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3 AUGUST 2000 • Volume 2 • Number 29

Rehab scores high with patients

Recent surveys have shown that patient satisfaction is at an all time high at KU Med. At the end of June, patient satisfaction had reached the 50th percentile. One of the units scoring high on the survey is the Rehab Unit. Rehabilitation services work with patients who have difficulty performing everyday tasks as the result of spinal cord injuries, head injuries, stroke, amputation, neurological diseases and orthopedic conditions. Through physical, occupational and speech therapy, patients regain the living skills that injury or illness has taken away.
The Rehab survey is slightly different than the one used in the rest of the hospital, but measures the same survey areas including admission, rooms, meals, nursing services, tests and treatments, visitor and family, physicians, discharge and personal issues. A national database that compares statistics among academic medical centers shows KU Med’s Rehab unit to be among the best, with shorter than average lengths of stay, lower costs and better efficiency. 
With all these high scores, Rehab is obviously doing something right. But what? “The staff communicates well with each other,” says Sally Brandt, PhD, director of Rehabilitation Services. “It’s a valuable part of what we do.” 
Colleen Lundstrom, care coordinator for the unit, agrees, but thinks another reason is the individualized care each patient receives. “When patients come to the unit, the staff helps them set goals, and then we work toward those goals,” explains Lundstrom. “The doctors also spend extra time with patients.”

After being in rehab for 21 days, patient Orval D. Conatser, right, shares a smile with Judith McGuire, physical therapist.

Abna Ogle, MD, medical director of the rehabilitation medicine unit, believes that the unit is so successful because of teamwork, low turnover and personnel. “Our social worker and discharge planner, Kara Myers, is really a special person. When a patient comes to the floor, a discharge plan is started right away. We don’t have another department in the hospital to discharge the patient to; they go home from here, so we have to be sure they’re ready.”
But perhaps the best assessment comes from patient Orval D. Conatser, of Kansas City, KS, who says that “the help was great and I got better. And the food was edible.”

Artwork is finishing touch for SoN

To a first-time visitor, a hundred-thousand square foot building with a soaring six-story atrium could feel overwhelming, but in the case of KUMC’s new School of Nursing (SoN) building, a few well-placed works of brightly colored art serve to restore it to a human scale. 
Chief among these are textile panels by Kansas City artist Janet Kuemmerlein. Originally purchased in 1978 by the KUMC Auxiliary, they hung in the hospital for several years before being placed in storage. Now, newly reworked by the artist, they hang on opposite walls of the SoN atrium. Three additional panels appear on upper floors.

More modest in size, but no less compelling, is an acrylic, right, by Prairie Village artist Mary Frances Ballard. It hangs near the ground floor entrance to the administrative offices. Based on a photograph the artist made while visiting a Japanese garden in Portland, Ore., the painting features a stone staircase that disappears into a distant glade. 
Other just-installed pieces are “Irises,” above, a big, bright and bold triptych in acrylic by Lawrence artist Jan Gaumintz, and an intimate pastel of a mother and child by Maria Alsie of Kansas City. 

“We encourage everyone to stop by and see our beautiful artwork,” said Kari Ziblut, meeting and event planner for SoN. The SoN art was presented to the public during opening ceremonies July 25. All artwork for the new building was paid for through donations.

KU Med Blood Bank Receives Accreditation

Following an intensive on-site assessment, the KU Med Blood Bank has been granted accreditation by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB). The accreditation establishes that the level of medical, technical, and administrative performance at KU Med meets or exceeds standards set by the AABB. 
“The AABB’s accreditation procedures are voluntary,” explains Bob Maiden, administrative director of clinical labs. “KU Med has sought AABB accreditation because this program assists facilities around the country in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and medical expertise that contributes to quality performance.” 
The KU Med blood bank is designed to serve only the needs of KU Med patients. AABB has accredited blood banks and transfusion services since 1958. The accreditation program helps these services determine if methods, procedures, personnel knowledge, equipment and the physical layout of the facility meet requirements.

Front & Center . . .

How sweet it is. KU Med employees get a visit from the candy cart to celebrate reaching patient satisfaction goals. Kathy Gardner, right, organizational improvement, points out that it’s one to a customer.

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” explains Ruth Heaton, left, director of nursing resources, to Denise LaBlance, Cancer Center receptionist.

The renovation of the Murphy Lobby is complete through the generosity of the alumni of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. The lobby will be used for faculty, staff and student events.

Each starting with an 8-inch blank square of fabric, 38 nurses, technicians, social workers and dieticians at the Dialysis Center created a quilt of friendship for Emma Greathouse (shown), who retired in May after 27 years at KUMC. Her battle with breast cancer inspired the group to create a quilt filled with messages of love and encouragement. They presented her with the quilt last week at their monthly birthday lunch. “I was totally surprised,” said Greathouse. “The creativity and thoughtfulness each person put into their block is truly amazing,” said Sharon Slusher, Dialysis, who helped organize the effort.

For Sale:
Waterbed, queen size, black lacquer finish with attached nightstands. Good condition. Free-flow mattress, less than 1 year old. $100. 816-943-4093.

New Sony MVC-FD91 digital camera. Factory-sealed, never opened. Features 14X optical zoom, MPEG movi mode, voice memo mode, steady shot, video out, whole disc copy, email mode, 1024 X 768 color resolution, built-in flash, floppy disc storage, high speed auto focus with auto macro. $750 913-649-3387.

Magnavox big screen TV, 10 years old, in good working condition, $700 OBO. 913-299-3202.

‘89 Suzuki 1100cc Katana, runs great, ready to ride. $3300. 913-432-1035.

Study Subjects:
Persons with mental retardation and aggression, destructive behavior and/or self injury wanted for drug study. May also have autism. Ages 6-65 years. No seizures for the past year. Contact Dr. Jennifer Zarcone, ext. 86473.

If you suffer from frequency of urination, urgency to urinate or urinary incontinence (leakage), you may qualify to participate in a research study to test a medication for overactive bladder. Women and men over 18 years of age with symptoms of overactive bladder for at least six months may call 86151.

Senior Resource Center Opens

Employees are invited to drop by the Senior Resource Center located just inside the main entrance to the hospital on August 10 from 1-3 p.m. Learn about a comfortable new place at KU Med where seniors can relax, get directions or an escort to appointments, find health care and community service information and more. 

coming up

Friday, August 4
• Peter T. Bohan Lecture, “Innate Immunity Rises Again” John P. Atkinson, MD. 4 p.m. Lied Auditorium, KUMC.
• White Coat Ceremony, 10 a.m., Battenfeld Auditorium, KUMC Student Center
• New Faculty reminder: don’t forget to sign up for the New Faculty Luncheon on Thursday, August 24. RSVP to Shelley Bratton at or 81252.

Tuesday, August 8
• Dermatology Basic Science Lecture Series, “ANAs With Specific Reference to Collagen Vascular Disorders,” Donald Belsito, MD, 4 p.m., 4027 Wescoe
• Volunteer to help out with the Rosedale Parade and Festival. About 30 volunteers are needed on Saturday, September 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Or promote your department by buying a booth for $50. For more information contact Shelley Bratton at 81252.

Thursday, August 10
• Senior Resource Center Opening Celebration
Stop by the Senior Resource Center, just inside the hospital entrance
Employees 1-3 p.m. 
Physicians 4-6 p.m.

Donald Hagen, MD - Executive Vice Chancellor KUMC
Irene Cumming - CEO and President KU Hospital

Mary King and Toni Wills, Senior Writers
Ann Clemens, Graphic Designer
Laurel Garrett, Associate Editor

In The Center, a weekly employee and student publication of the University of Kansas and KU Med, is published by the KU Med Public Relations and Marketing Department. Send story ideas to Mary King, G114 Hospital, e-mail: <mking>; 8-1298 or Toni Wills, e-mail: <twills2>; 8-1846.

Ad Policy Send or bring your ad to G114 KU Med, or fax to ext. 8-1225, or e-mail: <lgarrett> 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 student box number) for verification. Only home phone numbers–no pager numbers or work extensions–will be published. Please include area code. 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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