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9 SEPTEMBER 1999 • Volume 1 • Number 26



Hospital bonds garner top rating

Sometimes, the good news just keeps coming.
After recently earning accreditation with commendation by the Joint Com-mission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), KU Hospital has another reason to celebrate: The University of Kansas Hospital Authority's upcoming bond issue has been assigned an "A" underlying rating by Fitch ICBA, a bond rating agency which rates the credit-worthiness of health care institutions.

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KU Hospital CFO Scott Glasrud

"The 'A' rating on the bonds means the bonds have earned a high level of credit-worthiness from industry experts, making them an attractive investment," said Scott Glasrud, hospital chief financial officer. The bonds, which are also to be insured by AMBAC Financial Services, will actually be rated "AAA" on the market on the basis of AMBAC's credit rating. "The importance of obtaining the insurance commitment is that bondholders receive further security for their investment," said Glasrud.
In awarding the "A" rating, Fitch IBCA cited KU Hospital's strong debt service coverage, low debt burden, excellent clinical reputation and experienced, competent hospital manage-ment team. Fitch IBCA also noted that, as a separate entity from the State of Kansas, KU Hospital can now compete more effectively in the marketplace because of its independent governance, enhanced management flexibility, access to its own capital and better partnering options.
"The fact that the bonds earned an 'A' rating says a lot about the solid financial platform that has been established for the hospital," Glasrud said. "And, Fitch IBCA believes that our financial performance will continue to improve in the future."
Bond proceeds, along with other funds, will be used primarily to help finance a variety of capital improvements, refinance existing bank debt to achieve more favorable terms, and reimburse the hospital for prior capital expenditures to increase cash reserves.
Bond pricing, which will determine the rate of interest, is expected to occur the week of Sept. 20. The bonds are expected to be issued the first week of October. Advance advertisements in The Kansas City Star will announce when bonds may be purchased.



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Physical Therapy students Steve Jernigan, left, Kim Traub,
Attila Karolyi and Sherri Hefley show the free T-shirts they
received at the Kirmayer Fitness Center's "Hawk Night"
Aug. 31. The annual event featured music, pizza and prizes.



School of Nursing welcomes new faculty members

The KU School of Nursing added four members to its faculty in August.

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Monica Scheibmeir

Monica Scheibmeir, PhD, who was previously in a clinical faculty role in the School's Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, was named assistant professor. Dr. Schiebmeir will continue teaching in the FNP program and will maintain her FNP practice at the Shawnee County Health Department in Topeka. She earned both her bachelor's and doctoral degrees from KU, and her master's from the University of Arizona. Her research is related to the study of pregnancy and smoking.

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Mary Hobbs Leenerts

Mary Hobbs Leenerts, PhD, was named assistant professor. She comes to KU from the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing where she taught in the Community Health Department. She has also taught at the University of Colorado and University of Nebraska. Dr. Leenerts earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Nebraska, and her doctoral degree from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Nursing. Her research focuses on women's health and the self-care practices of low-income women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Sandra Berquist, PhD, assistant professor, comes to KU from Allen College in Waterloo, Iowa, where she taught and helped develop the college's FNP graduate program. Dr. Berquist earned her bachelor's degree from North Park College and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Iowa. She has research interests in gerontology.
Yevette Harrell, MS, has joined the faculty as a clinical instructor. A nurse since 1987, Harrell comes to KU from Highland Hospital in Shreveport, La., where she served as staff nurse in the cardiac care and intensive care units. She recently completed her master's degree in nursing at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, La.



Personal Planning for the Year 2000

You've been working hard to prepare the hospital for the Year 2000 date change, but what preparations have you made at home?
It’s a good idea to anticipate brief interruptions in public services at any time. The American Red Cross suggests you get ready for Y2K just as you would for a winter storm. Among their tips are:
Check with the makers of key computer-controlled equipment, such as fire and security alarm systems and programmable thermostats. Stock up to a week's worth of supplies, and keep some extra cash on hand and your gas tank filled. Have an alternative cooking device, extra blankets and winter apparel, as well as plenty of flashlights and batteries. Check your smoke alarms. Do they have fresh batteries or battery back-ups? Be ready to use a battery-operated radio or TV to get emergency information.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued some additional Y2K suggestions:
To learn if your home computer (and other products with a calendar function) are ready, contact the manufacturers or check their websites. Keep records of all bank, mutual fund and brokerage transactions, including mortgage payments, car loans and other debts. Ask your financial service providers about their plans, and get a copy of your credit report. Keep copies of insurance policies and records of insurance payments you have made, and be prepared to use cash or checks instead of credit cards.
All of these tips make good sense, regardless of the date. For more information on personal planning for Y2K, see the Red Cross website at safety/y2k.html, the FTC website at, or call the Federal Government Y2K Hotline toll-free at 1-888-USA-4-Y2K.



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Disaster drills planned
KU Hospital will participate in a city-wide disaster drill the morning of Sept. 16, during which the U.S. Department of Defense will assess Kansas City's readiness to respond to a disaster involving nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. KU Hospital has been involved for several months in a city-wide effort to develop a response plan for the area, and is one of several hospitals receiving and decontaminating victims of such a disaster. On Sept. 29, the hospital will also work with a local chemical company in an annual chemical spill drill, which will involve the release of ethylene oxide from a railroad tanker car.

Medical journalist speaks
Medical journalist Tom Linden, MD, will present a "Cyberspace Medicine" seminar Friday, Sept. 10 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. in 1025 Orr-Major. Dr. Linden is the Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Medical Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and director of the school's master of arts program in medical journalism, the nation's only such program. He has a special interest in medical cyberspace and is co-author of Dr. Tom Linden's Guide to Online Medicine. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Times and as a health and science correspondent for CNBC.

Hodges publishes book
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Rose Hodges

Rose Hodges, Facilities Management, has recently published A Rose Beneath The Thorns. The book recounts Hodges' personal triumph over adversity and is designed to offer inspiration to others in similar situations. It is available at the KU Bookstore.

SuperTrax begins Oct. 7
SuperTrax: Leadership in Action, the KUMC leadership training program for State of Kanas employees who are managers and supervisors, will be offered by the KUMC Human Resources Department beginning Oct 7. The program is mandatory for classified supervisors and must be completed before permanent status can be attained. Unclassified supervisors are strongly encouraged to attend. SuperTrax consists of 10 modules, each addressing a specific component of leadership. Detailed information about the modules may be found on Pulse at The deadline for enrollment is Sept. 24. Interested persons are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible. To enroll, complete the form on Pulse at training/supertrax.html, or call ext. 5099. For more information, call ext. 7542.

BBA Relief Week
In response to the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA), which cut Medicare spending for America's hospitals by more than $70 billion over five years, the American Hospital Association (AHA) is sponsoring a national "Hospital Caregivers for BBA Relief" week, Sept. 6-12. The AHA notes that the 10.5 percent reduction in Medicare spending, coming on top of an unprecedented squeeze from private insurance plans and HMOs, is hindering patients' access to hospital services nationwide. The AHA encourages hospital caregivers to voice their concerns regarding these cuts by writing their respective representatives in Congress.



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Fishing boat, Louisiana pirogue, 13 ft., fiberglass w/trailer, powered by large capacity trolling motor w/2 batteries, $900. Call 599-1073.
Dark brown oak china cabinet w/light, and table w/chairs, looks new, $900 OBO. Call 816-737-1086, Mon.-Wed. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Thurs.-Fri. 7-8 p.m.
Little Tikes doll house toddler bed, $75. Call 384-0357 evenings.
King-size waterbed w/waveless mattress, 4-poster style, includes accessories, exc. cond., $300 OBO. Call 642-6983 evenings.
Breathtaking designer wedding gown w/train and veil, size 6/8, must see, price negotiable. Call 339-9956.

1985 Ford 350 conversion van, 95K mi., complete tow package, new tires, A/C, tilt, CB, maroon, $3,000. Call Don, 913-268-3636.
1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager LE, 3.8L V-6, power locks/windows, rear A/C, quad captain's chairs, remote keyless entry, cassette, CD stacker/changer, 66K mi., price reduced to $9,000. Call 441-2794.
1983 Toyota Celica GT hatchback, sporty, 1 owner, low miles for year, 4-cyl., std. trans., deep blue inside and out, power windows, door locks, mirrors & sunroof, cruise, tilt steering, reg. maint., runs and looks great, like new, great school car, must sell, $2,000 OBO. Call Chris, 403-0016.
1981 Chevy Caprice Classic, only 50K mi. on newer engine, 4-dr., good transportation, $700 OBO. Call Andy, 913-962-5799.
1990 Pontiac Grand Am, white, very good cond., 130K mi., $2,000 OBO. Call 268-6838.

For Rent: 2BD, 1 1/2BA townhouse w/1-car garage, within walking distance to KUMC, avail. Oct. 1, $550/mo. Call 432-6469.

Free: 2 male iguanas, 2-3 ft. long, includes 4' x 4 'x 8' cage. Cage will require a partition since iguanas must be separated. Call Brian, 402-8725.

Typewriter table on wheels. Call 381-8452.
Used English youth saddle, European or American made. Call 415-0735 evenings.



Cumming’s Progress Reports at Support Services Building

KU Hospital President and CEO Irene Cumming's second series of
Progress Reports will continue through Sept. 23. The Wednesday,
Sept. 15 presentation has been changed to 8-9 a.m., in the Support
Services Building. The remaining schedule is:

Wednesday, Sept. 15    8-9 a.m.         Support Services Building
Wednesday, Sept. 22    6-7:30 p.m.    Wahl Hall East Auditorium
Thursday, Sept. 23    10-11:30 a.m.    Wahl Hall East Auditorium



Friday, September 10:
•    “Special Issues in Management of Depression,” 10:30 a.m., Clendening Amphitheater.

Monday, September 13:
•    Free prostate cancer screening, PSA blood test and digital (rectal) exams, all day, KU Cancer Center, call (913) 588-4780 or 1-800-8-CANCER for an appointment.

Tuesday, September 14:
•    Kansas Cancer Institute Research Round Table, “New Treatments for Small Cell Lung Cancer,” noon, Lied Auditorium.   
•    “Pain Management Issues in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease,” noon-1 p.m., Wahl Hall West Auditorium.
•    Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program, 5-6 p.m., Dykes Library Conference Room.

Wednesday, September 15:
•    Center on Aging Ethical Analysis Seminar: “Is There a Durable Power of Attorney in the House?” noon, 4050 Wescoe, Internal Medicine Conference Room.
•    KUMC Interfaith, noon-1 p.m., 3041 Wescoe.
•    “Ordering & Interpreting Laboratory Data,” noon-1 p.m., 1023 Orr-Major.
•    Searching MEDLINE Using WinSPIRS, 2-4 p.m., Dykes Library.
•    Prostate Cancer Awareness, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Creekwood Family Care, 200 NE 54th St., KCMO.

Thursday, September 16:
•    Cholesterol Counts, 10-11 a.m., Wyandotte Room.
•    Interactive Video Conference for Cancer Care Physicians, noon - 2 p.m., Wahl Hall West,to register, visit
•    Freshstart Smoking Cessation Program, 5-6 p.m., Dykes Library Conference Room.



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