Pediatric integration update

June 17, 2014

This week, I want to bring everyone up to speed on exciting developments in our pediatrics departments in Kansas City and Wichita.

It's been nearly six months since we announced the appointment of Michael Artman to serve as chair of the KU School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics in Kansas City. The arrival of Dr. Artman, who also serves as pediatrician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital, marked an important milestone in the effort between KU Medical Center, The University of Kansas Hospital, Children's Mercy Hospital and The University of Kansas Physicians Inc. to develop a single, integrated pediatric program. 

Several important and complex steps remain, many of them centered around the complications of conducting business in two states. We have, however, made significant progress in many areas. Here are just a few examples:


  • Children's Mercy is now designated as a principal pediatric teaching hospital for KU Medical Center.
  • For the first time, students in the KU School of Medicine are doing their core third-year clerkship rotation at Children's Mercy South.
  • Efforts to create a single, integrated pediatric residency program are well underway.
  • KU fellows and residents continue to rotate through Children's Mercy in surgical subspecialties and other disciplines where they need exposure to a higher volume of pediatric cases.


  • Faculty from KU Medical Center and Children's Mercy have a long history of working together, and now we are doing even more collaborative research in well-established areas of cancer, diabetes and obesity.
  • Our joint Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition, led by Ann Davis on the KU side, has recently recruited another investigator, Amanda Bruce (you can read about Dr. Bruce's recent study on brain changes associated with weight loss here.) 
  • Children's Mercy neurology division director Steven Shapiro has established a lab here at the medical center. 
  • We have established a quarterly joint "Child Discovery Forum" that alternates between KU Medical Center and Children's Mercy, with investigators from KU and Children's Mercy presenting their current research within a selected thematic topic.

Patient care

  • Pediatrics infectious disease specialists from Children's Mercy have been making rounds and presenting teaching conferences here at the medical center. These specialists are now woven into the fabric of education here and have allowed a level of care that didn't exist previously. 
  • Pediatric neurologists from Children's Mercy are staffing an outpatient clinic on our campus, and that is working well. 
  • We are having conversations around integrating other divisions and subspecialties, with the next priorities being gastroenterology, nephrology, endocrinology and oncology. 
  • A work group is looking at transition of care for adolescents and young adults at Children's Mercy to adult care at KU in departments such as cardiology, internal medicine, family medicine, and endocrinology and other areas where it's logical for us to work together. 

Meanwhile, on May 2, we welcomed Brian Pate as the new chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine-Wichita. A 1995 graduate of the KU School of Medicine, Dr. Pate most recently was Dr. Artman's colleague at Children's Mercy, where he was vice chair of inpatient services and division director of pediatric hospital medicine. Recognizing what he calls the "exciting medical community" and our strong partnerships with Via Christi Health and Wesley Medical Center, Dr. Pate is eager to begin fully realizing the opportunities presented by our four-year medical school program. "With a strong pediatric clerkship and residency program," he says, "we can bring students into the community and develop pediatricians who will find homes in Wichita and western Kansas and cement the great foundation for pediatric services in the area." 

I'm grateful to all of our faculty and staff in pediatrics, our colleagues at Children's Mercy, Via Christi and Wesley Medical Center and everyone else who is helping to build these programs. Together, we are advancing pediatric medical education and residency and fellowship training, expanding pediatric research initiatives and further enhancing clinical care for children. 

Last modified: Jun 17, 2014