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15 july 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 18


Partnership initiatives praised, ‘Highlight’ of JCAHO survey

A bright spot of the recent JCAHO survey was the recognition and acclaim given the Medical Director-Hospital Director Partnership program. JCAHO surveyors noted that they had observed only one other partnership this year, and it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the KU Hospital program.
“The physician surveyor said the program here was one of the highlights of the survey,” said William Barkman, MD, MSPH, associate professor of internal medicine, who accompanied the surveyor during the site visit. “They gave us high marks and said it was a strong, exciting program.”
“The medical-hospital partnerships build strong bonds between physicians and hospital staff, and results in the best outcomes for patient care,” added Susan Pingleton, MD, professor and division director of pulmonary medicine, and head of the partnership effort.
The KUMC partnership program is a multidisciplinary initiative between physicians and other health care professionals, which is designed to help maintain and improve patient care in a cost-conscious, managed-care environment. Partnerships are organized into two groups, one focusing on operational issues associated with nursing unit services, and the other focusing on services utilized across multiple nursing units.

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Therapist Angela Bosch, RRT, and Shift Supervisor David Northrup, RRT, say patients benefit from the new RT-directed weaning protocol developed through a medical-hospital partnership.

“The purpose of the partnerships is to improve the quality of patient care and increase patient satisfaction,” Dr. Pingleton said. “During the JCAHO survey, the surveyors were pleased that most of our performance improvements came through the medical-hospital partnership programs.”
Partnership initiatives over the past year have included everything from developing treatment protocols and chemotherapy administration policies to establishing new care centers and services. Currently, 24 partnership initiatives are underway.
One project that has increased patient care quality and decreased costs is the development of an adult respiratory care weaning protocol. As explained by Homer Rodriguez, RRT, director, Respiratory Therapy Department, the decision to begin the weaning process from mechanical ventilation was previously made on a case-by-case basis by the attending physician. The medical staff and RT staff have now developed a protocol allowing respiratory therapists to make specific interventions based on patient evaluations.

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Homer Rodriguez

“The patients certainly benefit by having a team of professionals working together to quickly free them from their dependency on a machine,” Rodriguez said. “These protocols are an example of how Respiratory Therapy Services is able to stay on the leading edge of respiratory care by working with our physician and nursing partners.”
As a result of the protocol, the average length of patient stay in intensive care has been reduced from 9.2 days to 6.8 days. The average cost savings per patient has also been reduced from $1,057 to $961.
As this example shows, medical-hospital partnering efforts are clearly a benefit to hospital staff, physicians, and most important, patients.


Year 2000 effort shifts to contingency planning

With some preparations for the Year 2000 date change ahead of schedule, “the University of Kansas Medical Center is on target with our overall Y2K plan,” reported Bill Mumford, director, Hospital Information Systems.
This plan included an assessment and analysis of all hospital equipment with computer chips and a hospital-wide remediation of any equipment not proving to be Y2K compliant. This first phase of the Y2K plan is being wrapped up and the second phase, focusing on contingency planning and application testing, is underway.

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Bill Mumford

Based on Business Continuity Planning (BCP) methodology, the process at KUMC identifies the individual critical tasks required to continue performing our core business, assumes scenarios based on not having essential services or supplies, such as power or water, and develops alternative methods for meeting those needs for a defined period of time.
“We used OR as a benchmark,” said Malcolm Cunningham, Y2K project manager. “Its critical process is to be able to perform non-elective surgeries. So we look at medical supplies, staffing and communications methods and develop contingencies for not having these. The folks in the OR jumped right into the process and did a great job.”
By the end of this month, each department will have completed a document detailing its core processes, its interdependencies and the contingencies it has developed for each process.
“What we are doing is not just for a one-time event,” explained Jon Jackson, chief operating officer, KU Hospital. “This is vital information that could be used at any time.”


Hightower is director of facilities management

Dan Hightower has recently joined KUMC as director, facilities management. Hightower will oversee the maintenance, construction and architectural planning groups.
Hightower is formerly associate director of the National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Services’ Division of Engineering Services. He has a master’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Kansas, and more than 20 years experience in various positions with the U.S. Public Health Service.

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Dan Hightower

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Dan back to KU,” said Ed Phillips, vice chancellor for administration. “After a distinguished career in the U.S. Public Health Service he brings a wealth of architectural and engineering experience to the medical center.”
“I wanted a position with a university, particularly one with a school of medicine and research,” Hightower said. “KU Medical Center provides all of that.”



KUMC in the news
During the past week, local media reported on the following stories at KUMC:

Thursday, July 8:
•    KSHB-Channel 41 featured Pamela McCoy, MD, emergency medical services, on the dangers of being out too long on a hot day.

Wednesday, July 14:
•    KMBC-9 profiled a patient taking part in the Study of Tamoxifen and Roloxifene (STAR). The story also featured Debbie Graham, program director, and Cecelia Atherton, RN, ARNP, of the Kansas Cancer Institute.


KC Promise pledges better life for youth

KU Medical Center is a leading participant in a three-year community-wide initiative to help the area’s 375,000 children and youth live a safe and successful life. For its ongoing efforts, the medical center has been selected as a national model.
The program, Kansas City’s Promise, is a local response to the national America’s Promise-The Alliance for Youth. Launched in 1997 by President Clinton and all the living former presidents, the program is designed to obtain specific, quantifiable commitments from area organizations and businesses to provide children access to five fundamental resources: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, marketable career skills and opportunities to serve.
“We will mentor 200 youth by the year 2000,” reported Shelley Bratton, senior coordinator, Alumni and Community Relations, and coordinator of the program for KUMC. “We are currently working with Rosedale Middle School and area high schools and have increased our Junior Volunteer level by 20 percent.”
KUMC has also promised to add six job shadowing programs; create an inter-generational after-school program; give 1,500 children a new book; provide a medical history “passport” for 1,370 foster children; double its telemedicine school sites, and establish a speaker’s bureau to high-risk youth, Bratton said.

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Diane E. Clark                         Shelley L. Bratton

KUMC is the only area institution to make such a broad-based pledge. When the program concludes, KUMC’s promises will have impacted an estimated 4,500 children and youth.
This is one reason why KUMC’s program was selected by Gen. Colin Powell, America’s Promise chairman, as a model Promise site, one of only three medical centers in the nation chosen for this distinction.
“We’re honored with being placed in the America’s Promise National Directory for our commitment and leadership in helping the youth of America,” Bratton said.
“It’s too early to quantify the results,” said Diane Clark, program director, Center on Aging. Clark now serves as chairperson of the governing council of The Volunteer Connection, the group which tracks and reports on the status of promises and programs in the Kansas City area. “But we know there are more youth volunteers and more adults involved in the lives of children as a result of this program.”
KUMC’s participation in Kansas City’s Promise is coordinated through the Alumni and Community Relations Office. To volunteer, call Bratton, ext. 1252.


Masons give another $225,000 to Cancer Institute

The Kansas Cancer Institute (KCI) received a major contribution to its effort to fight cancer with a $255,000 grant from the Kansas Masonic Foundation. The gift brings the foundation’s total contributions to KCI to $3.5 million since 1974. Based on a KCI proposal earlier this year, foundation board members approved the award at their annual meeting in June.
“We’ve all been touched by cancer, either directly or indirectly, and our members agree that the research programs we support at the Kansas Cancer Institute are making a difference in the fight against these diseases,” said Jerry VanAllen, foundation executive director. “Cancer is not a legacy we want to leave for our children or grandchildren.”


Front & Center

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Allison Ediger, above left, and Candice Beek of the School of Nursing enjoyed some refreshing ice cream from the Maggie Moo’s that opened in the Main Cafeteria this week. Arshia Kalantari, right, owns and operates the concession with his father.

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Sarah Thorton, left, Devin Carr, Kelly Blackwell and Joshua Crosier were among the 15 KUMC junior volunteers who attended “Discovering Careers in Health Care” at Country Club Christian Church July 13. KUMC was a sponsor of the health careers conference.

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Brittany and Joey Wilcox, Independence, Mo., were among the fans meeting KC Royals mascot Sluggerrr at KUMC July 9, who was on hand to promote ticket sales for KUMC Night at the Royals, July 24. Employees attending pre-game festivities should report to Lot K at Kauffman Stadium, behind the Royals scoreboard, by 5 p.m.

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On a July 6 visit to KUMC, Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore, above right, discussed the KUMC trauma program with Michael Moncure, MD, FACS, assistant professor of surgery and director of the trauma center. The congressman also toured the Emergency Department with Pamela Hite, MD, clinical assistant professor and associate director, emergency medical services.

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Mel Allen, MBA, director, major division of radiology and assistant administrator of organizational improvement, left, will receive a 1999 Nycomed Award for Excellence from the American Healthcare Radiology Administration (AHRA), July 28 at the AHRA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Allen is being recognized for his exceptional innovation, leadership and administrative capabilities.

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Workers began removing concrete Monday to install a large, wheelchair accessible revolving door and new granite facade at the KU Hospital main entrance. Employees are asked to use the far south and north doors of the entrance until the project is completed late this year.


Physicians’ Update

In this issue we recognize five physicians who have recently affiliated with KUMC, representing a variety of departments and supporting the broad range of services and continuity of care provided to patients.

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Karen Santa Cruz, MD, assistant professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Santa Cruz completed medical school at the University of Arizona–College of Medicine and an internship and residency in pathology at the University of California at Irvine. She practices at KUMC and specializes in neuropathology.

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Sharon E. Cain, MD, assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Cain completed medical school at the KU School of Medicine where she also completed a residency in general psychiatry. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry and child psychiatry. She practices at KUMC and specializes in child psychiatry.

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Jinna S. Chen, MD, assistant professor, Department of Radiology.
Dr. Chen completed medical school followed by a residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Oklahoma and a fellowship in pediatric radiology at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Dr. Chen is certified by the American Board of Radiology. She sees patients at KUMC and specializes in pediatric radiology.

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Deborah R. Hellinger, DO, assistant professor, Department of Radiology, completed medical school at the University of Health Sciences, Kansas City, Mo., and a rotating internship and residency in diagnostic radiology at Tulsa Regional Medical Center. Certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology, Dr. Hellinger sees patients at KUMC and specializes in general and musculoskeletal radiology.

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Pushpa N. Joseph, MD, assistant professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management, was recently appointed director of the Pain Management Clinic. Dr. Joseph completed medical school at Government Medical College at Calicut, and an internship in internal medicine, a residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in pain management at the State University of New York. Dr. Joseph is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. She sees patients at KUMC and specializes in anesthesiology and chronic pain management.


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Savings bond campaign
During the savings bond campaign now underway, State of Kansas employees are encouraged to purchase EE U.S. Savings Bonds through payroll deduction, which can be in amounts as low as $5 per paycheck. A bond is issued when its purchase price (half the bond’s face value) is accumulated in an employee’s account. Interest is free from state and local taxes; federal tax is deferred until the bonds are cashed. To enroll, contact the Medical Center Benefits Office, 1044 Delp, ext. 5087. The campaign ends Aug. 31.

Cancer Action 5K
The KU Cancer Center will sponsor the Cancer Action Grand Prix Fourth Annual 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, July 24, at the General Motors Fairfax Plant. This timed event on a flat, certified course raises funds for Cancer Action, which provides medicines, equipment, transportation and nutritional supplements to needy KUMC cancer patients. A $15 tax-deductible registration fee includes a T-shirt, refreshments and the chance to win door prizes. To register, pick up an entry form at the KU Hospital Information Desk or the Cancer Center front desk, or sign-up on-line at Don’t forget to mention you are a member of the KU Cancer Center Team. For more information, call Cancer Action, 321-8880.

Race for the Cure
The Sixth Annual Kansas City Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure is set for Sunday, Aug. 8, at Town Center Plaza, 119th and Nall. The event, which raises funds to fight breast cancer, consists of a 5K Run/Walk and a one-mile Fun Walk. This year, the Kansas Cancer Institute and the KU Cancer Center are joining forces to organize the KUMC team, which requires a minimum of 10 people. For more information, contact Pat Adams, ext. 4718.

Kirmayer summer bonus
Start or renew a membership at Kirmayer Fitness Center by Aug. 13 and get a free massage. A payroll deduction membership qualifies for a half-hour massage. An annual membership rceives a one-hour massage. Members can qualify for the bonus regardless of their membership expiration date.

Tuition assistance
The application deadline for tuition assistance for the fall 1999 semester is July 29. All full-time State of Kansas employees who have worked at KUMC at least six months are eligible to apply. Applications are available at the Medical Center Benefits Office, 1044 Delp, or by calling ext. 5099. Applications are also found on Pulse at

Bike safety fair Aug. 7
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Bring your kids and their bicycles to the Wyandotte County Fair for the KUMC bicycle safety fair. There’ll be door prizes, a Life Net landing, a MAST ambulance tour and more as children over 2 learn about bike, traffic and personal safety. The free event is Saturday, Aug. 7, from noon to 5 p.m., at the Wyandotte County Fair Grounds, 1405 North 98th Street, Kansas City, Kan., next to the rodeo arena.



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Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD tent, 3 season, 2 person, approx. 3 lb. 10 oz., 5” x 20” packed, used 5 times, exc. cond., $100. Call 931-3369.
1983 Executive Runabout boat with 140 HP Merccruiser inboard/outboard, low hours, stainless steel prop, Fishfinder, accessories and trailer included, exc. cond., $4,200. Call 772-7414.
Refrigerator, GE Model 18, never been used, internal ice maker, 1 year warranty, $449 or OBO. Call 894-9756.
Murray convertible rear bagger mulcher lawn mower, 21”, 4 HP Tecumseh, very easy start, $50. Call 722-5735.
Maytag commercial coin-operated washer, works, $50, you pick up, near KU. Call 722-0702.
1920s solid oak table, 60”x40”, 4 leaf, 6 chairs, 2 captain, all refinished, $1,000, matching buffet, $300, together, $1,200. Call 362-9234.
Garage Sale: Furniture, dishes, linens, women’s clothing, collectibles, decorative and misc. items, Walnut Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast, 10326 Richland Ave., Edwardsville, follow signs west from Kansas Ave., exit on 435 or north from Edwardsville stoplight, July 23 and 24, 8 a.m.

1987 Nissan pick-up, 112K miles, A/C, very dependable, perfect cond., $2,500. Call 432-4691.
1997 Tracker LSI, 4dr., 21K miles, 5 spd., cruise, A/C, AM/FM cassette, $14,000. Call (913) 768-7293.
1984 Toyota Celica ST, 160K miles, gold, auto., A/C, many parts new, maint. record, runs and looks great. Call 248-0283.
1990 Nissan 300ZX, twin turbo, T-top, smoke colored, leather int., fully loaded, 110K miles, $8,000 OBO. Call 432-4088.

Carpenter needed to make one drawer only for a chest of drawers. Call 362-1288.



Tuesday, July 20:
•    Cognitive Therapy Addiction Treatment, 1-2:30 p.m., Family Medicine Clinic.
•    Hernia Repair, 7-8 p.m., KU MedWest Community Room.

Wednesday, July 21:
•    Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., 1107 KU Hospital.
•    Best Beginnings Parenting Class, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., OB/GYN Offices.
•    KUMC Interfaith Discussion, noon-1 p.m., 3041 Wescoe.
•    Anxiety Support Group, 4-5:30 p.m., Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, Room 1320.

Thursday, July 22:
•    Lung Transplant Support Group, noon-2 p.m., Westwood City Hall, 47th and Rainbow.
•    Osteoporosis Support Group, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Kansas City Physical Therapy, 5800 Outlook.
•    Burn Patient Family Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Burn Center Waiting Room.
•    Back-to-School Physicals, KU MedWest, call 588-8400 for an appointment.

Please post your events and meetings
on the Pulse Campus Events Calendar,


The story on the Pediatric Delta Room that appeared on page 3 of the July 8 In The Center contained an error. Space for the Delta Room is provided by KU Hospital. Furnishings are underwritten by the hospital and the national Delta Delta Delta sorority.


Send your questions, story ideas to In The Center
Since launching our new publication In The Center four months ago, the editorial staff has continued to look for ways to improve the publication and bring you the news you need and want. One of the areas to become more interactive is the Executive Forum columns written by our leadership. If you have questions or issues you think should be addressed by KU Hospital or University leadership, please send them to In The Center.
We also welcome your story ideas, comments and suggestions. Remember, In The Center is your publication, so let us hear from you. Send your questions or comments to Ken Arnold, editor, G114 KU Hospital, or e-mail <karnold>, or call ext. 1298.

Donald Hagen, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor, KUMC
Irene Cumming, President and CEO, 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 Public Relations and Marketing Department. 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 if space is limited.


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