Children's Mercy/KUMC Pediatrics agreement

December 06, 2012

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

Earlier this week I was pleased to announce, along with Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital, Kirk Benson, M.D., president of The University of Kansas Physicians, and Chet Johnson, M.D., chair of our Department of Pediatrics, that we had signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a single, integrated pediatric program.

Our goal is to enhance clinical care for children, advance pediatric academic development, expand pediatric research initiatives and coordinate advocacy activities for children's health.

The effort will build on the strength of many existing collaborations. Residents and students in our Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions do rotations, learn clinical skills and conduct research at Children's Mercy. A member of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, Children's Mercy is a key partner in our cancer center and its successful pursuit of National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. Other research collaborations include our effort to address childhood obesity through the Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition and develop pediatric drugs through our Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation. These are just a few examples of the work we are already doing together.

The University of Kansas Hospital will continue to be a provider of pediatric medical services, serving the children of Wyandotte County and the surrounding area. The new program will strengthen the services we offer patients and allow our specialists to serve even more children.

Developing this integrated program is a significant undertaking, and a national consultant will assist as we work out the details. In the months ahead, we will be reaching out to clinical, education and research leaders on campus to be part of integration teams with representatives from all four organizations to address key issues. We hope to have the program ready for implementation by mid-2013.

I'm especially pleased because this effort directly meets all of my five rules:

1. Save the patient: We will enhance clinical care for children.
2. Do the right thing: Combining our strengths in clinical care, research, education and advocacy will allow us to best improve the health and well-being of children.
3. Ask questions, seek answers: We will strengthen academic development through coordinated educational programs.
4. Be the bridge: We are widening the bridge we have already built across the state line.
5. Those who laugh, last: In the months ahead, I look forward to seeing lots of smiles on the faces of the children and their families we are serving.

I am excited about the important benefit this effort can have on providing the best quality care for children in Kansas, Missouri and the region, now and in the future.

Last modified: Dec 18, 2012
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