


Cummings.jpg (27557 bytes)National trend reflected
in KUMC direction





“At times, we must step back to see more clearly, especially within a complex, academic medical center. As a board member of the University Health System Consortium, I have a unique vantage point to view health care system trends at academic medical centers around the country,” said Irene Cumming, President and CEO.
“Clearly, the growing financial vulnerability of academic medical centers is now readily acknowledged, requiring more focused financial management and analysis. Academic medical centers have excelled in managing costs, yet they are beginning to experience significant losses. The Balanced Budget Act is resulting in deep cuts in Medicare payments. Many centers, such as Stanford, Penn, Duke and Barnes-Jewish, are facing a major financial crisis.”
“Nationally, academic medical centers with strong market share also have strong ‘brand identity,’ which differentiates them from the competition. The strategies include building referral relationships, image enhancement, tertiary and quaternary business development, specialty service line business development and network development,” Cumming said.
“Here at KUMC, we are focused on sound financial management—the foundation to gain market share, brand identity and build service lines. The Executive Committee of the Authority Board has just approved the hospital budget, setting a clear direction for the coming year. The hospital and physicians are working together and our marketing approach is positively affecting our image and recognition,” Cumming concluded.


For operators, 4,000 calls
are all in a day’s work

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Monique Mayfield, operator  Regina Benson, operator

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Linda Main, switchboard supervisor

Most mornings, the rush begins around 8 a.m. That’s when the otherwise steady stream of calls to the KUMC switchboard turns into a flood that won’t abate for nearly 11 hours.
Fortunately, KUMC switchboard operators have what it takes to manage the onslaught. With skill, speed and the ability to perform under pressure, they field an average of 4,000 calls.
“We have a wonderful group of operators,” said Linda Main, KUMC switchboard supervisor. “This job requires someone who can work well as a team member and as an individual. We take care of each other and work well as a team.”
Operators work 24 hours a day to provide such essential services as directing incoming calls, paging physicians and staff and providing after-hours answering services for the major clinics at KUMC. The department also maintains more than 50 on-call schedules each month.
“Currently, we have 13 operators and plan to hire two more,” Main said. “Most of our operators have worked for KUMC for a number of years. Some have between 15 and 20 years of experience.”
The installation of new telephone and paging systems last year is helping the department increase productivity and reach customer service goals. The new technology enables operators to use personal computers to transfer calls and send pages.
“Our computers place a tremendous amount of information right at the fingertips of our operators,” Main said. “When an operator enters a person’s last name into a computer, our tele-directory software finds the right number. Then, with a couple of keystrokes, the call is transferred.”
Although Main says she and her staff enjoy their jobs, she laughs when describing one slight drawback.
“When I go home at night, I really don’t want to hear my telephone ring.”



Hospital HR appoints permanent directors

KU Hospital employees now have full-time representatives to serve their employee relations and compensation and benefits needs, thanks to recent appointments in the Hospital Human Resources Department. On June 1, Jan White became director of employee relations and Nancy Hill was named director of compensation and benefits.

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Jan White                               Nancy Hill

Both White and Hill came to the hospital in February and have served in interim leadership roles since April. In their new roles, White will manage employee relations and employment functions, while Hill will lead the compensation and benefits areas. Hill is currently assisting Mercer to implement new compensation programs.
White previously worked for the Visiting Nurse Association, Methodist Hospital Systems in Memphis, Tenn., Charter Medical Corporation, Covina, Calif., and Metro Distributors.
Hill came to KU Hospital from NationsBank. She previously worked
at First Data Corporation, The Resolution Trust Corporation, and Central Bank of Denver.



Schools combine courses for MSN, MPH degrees

Addressing the expanding role of the community and public health advanced practice nurse, the University of Kansas has created a dual, interdisciplinary master’s degree program.
It is designed to prepare students for a variety of community and public health positions in Kansas and across the country. By integrating both nursing and public health knowledge, nurses can identify and address the economic, social and political factors that influence health conditions.
The new program combines courses from the School of Nursing and the Department of Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine that will result in Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees.
Advanced practice community health nurses go beyond caring for the individual, applying the nursing process to groups or the community as a whole.
They provide a critical link between epidemiological data and clinical understanding of health and illness. With training such as that provided by the dual program, this understanding can be translated into public health action.
The new program provides the essential content of the basic graduate nursing core courses, the advanced practice nursing clinical core courses and specialization courses in public health science and advanced community/public health nursing.
Through either a full-time or part-time course of study, students can complete both degrees in 59 credit hours, compared to 79 credit hours if pursued separately.
For more information, call the School of Nursing Student Affairs Office, ext. 1601.

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School of Nursing Recruiter/Advisor Amber Reagan-Kendrick, second from right, conducted a tour of KUMC June 18 for prospective nursing students (L-R): Jamall Walker, Wichita; Shawntelle Smith, Wichita; Liz Wristen, Leawood; and Dale and Melissa Sanders, Shawnee. Reagan-Kendrick offers the tours monthly.

06249909.jpg (25544 bytes)Respiratory Therapy Team Leader Sharon Shepherd, RRT, was recently chosen “Outstanding Clinical Instructor” by senior RT students





06249910.jpg (26769 bytes)Kathleen B. Weatherstone, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, is among 40 women from medical and dental schools
in North America selected for the fifth class of the Hedwig van Amerigen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women. ELAM prepares women faculty for senior leadership positions at academic health centers.



Front & Center

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Runners from across the city competed in the Corporate Challenge Duatholon/Triatholon June 19, sponsored by KUMC. Susan Cannon, clinical instructor-physical therapy in the Child Development Unit, right, was among several KUMC employees who participated.
Ike Murphy, preventive maintenance engineer in Facilities Management, left, won two gold medals June 17 in the 100-meter dash and 400-meter run. Murphy, who is 51, set a new record of 12.7 seconds in the 100-meter event and outdistanced more than 50 other competitors to win the 400-meter.

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Ann Babb, vice president and chief nurse executive, right, took on the role of “Joint Commission Super Woman” during mock surveys and other preparations for the JCAHO survey. Babb’s cape was created by Lori Barham, RN, Nursing Unit MICU, inset.



Plaque names area’s only verified burn center

KUMC’s Burnett Burn Center received a plaque this week confirming the center’s verification by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association. It is the only burn center to be verified in the Kansas City area and in the state of Kansas.

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Anne Cramer, MD, proudly displays the new Burn Center verification plaque.

“Now we have a burn center and a new facility that can compete with any burn unit in the country,” said Anne Cramer, MD, assistant professor, surgery. “We’re particularly happy to receive the verification at this time, as we’re celebrating 25 years of commitment to the burn program at KUMC.”
The verification is a result of a survey completed in March, a process that is repeated every three years.



Urology program champion retires June 30

On June 30, KUMC will say goodbye to a man who has given 36 years of service to the institution and raised the standing of his department to the national level-Winston K. Mebust, MD.
Dr. Mebust, professor and chief, section of urology, is known nationwide for his expertise in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and for advancing the transurethral resection procedure as a safe and effective treatment of the condition. He is also credited by many with building the urology program at KUMC, which consistently ranks among the top five in the nation.
“Win has taken the urology program here and raised it to national and international stature,” said J. Brantley Thrasher, MD, who replaced Dr. Mebust as Valk Distinguished Professor and chief, section of urology last year.

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Winston Mebust, MD

At a June 16 reception, Dr. Thrasher and Laurence Cheung, MD, professor and chairman of surgery, presented Dr. Mebust with a book of letters and best wishes from students and colleagues, and with a plaque recognizing his expertise in BPH.
Dr. Mebust graduated from the University of Washington Medical School in 1958. He came to KUMC as a first-year urology resident in 1963, where he worked under the direction of William L. Valk, MD. Dr. Mebust became a member of the staff in 1966 and held the position of chief, section of urology from 1974-98. Following Dr. Valk’s retirement, Dr. Mebust was named the first Valk Distinguished Professor in 1992, a position he held until 1998.
Dr. Mebust is nationally and internationally known. He served as president of the South Central Section, American Urological Association (AUA) from 1982-83; president of the American Board of Urology from 1988-89; chairman of the AUA Practice Parameters, Guidelines and Standards Committee from 1989 to the present, and treasurer of the AUA and a member of its Board of Directors from 1995 to the present. In 1993, he received the AUA Distinguished Contribution Award. Since 1996, he has been a member of the Steering Committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) International Consultation on Urologic Diseases.
Dr. Mebust remains an active member of the AUA, and will take office as its president in 2002.



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JCAHO event is Friday
All KU Hospital employees and medical staff are invited to a JCAHO Survey Celebration Friday, June 25, at 4:30 p.m. in Battenfield Auditorium and the Francisco Lounge. The event will provide an opportunity for hospital administrators to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication preparing for
the survey. Cookies and punch will be provided by KU Catering.

July bus passes on sale
Discounted Metro Monthly Bus Passes and Reduced Fare Bus Passes for the month of July are on sale to KU Hospital employees June 25-30. Passes are available in both Hospital Human Resources locations, 5021 Delp and G415 KU Hospital. Monthly passes are available at an $8 discount. Reduced Fare passes for senior citizens and persons with disabilities are offered at a $4 discount.

Heart Walk is Saturday
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Demonstrating that exercise is an important part of a heart-healthy lifestyle, KU Medical Center employees and other participants in the American Heart Walk will step out to save lives Saturday, June 26.
The sixth annual event to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke starts at
8 a.m. in Mill Creek Park on the Country Club Plaza. Walkers collect donations and choose either a one- or four-mile course.
A minimum donation of $25 is required. The event is a benefit for the American Heart Association. KU Medical Center is one of many area sponsors. For a registration form, call Amy Metcalf, ext. 1233.

Residents gather July 1
Resident orientation is scheduled for Thursday, July 1, in Battenfeld Auditorium and the Francisco Lounge. Mandatory for all residents new to the medical center in fiscal year 2000, the all-day meeting starts with registration, immunizations and breakfast at 7:30 a.m.. It is sponsored by the Graduate Medical Education Office. For more information, call Cathy Hightower, ext. 3217.

Faculty in print, on panel
Jasjait Singh Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS, vice chair and associate professor of preventive medicine, is among the authors of “Cultural Sensitivity in Public Health: Defined and Demystified,” published in Ethnicity and Disease, Vol. 9, 1999. His co-authors are K. Resnicow, T. Baranowski and R.L. Braithwaite.
Carol E. Smith, RN, PhD, professor in the School of Nursing, is the author of “Caregiving Effectiveness in Families Managing Complex Technology at Home: Replication of a Model” published in the May/June issue of Nursing Research.
Patricia Fazzone, RN, DNSc, clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has agreed to serve as an expert on a Center for Substance Abuse Treatment panel addressing workforce issues called “Changing the Conversation: The National Plan to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment.”



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Kenmore gas stove, $100. Call 262-0458.
Large capacity Kenmore washer and dryer, exc. cond., $600. Call 888-8126.
Prepare early for the blizzard of 2000 w/snowblower, 8 HP Tecumseh 4 cycle Snow King motor, used only 3 times, cost $841, sell for $550 OBO. Call Steve, 451-9223.
Serta queen-size mattress w/box springs and bed frame, 3 years old, looks new, $150; baby crib/mattress, 3 years old, barely used, looks new, $100. Call 384-9752 after 6 p.m.
Large wooden desk, deep drawers, glass top, $20; Schwinn World Sport 10-spd., $10. Call 438-2710.
“Personally Yours” Mendella double breast pump, 3 months old, all attachments, $180 new, will sell for
$100 firm. Call 371-6180.
Fedders window A/C, 230v unit, 18,000 BTU, cools several rooms, exc. cond., $200; Carrier window A/C, 115v unit, 8,000 BTU, cools one large room, $125; Kenmore full-size white refrigerator, frostless, late model, $150. Call 432-2602.
Matching 3-speed “Free Spirit” bicycles, one men’s and one women’s, red, $200 for both OBO. Call 268-2939.
Colorful scrub tops, all sizes, only $15; also avail. at large garage sale: sewing machine, adult and children’s clothing, books, household misc., Sat. 6/26, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 88th Terrace & Antioch.
Moving Sale: 2931 Holmes, Sat. 6/26 and Sun. 6/27, antique dinette set, buffet, china cabinets, like new futon, dishwasher, lamps, tables, dresser, clothing, kitchen items. Call 561-9426.
Estate auction, 6/26, 9 a.m., 33731 S. Docking, Lebo, KS., three generations of antiques, some dating to 1880, furniture, glassware, primitive farm items, tractors and autos.

1982 Datsun 210, exc. mechanically, only 81K miles, dented rt. rear (recent MVA), $700 OBO. Call 677-8643.
1991 Honda Civic DX, 4-dr., 5-spd., 99K miles, A/C, CD player, brand new timing belt, brakes and battery, good cond., $3,800. Call 685-2962.
1988 Honda Prelude S, 126K miles, new clutch, runs great, $2,600. Call 432-0310.

For Sale: PV ranch home, 3 BR, 1 BA, many new/updated features incl. windows and roof, screened/glassed back porch, patio, fenced yard, charming, move-in condition, $109,950. Call 831-1939.
For Sale: Quality custom-built home in the Highlands at Bella Vista, 1,970 sq. ft., less than 1 year old, 3BR, 2BA, 3-car garage, maintenance free, newly landscaped, sprinkler system, open patio, full workshop, lot size 190’ x 90’, access to golf course, indoor pool, hot tub, exercise room, tennis court and more, $160,000. Call 501-855-6412.
For Rent: Duplex apartment, 2BR, 1BA, LR, DR, washer/dryer, 2-car garage, C/A, Crown Center area, $525/month, available 7/1. Call 561-9426.

Free to good home(s): 4 chow mix puppies and 1 collie mix. Call 33-6707 after 5 p.m.

Researchers in the Department of Physical Therapy seek female participants 30-60 diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip, knee and/or ankle of one or both legs for a study about disability and cardiovascular fitness. Participants must not have heart or lung problems of any kind. Contact Janice Loudon, PhD, Physical Therapy Education, ext. 6799.
The Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology seeks volunteers for a research study testing a modification of well-established treatments of endoscopically documented erosive reflux esophagitis related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Treatment designed to diminish gastric acid secretion and heal esophageal erosions. Participation requires 4 visits over 8 weeks. If erosive esophagitis is not healed, an extension for another 8 weeks is anticipated. Qualified participants will receive endoscopies and esophageal secretion test using nasogastric tubing, and medication at no charge with stipend for those who qualify for treatment. You must be at least 18 and have in the past or recently documented erosive reflux esophagitis, with or without heartburn symptoms; or have severe heartburn for at least 5 years to be eligible for screening endoscopy. In addition, you should not be receiving any prescription medication for your heartburn symptoms or erosive esophagitis. For more information call Michele, ext. 4051.




Friday, June 25:
•    KU Cancer Center Oncology Journal Club, 8:15-9:15 a.m., 6F Conference Room.
•    Kansas Cancer Institute Hormonal Cancer Etiology Meeting, 1:30-2:30 p.m., 1013 Lied Conference Room.

Tuesday, June 29:
•    Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group, noon-
1 p.m., Cottonwood Room, Delp Cafeteria.
•    Cognitive Therapy Addiction Treatment,
1-2:30 p.m., Family Medicine Clinic.

Wednesday, June 30:
•    Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., Cray Diabetes Center.
•    KUMC Interfaith, noon-1 p.m.,
3041 Wescoe.
•    National Stuttering Project Support Group, 7-9 p.m., 1018 Orr-Major.

Thursday, July 1:
•    Burn Patient Family Support Group,
6-7 p.m., Burn Center Waiting Room.
Please post your events and meetings on the Pulse Campus Events Calendar,



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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