Staff Appreciation

June 14, 2012

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

A couple of weeks ago in this newsletter, Dean Karen Miller wrote about the change of pace at KU Medical Center during the summer months. Things might seem slower with more people on vacation, or more leisurely as folks have lunch outdoors with friends, but as Dean Miller wrote, there's still an enormous amount of activity going on around here. In my role as Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, I'm continually impressed by how hard everyone is working and the amazing things we are accomplishing.

That's why I would like to echo Dean Miller's request that we take some time to enjoy ourselves. A perfect opportunity for that is next Wednesday, June 27, when Human Resources puts on an appreciation cookout for university employees from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Murphy Courtyard on the Kansas City campus. This year's event features a Kansas City theme, so our HR team has ordered up barbecue as well as live jazz music from the Everette DeVan Trio featuring Lori Tucker. Our Wichita campus held a similar event in April when they also enjoyed barbecue, but with a Western theme at The Old Cowtown Museum, a living history museum set in the 1870s.

While our colleagues on the intimate Salina campus enjoy a family-like atmosphere, here in Kansas City these events are one of the few times during the year when faculty and staff get to socialize with people from other areas across campus. As such, it's a perfect opportunity to practice one of my five rules for success: Be the Bridge. Last week I wrote about how faculty and residents from our departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics had built a bridge to the community at the new Swope Health Wyandotte Clinic. Now I'm writing about how we can all build bridges just by hanging out for barbecue and music. I urge everyone in Kansas City to attend and to spend a few minutes talking with colleagues and meeting new ones. It's a great opportunity for all of us to build a deeper appreciation for each other and our important work.

I'd like to thank HR for putting on this event. Like many of our departments, HR has been through a significant transition over the last year and has been striving to become a more strategic business partner that supports and provides a high level of personalized service to departments, faculty, and staff, with a renewed focus on recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining great employees. With Adrian Fitzmaurice serving as our new Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, the office is planning to roll out several rewards and recognition programs in the months ahead.

Even though the pace might feel different during these summer months, rest assured that I know how hard everyone here is working to achieve the greatness that lies ahead. My deepest thanks to each and every one of you - wherever you are. I'll see those of you in Kansas City for barbecue next Wednesday.

Members of the School of Medicine Dean's Club were honored at a special event hosted by KU Endowment on June 13. Dean's Club members commit to donating $1,000 or more annually in support of various initiatives on KUMC campuses. In a moving address, Michael Waxman, M.D., shared with guests why he and his wife, Nancy Waxman, M.D., support medical education through a scholarship in memory of Michael’s father and former EVC, David Waxman, M.D.

At the 2012 School of Medicine hooding ceremony in May, two of our students gave moving and entertaining speeches. You can now view the speeches by Marcus Austenfeld, M.D., and Dana Vietti, M.D., on the KUMC YouTube channel.

In a new video, four KU School of Medicine–Wichita students offer their insight into life as medical students in Wichita.

The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at KU has announced the launch of the Center for Excellence in Health Communication to Underserved Populations. The center, based in Stauffer-Flint Hall, will serve as a comprehensive center addressing communication about health promotion and disease prevention to at-risk populations locally, nationally and internationally. Details here.

The Wichita Business Journal’s annual “Best Doctors” list included 109 KU School of Medicine–Wichita faculty members. The complete list can be found here.
Gregory Unruh, M.D., is the School of Medicine's new associate dean for graduate medical education. He is filling the vacancy left when Terance Tsue, M.D., became The University of Kansas Cancer Center's first physician-in-chief.
Check out the re-designed Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation (IAMI) website.  The new site has up-to-date information on drug repurposing at KU as well as a short video featuring the IAMI Advisory Board highlighting recent innovations.


Last modified: Apr 24, 2014