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2 July 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 19


Comprehensive spinal cord program is unique in region

When Christopher Reeve was thrown from a horse in 1995, the celebrated actor became one of the more than 10,000 new cases of spinal cord injury that occur each year.
Fueling this growing national number are increases in automobile crashes, acts of violence, falls, sports injuries and other traumatic causes.
That’s why the Spinal Cord Injury Program at KU Medical Center focuses on patient care, research and the education of both health care professionals and the general public.

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Under the direction of Paul Arnold, MD, shown with Nancy Johnson of the Kansas Cancer Institure, the Spinal Cord Injury Program at KU Medical Center is being developed into a “Center of Excellence.”

“We’re out in the community with educational programs,” explained Paul Arnold, MD, associate professor of surgery and director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program. “We’re making a coordinated effort to help people learn about treatment and prevention.”
When a spinal cord injury does occur, the comprehensive Spinal Cord Injury Program at KUMC, which is being developed into a regional “Center of Excellence,” is designed to be the program of choice.
“KU has always taken care of spinal cord injury patients and has always done a good job,” said Joan McMahon, MSA, RN, CRRN, program coordinator. “Now we’re working with the patients, the family and the other health care professionals to make sure patients get everything they need.”
The program offers 24-hour coverage by highly specialized, fellowship-trained neurosurgeons and immediate access to a full complement of physicians who diagnose and treat associated injuries. KUMC is also developing a protocol to establish the optimal timing of surgery for traumatic spinal cord injury in collaboration with about a dozen other North American hospitals.
Using non-invasive, frameless stereotactic equipment, neurosurgeons can precisely identify the location of a spinal lesion prior to surgery. Surgical procedures are completed in a dedicated suite.
While a cure for the paralysis that can result from spinal cord injuries remains elusive, KUMC offers a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation to help improve patient function and independence, with resources and techniques that are unique in the region.

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Joan McMahon, RN

The multidisciplinary team consists of a nurse coordinator; certified rehabilitation registered nurses; physical, occupational speech/language, recreation and respiratory therapists; neuropsychologists who specialize in spinal cord injury care; social workers; case managers, dietitians and specialists in rehabilitation engineering.
The rehab program also offers individualized treatment plans and case management that include the patient and the patient’s family as active members of the team. It also provides resources to help the patient with readjustment to daily routine and re-entry into the community.
Prompt treatment, new surgical techniques, comprehensive rehabilitation programs and ongoing research are making a difference for spinal cord injury patients. “Life for the spinal cord injury patient is going to be significantly improved in my lifetime,” said McMahon, “perhaps to the point that there’s going to be a cure.”


Executive Forum

A fast-paced and successful first year
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Irene Cumming
President and CEO, KU Hospital

It has been an eventful, historic, fast-paced and successful first year for the Hospital Authority Board. There is a multitude of Board achievements. The transition of the hospital from state ownership to the Authority Board was a marathon (note list of achievements, below).
During last week’s meeting, new Board officers were approved. Last year’s chairman was KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway, who also chaired the nominating committee. The Board unanimously approved the nominating committee’s recommendations of George Farha, MD, professor and chairman of surgery at the KU School of Medicine, Wichita, as the new chairman and Chancellor Hemenway as vice-chair. Dr. Farha will be a great Board leader, with an understanding of an academic medical center and as a physician with a successful clinical practice.
The Board also approved a slate of candidates to replace Board of Regents members Richard Docking and Sylvia Robinson, who served one-year terms. This slate has been submitted to Gov. Bill Graves who will make the appointments, subject to Senate confirmation.
The Board’s goal will be to set a direction to ensure the hospital’s long-term survival and market position. Strategic planning will be
a key area for the Board and the strategic planning committee during FY 2000.
Clearly, the Hospital Board has pride in its first year’s achievements and in the hospital’s staff, services and care provided to the people of Kansas. Now, we look forward to another important year.

Research defines who we are, what we do
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Donald Hagen, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor, KUMC

Research defines who we are and what we do as an academic health center. Without research, the University’s educational mission would stagnate and fall behind. Basic life sciences and clinical research provide answers to many perplexing medical care questions. For example, KU Research Institute’s XenoTech company is testing how drugs from various companies interact. This research will allow us to eliminate problem drugs before they reach the clinical markets.
KU is a leading research institution. In fact, here at KUMC we conduct about $50 million in funded research each year. KU’s research and life sciences have been recognized regionally and nationally through grants, awards, funding and publications.
The Kansas City area is becoming a center for life sciences research and KU is a major force in this undertaking. We are exploring cooperative and collaborative projects with other area research organizations. KU is part of several area development committees and task force groups.
During the coming weeks, KU will provide and communicate about the direction of our life sciences and medical research. Here at KUMC we will address our research initiatives and progress through Executive Forum columns, meetings and other communication vehicles. Medical research is basic to our educational mission and progress in health care.


Hospital Authority Board achievements

The first year of the Hospital Authority Board has been historic, fast-paced and successful. Here is a quick summary of achievements:
•    Developed affiliation and service agreements with the University
•    Implemented new management and financial systems
•    Transferred 2,200 employees from the state to the Authority
•    Improved relationships between the medical staff and the hospital
•    New compensation plan
•    JCAHO survey results
•    Opened KU MedWest
•    Opened new renal dialysis center
•    Acquired 33-member physician group
•    Relocated and opened new burn unit
•    Relocated and opened new pediatrics unit
•    Established a call center
•    Established an advanced imaging center, including the area’s first PET scanner


Organ recipients, medical staff gather to celebrate 30 years of kidney transplants

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Julie Allen, second from right, was the first kidney transplant recipient at KUMC. Allen was honored at the 30th anniversary celebration by Jon Jackson, left, Allen’s sister Esther Lusk and senior nurse of the transplant program Judy Greathouse, RN, right.

In the late 1960s, Julia Allen was not unlike many people in the area who suffered from kidney disease. Although she was undergoing dialysis, the treatment was only partly successful, and Allen—her blood coursing with poisons normally eliminated by healthy kidneys—faced renal failure, and ultimately death.
On July 28, 1969, however, just 11 days after her 30th birthday, Allen’s fortunes took an upward turn. With knowledge gained from a new medical subspecialty called nephrology, the dedication of a team of gifted physicians, and a kidney donated by Allen’s older sister Esther Lusk, Allen became the first patient in the KUMC kidney transplant program.
Thirty years later, the kidneys in both women are still working fine. And in the ensuing years, physicians in the KUMC Kidney Transplant Program have transplanted 790 kidneys, including five kidney-pancreas transplants and two kidney-liver transplants, in 726 patients (Some patients required more than one transplant). Of that number, 527 are alive today.

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Kidney transplant survivor Dawn Hoover traveled from Pattonsburg, Mo., to attend the event. Hoover is shown with George Pierce, MD, who performed Hoover’s surgery.

On Friday, July 16, close to 200 people, including physicians, KUMC administrators and transplant patients from throughout Kansas, gathered at the new KUMC Dialysis Center to celebrate these three decades of success. The event, which also served as the grand opening of the Dialysis Center, included a special recognition of Allen as well as tours of the new center and appearances by past and present transplant staff members.
“This was a great opportunity for us to celebrate the many achievements of the program, and for physicians to meet with patients they haven’t seen in many years,” said Dennis Diederich, MD, medical director of the program and one of the first members of the KUMC kidney transplant program team.
Also on hand were Jared Grantham, MD, professor of medicine and a founding physician on the program, George Pierce, MD, professor of vascular and transplantation surgery and surgical director of the program, and Jon Jackson, senior vice president and COO of KU Hospital. Guests were welcomed by KU Hospital President and CEO Irene Cumming.
The KUMC program has enjoyed remarkable success. Although only 60 percent of transplanted kidneys were working after one year at the beginning of the program, by 1995 the rate had climbed to 96 percent. During the same time, mortality rates decreased from 12 percent to 3-5 percent a year.



Donald Goodwin, MD, distinguished professor, psychiatry, published research findings in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry that babies weaned from their mother’s breast milk before three weeks are eight times as likely to become alcoholics as those who are breast fed for three months. Dr. Goodwin is former chair of the Department of Psychiatry.
Jasjait S. Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, MS, vice chair of preventive medicine, was an invited speaker at the World Health Organization conference in Geneva, Switzerland, July 9, at which he presented “New Treatments in Tobacco Dependence.”
Phoebe Dauz Williams, RN, PhD, FAAN, School of Nursing professor, will receive the 1999 J.V. Sotejo Medallion of Honor, established for a University of the Philippines alumna who has attained international prestige and brought honor and distinction to the nursing profession. She will accept the award and present the keynote address at the University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International 20th Annual Grand Reunion Aug. 7 in Anaheim, Calif.
Philip L. Rumbaoa, MD, clinical assistant professor, KU Family Health Center at KU MedWest, has been appointed to the Education and Program Committee of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians.


Front & Center

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Jerry Spicer, director of nuclear pharmacy services, oversaw delivery of the KUMC cyclotron July 19. The cyclotron, which produces radioactive isotopes for use in medical imaging, weighs 11 tons and will be surrounded by 34 tons of concrete shielding. It is expected to be operational by mid September.

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Brian Hara from Information and Resources Networking demonstrates desktop videoconferencing to Renee Turner from Clinical Laboratories Sciences during a July 14 presentation to employees. Videoconferencing is available at the Kansas City, Lawrence and Wichita campuses.

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Friends and colleagues gathered July 16 to bid farewell to Gladys Sykes, Family Medicine, left, who is leaving KUMC after 19 years. Sykes, shown with Anne Flaherty of Student Services, will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business.

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Right: Wayne Sketers placed a KUMC logo on his competition eliminator class
dragster in appreciation of the care he has received. Sketers is currently being
treated for liver cancer by Jameson Forster, MD, associate professor of surgery.


23 people attended New Employee Orientation July 13

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Kathy Menefee, Pathology & EKG and Alicia Cudney, Breast Cancer Prevention Center

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Other new employees included Brad McLemore, Emergency Department, below left, and David Jewell, Respiratory Therapy, shown with Chris Warholic, Safety Administration.


Gifts provide scholarships to speech and pre-med students

The KU Endowment Association has received a total of $95,000 in gifts to fund scholarship programs for speech and hearing and pre-med students at KUMC.
The gifts include scholarship funds totaling $80,000 for students enrolled in the KU Intercampus Program in Communicative Disorders. The gifts are from the late June B. Miller, former chair of the Hearing and Speech Department, who contributed about $50,000 plus an estate gift before her death last October, and from alumni, faculty and friends of Miller who contributed the rest in her memory.
The contributions are for two scholarship funds. One was established anonymously by Miller in 1992 for graduate students in the Hearing and Speech Department. The other is for the new June B. Miller 50th Anniversary Scholarship Fund. Both gifts also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the department.
Miller, who gained national renown as an educator, helped lay the foundation for the current KU degree programs in deaf education, as well as the graduate programs at the KUMC and Lawrence campus in audiology and speech/language pathology. U.S. News and World Report has ranked these graduate programs among the top 10 in the country for public and private institutions.
The Endowment Association also received $15,000 to establish a new scholarship fund for pre-med students at KU. The new program, the Erma Reed Peterson Scholarship Fund, was created with $10,000 in gifts from two anonymous donors, and matching funds of $5,000 from Abbott Laboratories.
The scholarships for deserving pre-med students just beginning their last spring semester of undergraduate work will be based on scholastics, community service and preparation for a health care career. Preference will be given to students studying genetics who come from Saline and McPherson Counties in Kansas. The fund is established in tribute to Erma Reed Peterson, a Saline County native whose grandson, Ragnar Peterson, is now a fourth-year student in the KU School of Medicine.
For more information, contact the KU Endowment Association, 785-832-7363.


Cynda Johnson to chair Iowa Family Medicine

Cynda Johnson, MD, interim chair and professor, family medicine, has been appointed chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa.

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Cynda Johnson, MD

Dr. Johnson first came to the medical center as a resident in 1977. During her 22-year career at KUMC, she has served in several capacities, including a five-year stint as resident director.



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Kirmayer Dog Daze
A limited aerobics and aqua-aerobics mini session dubbed “Dog Daze of Summer” is underway through Aug. 6 at Kirmayer Fitness Center. Schedules and pricing information are available at the fitness center’s Courtesy Desk. For more information, call Lynette Henkel, ext. 7706.

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Lesley Leive, Psychiatry, Kristy Rogers, Psychiatry, and Cora Sorensen, Biometry, joined the Kirmayer “Dog Daze” aerobics class.

Jayhawk Jog
Volunteers and participants are needed for the Jayhawk Jog, 5K and 10K runs, to be held Saturday, Aug. 21, at Shawnee Mission Park. The event is presented by the Kansas Alumni Association and the KUMC Alumni Association. To enter, pick up a registration form at the Alumni and Community Relations Office, 1028 Murphy. To volunteer—and get a free
T-shirt—call Jennifer Lamb, ext. 1255.

Student Art Fair
Student Services will sponsor an Art Fair in the Wyandotte Room Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Aug. 11-12 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Employees, students and guests can purchase framed art prints up to 60 percent off gallery retail prices. The fair is staged to raise funds for the Community Outreach Project, which allows students in the Schools of Allied Health, Nursing and Graduate Studies to receive a stipend while assisting Wyandotte County social service agencies.

Steam shutdown
The supply of steam throughout the campus will be interrupted for six hours, from 10 p.m. Saturday, July 24, until 4 a.m. Sunday, July 25, so repairs can be made on the distribution system. Questions? Call Production Control, ext. 7928.

August bus passes
Discounted Metro Monthly Bus Passes and Reduced Fare Bus Passes for the month of August are on sale to KU Hospital employees July 26-30. 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.

Volunteers for the Cure
The Sixth Annual Kansas City Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure is calling for volunteers.

Help is needed
for registration packet pick-up Aug. 6 and 7 at JC Penney in Oak Park Mall and at the race Aug. 8 at Town Center Plaza. Volunteers receive a free race T-shirt.
For more information or to volunteer, call Gail Hoover, 441-1894 or 842-4444. To register for the 5K Run/Walk or the one-mile Fun Walk, call Pat Adams, ext. 4718.
A minimum of 10 people are required to create a team.


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Lady Cobra Driver, graphite shaft, steel head, like new, $100. Call 780-3391.
Voucher for purchase of airline ticket up to $300 on America West Airlines, voucher is transferable and must be used by the end of the year, will sell for $175. Call Brian, 677-5687
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.
2 Chiefs Tickets w/Red Reserve parking permit, great seats in the shade, section 322, row 2, aisle seats, approx. 35 yard line. Game 1: Sunday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m. Tennessee Titans vs. Chiefs. Game 2: Saturday, Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m., Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chiefs. Asking face value ($40/seat + $15 parking permit). Call 469-6412.
Complete set of SCUBA gear: buoyancy vest, weight belt, regulator, tank, fins, snorkel, goggles, wetsuit, used twice, $750; weight bench w/weights, weight belts, curling bar, curling attach., $200; Lands End leather bomber jacket, size 40L, never worn, $125. Call Lisa, 415-0735.
Moving sale: 19” color TV w/remote, $70; TV stand w/revolving top, $30; computer desk w/bookshelf, chair and floor mat, $90; dining table w/chairs (solid oak), $200. Call 814-7384.

1986 Ford Ranger, 149K miles, V6, new tires & battery, some rust, runs good, $600. Call Paul, 362-8983.
1991 Ford F-150 Custom, 116K miles, 6-cyl., 5-spd., AM/FM radio, A/C, camper shell, clean, $4,295.
Call 356-5952.
1988 Camaro, new paint and tires, CD player, power windows, A/C and cruise, engine in good cond., $1,600. Call 342-5237.

For Rent: Plaza 1BD apartment w/beautiful view of Plaza area, great location, close to everything, 10 min. from KUMC, 5 min. from Westport, $410/mo. incl. utilities except electric, avail. Aug. 1 (flexible). Call Lesa, 531-1234 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For Rent: 2 BD house, central air, offstreet parking, KCKS, $350/mo., $350 deposit, avail. Aug. 1. Call
For Rent/Sublease: Cute, clean 2 BR duplex in N. Kansas City, nice area, 15 min. to KUMC, walking distance to city park, 2 stories, W/D hookups, large front and back yard cared for by management, off-street parking, most pets OK, $525/mo., avail. end
of Sept./Oct 1. Call 221-9389.

Free to good home(s): 4 chow mix puppies and 1 collie mix. Call 334-6707 after 5 p.m.

Private collector seeking oil paintings, watercolors, drawings etc. for collection, confidentiality assured. Call 262-0458.



Monday, July 26:
•    Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group, noon-1:30 p.m., Delp Cafeteria.
Tuesday, July 27:
•    Cognitive Therapy Addiction Support Group, 1-2:30 p.m., Family Medicine Clinic.
Wednesday, July 28:
•    Diabetes Self-Management Series, 9-11 a.m., 1107 KU Medical Center.
•    Best Beginnings Parenting Class, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., OB/GYN office.
•    KUMC Interfaith Discussion, noon-1 p.m., 3041 Wescoe.
Thursday, July 29:
•    Lung Transplant Support Group, noon-2 p.m., Westwood City Hall, 47th and Rainbow.
•    Burn Patient Family Support Group, 6-7 p.m., Burn Center Waiting Room.
•    Incontinence class, 7-8 p.m., KU MedWest Community Room.


Your feedback needed
In future editions of In The Center, the Executive Forum columns will become more interactive. We invite you to send us any questions or issues you think should be addressed by KU Hospital or University leadership.
We also welcome reader feedback, and will soon begin scheduling regular In The Center discussion groups. If you have a question for our leadership, or would like to be considered for a discussion group, contact Ken Arnold, editor, G114 KU Hospital, or e-mail <karnold>, or call ext. 1298.

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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