How to better integrate our clinical efforts

August 24, 2012

Steven Stites
Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine

In my newsletter column at the end of May, I wrote about all of the planning and efficiency consultants who have been working on campus. I wanted to show how all of the various efforts, which might seem disconnected, are part of a greater, unified effort to improve our organizational effectiveness as we navigate through challenging fiscal times. I also wanted to introduce everyone to a name they might be hearing a lot: ECG Management Consultants.

As I wrote in May, ECG - which has extensive experience in the health care industry - had already been working with our clinical departments on ways KUMC can better integrate our clinical efforts. I asked them to work on an additional project that would focus on the sources and uses of funds across all schools and missions. It is crucial that we have a detailed analysis of our extraordinarily complex funds flow. It will also be helpful to see our processes benchmarked against national standards at other academic medical centers, so we could see how we compare with our peers across the country and ensure that we are among the nation's best performing organizations.

I want to thank everyone who has met with ECG and worked hard to provide these partners with the information they need. I have seen ECG's preliminary report and am pleased to see that it identifies many areas of strength as we prepare for the changes ahead.

But I want to emphasize that the changes ahead will be significant, and we should not underestimate the challenges before us. We face great uncertainty with regard to state and federal budgets. We know there will be dramatic changes in the health care industry. We have ever greater competition for NIH funding. And as we move ahead with our top strategic goal - "Provide leadership to shape the future of health and health care" - we are creating our own changes in the way we train health care professionals.

In the weeks ahead, we will think very strategically about how to streamline our financial and organizational structures so that we can be agile and adaptive in this dynamic landscape. Where we are already strong, we will find ways to grow and be stronger. Where we discover areas of weakness, we will not be afraid to make difficult choices that ensure strong return on investment.

As you know, one of my five rules is "Ask questions, seek answers." That is exactly what all of us will be doing together as we move forward, meeting the challenges ahead.

Garold Minns, M.D., a professor of medicine and program director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine-Wichita, has been named by Gov. Sam Brownback to the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. Read more here.

Rita Clifford, RN, Ph.D., associate dean for community engagement, has been named as one of the Women of Distinction for 2012-2013 by KU's Emily Taylor Women's Resource Center. The award recognizes KU women students, staff, facult, and alumnae for their achievements and contributions to KU and/or the community, serving as role models and challenging gender stereotypes.

Nancy Dunton, Ph.D., FAAN, a research professor with the School of Nursing, has been awarded the Research Mentor Award by the AcademyHealth organization’s  Interdisciplinary Research Group on Nursing Issues. The group's mission is to support the development of health services research that focuses on nursing practice, workforce and delivery of care. The award recognizes Dr. Dunton’s contributions, as a senior scientist, to the career development of young investigators who are engaged in research focused on interdisciplinary health services research on nursing issues. 

All KU Medical Center, KU Hospital and KU employees are invited to join The University of Kansas Cancer Center team for this year's Tour de BBQ. The bicycle ride is Saturday, Oct. 6, and will feature rest stops at some of Kansas City’s favorite BBQ restaurants, including Jack Stack, Gates, Johnny’s and Oklahoma Joe’s. Proceeds will go toward cancer programs at The University of Kansas Cancer Center and Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics. More information is available here.

There will be a farewell reception Thursday, Aug. 30, for David Wilson, M.D., the outgoing Dean of the School of Medicine-Wichita. The reception is from 5-7 p.m., at the Wichita Art Museum at 1400 W. Museum Blvd.
Last modified: Aug 29, 2012