Be the Bridge

June 14, 2012

Steven Stites, MD
Steven Stites, M.D. Acting Executive Vice Chancellor Acting Executive Dean, KU School of Medicine

By now, most of you are probably very familiar with the five rules I believe are critical in helping KU Medical Center achieve excellence in its missions of teaching, research and patient care. This week, I want to focus on one of those rules - Be the Bridge - and talk about an exciting new venture that is a perfect example of how the medical center is serving as a bridge to our community.

For the past year, faculty in the departments of internal medicine and pediatrics at KU Medical Center have been working with Swope Health Services to launch a new federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Wyandotte County. An FQHC is a federally designated community health center that is charged with providing comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral, and mental health and substance abuse services to people of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay.

In addition to providing much-needed medical care for Wyandotte County residents, the new clinic will be an important site for educating KU School of Medicine residents in our departments of internal medicine and pediatrics. There will be 15 internal medicine residents at the clinic, along with two anchor faculty members and four other internal medicine faculty members who will supervise residents at the clinic. Pediatrics will rotate 12 residents at the clinic, with two faculty physicians providing oversight.

Like many communities, Kansas City, Kan., and the surrounding areas of Wyandotte County are struggling to provide quality medical care to low income and uninsured residents. The county has a population of about 155,000, with about one-fifth living below the poverty line. More than one in four Wyandotte County children live in poverty.

I'm so excited that we are part of this project because I believe the new Swope Health Wyandotte clinic will play a significant role in improving health. The clinic, located at 21 N. 12th St., in Kansas City, Kan., opened for patients this past Monday. Swope officials say they expect the clinic will serve about 12,000 patients each year. It is also likely that the clinic will help alleviate the crowding and overuse of hospital emergency rooms in the area for basic health care.

We all benefit when we work with community organizations in an effort to improve the health and well-being of those living around us. It's a wonderful example of how we can Be the Bridge.

Earlier this month, an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee completed its review of issues concerning Curtis D. Klaassen, Ph.D. I thank the committee for its work. The final outcome is posted here.

The Department of Family Medicine and the Community Partnership for Health invite you to the Translational Discovery Forum this Friday, June 15, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at 1050 School of Nursing. The speaker will be David Byrd, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, who will discuss the YMCA's commitment to healthy living and community engagement. Lunch will be provided for the first 50 in attendance.

All university faculty and staff are invited to the employee appreciation cookout on Wednesday, June 27 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Murphy Courtyard. This year's event features a Kansas City theme, so look forward to great barbecue as well as live jazz music from the Everette DeVan Trio featuring Lori Tucker, along with appearances by Baby Jay and other campus celebrities.

Just a reminder that all faculty and staff are invited to a town hall meeting on the transition to a new Executive Vice Chancellor for KU Medical Center. The meeting will be held from noon-1 p.m., on June 29 in Wahl Hall East in Kansas City, with the meeting being broadcast via ITV into the Wichita Room in Wichita and in 116 Braddick in Salina.

Starting this fall, Microsoft Outlook/Exchange will replace GroupWise, the email system used by nearly all entities on campus. Anyone using a address will retain their current email address, and their GroupWise data will be migrated to Exchange. The change encompasses The University of Kansas Hospital and its off-campus locations, as well as Mid-America Cardiology; the University of Kansas Medical Center and its KU Wichita Medical Practice Association; and The University of Kansas Physicians. You can read more about the process here.

A popular wellness television show is turning the spotlight on KU Medical Center’s Healthy Hawks program. Ali Vincent, host of “Live Big with Ali Vincent,” recently met with Healthy Hawks leaders, as well as area moms and kids who participate in the program. Vincent also is the first female winner of “The Biggest Loser” reality show. A portion of the show was taped at the medical center’s Kirmayer Fitness Center. You can see the program here.

Last modified: Jun 19, 2012