EMERGENCY SPECIALISTS, STAT!

For years, if medical school graduates wanted to pursue a career in emergency medicine, they had to leave Kansas to do it.

The state rated poorly for its supply of emergency medicine specialists, a problem reaching crisis proportions in Kansas' rural areas.

That is changing. This year, the hospital and the University of Kansas School of Medicine jointly developed the state's first program to train emergency medicine specialists. Six residents began the three-year program at the hospital in July.

The hospital will fund the residency positions, as well as invest in staffing and infrastructure to accommodate the program. The medical school will provide specialized training, as it does for all graduate medical education programs on campus.

The new program will add six residents a year for a total of 18 positions, with additional residency positions possible.

The residents will have ample opportunities to interact with patients, as the hospital had 46,209 emergency visits in fiscal year 2010.

At right: Residents in the new emergency medicine residency program will be the first in the country to receive TeamSTEPPS training, a teamwork-based system focused on patient safety and quality. Emergency physician David Lisbon, MD, center, shares his perspective with, from left, Kathi Glauner, MD, Courtney Thomas, MD, and Thomas Cooper, MD, members of the first-year class.


Study underscores hospital's community benefits

The hospital again topped the list among Kansas City area health care facilities when it comes to community benefits – an important measure of our historic mission to the areas we serve.

This is the fourth year the Missouri Hospital Association has compiled the study, with our hospital ranked number one each time.

The standardized survey determined the hospital's total community benefit in 2008 was more than $112 million. That's $42 million more than the next hospital on the list.

To calculate a hospital's community benefits, the study measures charity care, patient bad debt, unpaid cost from Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the hospital's community donations and education for health professionals.

The survey subtracts tax subsidies received. Our hospital receives no tax subsidies or appropriations from state or local governments.

Free flu shots support a healthier community

For 15 years, the hospital's annual drive-thru flu shot event has drawn thousands of people from the community to receive free flu shots ideally timed before the onset of flu season. They receive flu shots in the comfort of their vehicles, administered by students from the University of Kansas School of Nursing, under supervision of veteran hospital nurses. No appointment is necessary; for many area residents, this is the only chance to get a flu shot for free.

In 2009, more than 250 hospital and University of Kansas Medical Center volunteers provided nearly 3,600 seasonal flu vaccines in the space of just a few hours. In return, many participants brought cans of food to donate to Harvesters, the Community Food Network.

Poison Control Center serves the state

The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center is a statewide service staffed by pharmacists and nurses specifically trained to handle emergencies involving chemicals, drugs, bites, stings and environmental hazards. Led by the state's only toxicologist, the center answers more than 30,000 calls a year, including more than 20,000 in direct response to poisonings, from the public, emergency rooms, EMS services and schools. The staff also provides free public health and poison prevention information throughout Kansas.

The service is available toll-free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to anyone in the state of Kansas or the Kansas City metropolitan area, at 1-800-222-1222.

Humanitarian Award lauds medical missions

The hospital has received a Humanitarian Award from the Medical Missions Foundation, honoring staff efforts to help impoverished people overseas.

Dozens of staffers from the hospital, the University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Physicians have volunteered for medical missions to depressed villages from Guatemala to Africa, Mexico to the Philippines.

The hospital received the honor, officially called the Humanitarian Award for Community Leadership in Philanthropy, during a ceremony in February 2010.

The award specifically honors the hospital for its role in supporting treatment of a boy from Mali in western Africa. The youth, named Boi, was flown to our hospital twice over an 18-month period to remove a tumor on his face. The tumor had grown so large it was threatening his air and food passageways.

The award also recognizes the hospital pharmacy for its donations of medicine sorely needed during the trips. Our local efforts, such as free flu shots and care for the poor, also played a part in the foundation's decision.

Hospital tops United Way goal

Thanks to the generosity of employees at The University of Kansas Hospital, the United Way received $122,087 in contributions during the 2009 campaign. The total exceeded not only the hospital's goal of $100,000, but also our "stretch goal" of $110,000.

This is the fourth consecutive year the hospital topped its campaign goal. Individual employee contributions increased as well. The hospital is consistently one of the top local United Way campaign contributors.

NEXT GENERATION STEPS UP

The hospital welcomed a new generation of friends when the Young Professionals Alliance launched early in 2010.

YPA supports the hospital's mission through advocacy, philanthropy and service. Members champion the hospital throughout the community, raise funds for patient programs and projects, and volunteer for hospital initiatives and events.

Members' occupations span a broad spectrum –- from engineering to education to nonprofit to law –- but these individuals share one thing in common: They are passionate about The University of Kansas Hospital. Some are former patients, others want to give back because of the outstanding care loved ones received, and still others simply want to be part of the success of the region's premier academic medical center.

YPA chose Missys' Boutique, a new appearance center for cancer patients and survivors, for its first philanthropic efforts. The organization donated $10,000 in proceeds from its Summer Soiree, earning YPA a spot among the appearance center's founding donors.

To learn more, visit ypakc.com.

At right: YPA steering committee members gather at the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion to plan an upcoming event. From left, Katye Okerstrom, Dole Food Company; Jason Glasrud, Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development and YPA president; Melissa Lavin-Hickey, Burns & McDonnell; and Chris Bruhn, BKD, LLP.


Hospital meets Bloch gift for heart rhythm care

In 2010 the hospital celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Richard and Annette Bloch Heart Rhythm Center, which has become the region's largest and most successful electrophysiology program.

Electrophysiology has been a key to the overall growth of the hospital's heart program. Services range from implanting pacemakers and defibrillators to more complex techniques to treat irregular heartbeats caused by atrial fibrillation.

The Bloch center currently is home to five board-certified electrophysiologists, more than any other facility in the region, and performed 3,783 procedures in fiscal year 2010.

Kansas City philanthropist Annette Bloch, whose $1 million gift established the center, pledged another $500,000 if the hospital could raise a like amount for the heart specialty center. At a ceremony celebrating the fifth anniversary, she learned the challenge had been met, thanks to a clinching gift from Jeff and Barbara Weiner of Sunny Isles, Fla.

The combined Bloch and community gifts will be used to purchase advanced technology and provide for patient education, patients in need and clinical research.

Record-setting gala benefits cancer care

Even Mother Nature's steady downpour couldn't stop the outpouring of support for cancer patient care at the ninth annual Treads & Threads. The hospital's gala drew a record-setting 3,300 guests to Kansas Speedway September 10. Restaurants and beverage purveyors went to heroic lengths to keep the party going when a thunderstorm and lightning prevented entertainers from performing.

The event raised more than $680,000 for cancer patients at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. Proceeds will fund a patient navigator to provide orientation and counseling for new cancer patients and will support technology and continued upgrades for Radiation Oncology.

Stage sponsor BKD, LLP and more than 150 sponsor companies, restaurants, campus entities and in-kind contributors helped make the gala a success.

In less than a decade, Treads & Threads has raised close to $4.7 million to improve the lives of our cancer patients and their loved ones. Readers of Ingram's named the gala Kansas City's Best Charitable Event for the magazine's Best of Kansas City Business 2010 list.

Girls' Night In 2010 is 'fun-raising' success

Fitness guru Bob Greene of "Oprah" show fame commanded the stage February 23 when more than 900 women packed the Hyatt Regency Crown Center ballroom for the fifth annual Girls' Night In.

A "girlfriends' event" featuring fun, food and friendship, Girls' Night In raises awareness about women's heart disease. It is also a fundraiser for the hospital's women's heart health program, A Change of Heart®.

Other speakers at the event included First Lady of Kansas Stacy Parkinson, honorary chair of the event and a vocal advocate for A Change of Heart. Guests enjoyed a series of heart-healthy tastings inspired by one of Greene's bestsellers, "The Best Life Diet Cookbook."

To learn more about A Change of Heart and Girls' Night In, visit achangeofheartkc.org.

Employees go above and beyond

Many of our employees demonstrate their commitment to the hospital not only through their professional dedication, but financially as well, through the Employee Campaign.

Despite a challenging economy, staff have contributed $93,951 to the Employee Campaign so far in 2010. Some chose from more than 120 funds supporting areas across the hospital, while others donated to the STAR Fund, which is solely for employee contributions.

Each year, departments and units apply for STAR Fund grants for specific projects to benefit patients and their families. Grants have funded sleeper chairs for waiting rooms, clothing for patients leaving the hospital, walkers for intensive care units, magazine subscriptions, specialized phones for the hearing impaired and those not proficient in English, patient education resources and much more.

Since 2003, The University of Kansas Hospital's employees have invested in the success of our hospital and its mission by generously donating more than $574,000.