Tag Archives: Hospital Affiliates

Amazing Strides: Children’s Mercy patient walks on life support

Zei Uwadia, center, is shown with her mother and Children’s Mercy Hospital medical team. Clockwise from left: Kari Davidson, Jenna Miller, M.D., Ryanne Toland, Julie Pearson, Debbie Newton, Jay Rilinger, M.D., Jill Dinkel, Marita Thompson, M.D., and Zei’s mother, Brie Kerschen.

Sixteen-year-old Zei Uwadia was a healthy teenager before she was admitted to the hospital suffering from shortness of breath on October 29. Her lungs quickly declined and stopped functioning without any explanation, and her condition remains a medical mystery to this day.

On Nov. 6, Zei was placed on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine at Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City to keep her alive. Basically, the machine acts as her lungs to deliver oxygen to her blood.

Since being put on ECMO, she continues to amaze the staff. Zei is the first person in the 30 year history of ECMO at Children’s Mercy to sit up while on the machine. She’s also the first person to stand, the first person to eat, the first person to peddle a stationary bike and the first person to walk.

Zei’s story has been featured on CNN.

Zei was in her hospital bed for two months before ever taking her first step. When she approached her care team about walking, they weren’t even sure how to make this happen. No one had ever walked while on ECMO at Children’s Mercy. It’s a large machine that is meant to be stationary. The ECMO program director told Zei if she could stand for five minutes they’d figure out how she could walk. Zei not only stood for five minutes, but when the five minutes was up she stood for another two minutes to prove to everyone she was strong enough and ready.

Her doctors and nurses quickly came together to develop a safety protocol/comprehensive checklist to make it possible for Zei (and patients like Zei) to walk the halls of the hospital with the machine. Zei has been walking since December 29 and she continues to walk on a regular basis when she’s feeling good.

Several pediatric hospitals have reached out to Children’s Mercy after learning about Zei. They’re interested in developing their own safety checklists in hopes their ECMO patients can someday walk too.

UMKC School of Medicine connects six leading Kansas City hospitals to launch health care consortium on patient safety

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine is launching a consortium focused on patient safety in collaboration with its affiliated teaching hospitals.

The UMKC Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Consortium, an initiative created by the UMKC School of Medicine, includes faculty and teaching programs at Children’s Mercy, the Center for Behavioral Medicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Research Medical Center, Saint Luke’s Hospital and Truman Medical Centers. These six hospitals are the affiliated teaching hospitals for UMKC School of Medicine and already work closely with the medical school, providing residents, fellows and students clinical education and training.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring together our hospital affiliates in a coordinated effort to raise the bar even higher on the safety and quality of care we provide patients throughout our community and our region,” said Steven Kanter, M.D., dean of the UMKC School of Medicine.

Peter Almenoff, M.D., UMKC professor of medicine and the Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair in Patient Safety, agrees.  “Together, we are combining our strengths to reduce preventable harm and ultimately improve health outcomes in Kansas City and beyond.”

Betty Drees, M.D., UMKC professor of medicine and dean emerita, oversees the development of the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Consortium at UMKC School of Medicine, which also aligns with the purpose of the UMKC Health Sciences District, formed in 2017 as a cooperative partnership of 12 neighboring health-care institutions on Hospital Hill. The UMKC Health Sciences District supports research, grants, community outreach and shared wellness for employees, faculty, students and surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, UMKC is one of only 18 institutions nationwide that offers a medical school, along with a dental, nursing and pharmacy school, on a single campus.

United in leadership, expertise, and resources in education and research, the consortium will lead scholarship and dissemination of local, regional and national activities directed to improve the quality of health care and patient safety.

The consortium will focus on four key areas in quality improvement and patient safety: a robust curriculum for learners; infrastructure support for projects and collaboration; promotion of research and scholarship; and improving community safety.

Activities of the consortium will be showcased at the annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality and Patient Safety Day at the School of Medicine. This annual event features updates on quality and safety by affiliated teaching hospitals; presentations of quality improvement projects by residents and students; faculty development workshops; and a keynote address by a national expert.

This year marks the 5th annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality and Patient Safety Day, to be held on Friday, May 11, 2018, at the School of Medicine. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration, will present the keynote address.

According to Joann Paul, R.N., M.S.N., vice president of quality and patient safety at Saint Luke’s Health System, too many people die or suffer injuries due to preventable medical errors in the United States. “The consortium is addressing this issue first hand, positioning Kansas City as a leader dedicated to raising awareness and growing the resources needed for improving patient safety through quality outcomes research and training the health care workforce of the future.”

For more information, contact Betty Drees at 816-218-2582 or dreesb@umkc.edu.

About UMKC School of Medicine and Affiliated Teaching Hospitals:

  • UMKC School of Medicine improves the health and wellbeing of individuals through innovative programs in medicine, biomedical science, cutting-edge biomedical research and leadership in academic medicine. Academic options include an accelerated BA/MD program, an MD program, and master’s programs in Anesthesia, Bioinformatics, Physician Assistant, and Health Professions Education.
  • Children’s Mercy Kansas City is one of the nation’s top pediatric medical centers, with more than 700 staff pediatric subspecialists and researchers. It provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21.
  •  The Center for Behavioral Medicine provides comprehensive psychiatric care to patients from Kansas City and the seven surrounding counties.
  •  Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center is a patient-centered health care system with a 152-bed referral hospital and annex, six community-based outpatient clinics, and a mobile medical unit.
  • Research Medical Center is among the only tertiary care centers serving Kansas City proper, providing residents in Kansas City and a 150-mile surrounding region with exceptional patient care and leading technology through a broad range of highly specialized, state-of-the-art services, including a Level 1 Trauma Center.
  • Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City has served the health care needs of Kansas City for more than 130 years. In addition to being a Level 1 Trauma Center, it provides top level, state-of-the-art care through a wide range of specialized clinical services.
  • Truman Medical Centers is a two acute-care hospital health system, providing state-of-the-art health care to the Kansas City community. As an academic health center, TMC provides care from birth through senior years. It is the busiest Adult Level 1 Trauma Center in Kansas City.

Celebrating lives saved by TMC lung cancer screening

Dr. Justin Stowell, a radiology resident at Truman Medical Center, talked about the success of an early lung cancer screening program he leads.

The UMKC Health Sciences District marked Lung Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday with “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer,” a midday event that outlined the district’s early lung cancer screening, treatment and prevention efforts, led by Truman Medical Centers.

TMC’s screening program emphasizes early detection and treatment for longtime smokers and ex-smokers. The event Thursday celebrated its patients’ and doctors’ success in committing to healthy living and saving lives. The screening program uses low-dose CT scans and is the only one in the nation to be driven by resident physicians, who are supervised by faculty from the UMKC School of Medicine.

Among the speakers at the event was Dr. Justin Stowell, the radiology resident who started the screening program and who has compiled statistics on its early success. When lung cancer is detected in its early stage, he said, cure rates of 70 to 80 percent are possible.

And besides catching lung cancer early, Stowell said TMC’s  program has had success in getting more than one-fifth of the people tested to quit smoking.

Lung cancer is responsible for 155,000 U.S. deaths a year, more than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined, which emphasizes the need for awareness events such as “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer.” Stowell also noted that Medicare covers the early screening for many longtime smokers, and insurance companies have been adding coverage as the success of the screenings has been demonstrated.

The event, which included a barbecue lunch, was attended by some lung cancer survivors who had benefited from the screenings and subsequent treatment or surgery to remove their cancer. A video was shown that told the survival story of Thaddus Owens, who was at the luncheon.

The event also drew some smokers whose doctors had encouraged them to attend. One of them was 64-year-old Carl Kendall, who said he had tapered off in recent years but still smoked at least half a pack a day.

“I started smoking in 1968,” he said. “I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and I’m going to ask about this screening.”

Charlie Shields, TMC president and CEO, kicked off the presentations. Besides highlighting the screening program’s success, he noted that “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer” was the first event sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District—a newly formed, premier academic health district made up of collaborating health care institutions on Hospital Hill.

Representatives of the School of Pharmacy presented information on smoking and lung cancer.

 “Truman Medical Centers is proud to be part of this exciting partnership,” Shields said. “The UMKC Health Sciences District is proving to do what it was intended, and that is to improve the health of the community in a variety of ways.”

The UMKC Health Sciences District is a cooperative partnership formed by 12 neighboring health care institutions on Hospital Hill: University of Missouri- Kansas City and its School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Studies, School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry; Truman Medical Centers; Children’s Mercy; Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department; Missouri Department of Mental Health Center for Behavioral Medicine; Jackson County Medical Examiner; Diastole Scholars’ Center; and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City. 

 

UMKC alumnus, TMC involved in latest antibiotic research

Mark T. Steele, M.D. ’80.

The addition of a second antibiotic to treat cellulitis skin infections did not result in significantly better cure rates in research recently published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study was the latest from an emergency medicine research group that includes Truman Medical Centers and Mark T. Steele, M.D. ’80. Steele is associate dean for TMC Programs at the UMKC School of Medicine and chief medical officer and chief operating officer for Truman Medical Centers.

“I’ve been involved with this group for more than 20 years,” Steele said. “It has 11 sites across the country and studies infectious diseases relevant to emergency medicine. This latest study used five of those sites, including Truman.”

The study involved 500 patients who had cellulitis that was not accompanied by abscess or a wound. Half of those patients were treated with cephalexin, an antibiotic effective against streptococci that typically is used in such cases. The other half got cephalexin plus trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, an anti-staph antibiotic that more patients with skin and soft-tissue infections have been receiving “just in case” MRSA — methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus — is present.

For the entire group treated, the added antibiotic seemed to help, producing a cure rate of 76.2 percent, versus a 69 percent cure rate for those who received just cephalexin. But that difference was not considered statistically significant. In addition, when the results were narrowed to the patients who were known to have taken at least 75 percent of the recommended doses of their antibiotics, the cure rates were almost identical, 83.5 percent for those who also got the second antibiotic, and 85.5 percent those who received just cephalexin.

MRSA has been showing up as a cause of more severe, abscessed skin infections, which has led to more dual prescribing of the antibiotics. Steele said this study’s results could inform emergency physicians that for cellulitis, absent abscess or a wound, the addition of the second antibiotic wasn’t more effective.

Amy Stubbs, M.D.

Amy Stubbs, M.D., helped oversee Truman’s portion of the research. She’s an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the School of Medicine and director of the school’s emergency medicine residency program. She completed her residency in emergency medicine at UMKC and was chief resident.

The National Institutes of Health sponsored the study, which Steele said was particularly well constructed to meet the standards of JAMA, the world’s most widely circulated medical journal.

It was the third in a series of published studies by the emergency research group, called the EMERGEncy ID NET. One dealt with treatment of abscesses and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Another looked at infected wounds seen by emergency physicians and was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

SOM faculty honored as Children’s Mercy’s first Eminent Scholars

artman_curran_eminentscholars
Michael Artman, M.D., seated on the left, and Tom Curran, Ph.D., FRS, seated on the right, were honored as Eminent Scholars by Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Two UMKC School of Medicine faculty members have been honored by Children’s Mercy Hospital as its first Eminent Scholars, academic medicine’s highest honor.

Michael Artman, M.D., chair of pediatrics, was named the Joyce C. Hall Eminent Scholar in Pediatrics. Tom Curran, Ph.D., FRS, professor of pediatrics, chief scientific officer and executive director of the Children’s Research Institute, has been named the Donald J. Hall Eminent Scholar in Pediatric Research.

Eminent scholars are endowed positions given only to medical specialists and researchers recognized internationally for contributions to improving effective treatments and lifesaving cures.

Artman joined the School of Medicine faculty and Children’s Mercy in 2010 as chairman of pediatrics and Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics. A pediatric cardiologist with an interest in heart failure, his research has focused on excitation-contraction coupling and regulation of contractile function in the immature heart.

Curran came to Children’s Mercy and UMKC School of Medicine earlier this year. He has been recognized for many research breakthroughs, including recent efforts studying pediatric brain tumors. His work spans molecular biology, neurobiology and cancer research, and he has published nearly 300 articles, which have been cited more than 50,000 times.

Hallmark Cards founder “J.C.” Hall and his son and current chairman Donald Hall endowed the positions. Children’s Mercy honored Artman and Curran on Nov. 14.

 

UMKC, TMC and Children’s Mercy Win $930K Grant from CDC

cdc550The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Truman Medical Centers (TMC) and Children’s Mercy have won a quality-improvement grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for diagnostic laboratory testing at TMC. The three-year grant, which will use Cerner Health Facts data, is funded up to $930,000.

“The methods developed through this project will demonstrate value of both local and national medical data warehouses to inform quality improvement initiatives related to laboratory medicine,” said Mark Hoffman, primary investigator on the grant. Hoffman is chief research information officer at Children’s Mercy and is a faculty member in biomedical and health informatics and pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine. Kamani Lankachandra, chair of pathology at UMKC and the director of the pathology lab at TMC, is a co-investigator.

Diagnostic laboratory testing results are used in 60 to 70 percent of all clinical decisions. While laboratories have strong procedures to manage process-quality concerns within the lab, they often do not have access to reliable information related to test ordering or the use of test results to inform patient treatment.

Electronic health record data is increasingly used to populate local data warehouses, including those implemented using the National Institutes of Health-funded “informatics for integrating biology and the bedside” application, often shortened to i2b2. Some electronic health record vendors, including Cerner, manage national data warehouses populated with de-identified data from contributors that have provided data rights. Electronic health record data merged with laboratory information system data can provide diagnostic laboratories with information needed to better understand quality gaps, especially those related to test ordering and patient treatment informed by laboratory results.

TMC and their primary academic partner, UMKC, have collaborated with Cerner to implement i2b2 as a de-identified analytical data warehouse reflecting local clinical processes at TMC. And through this collaboration, UMKC has received a full copy of the Cerner Health Facts national data warehouse; few academic research centers in the world have access to this vast amount of medical data.

The de-identified data in Health Facts represents more than 600 inpatient and outpatient facilities and health care decisions for more than 47 million unique patients. Significantly, Health Facts includes more than 3 billion diagnostic laboratory results and more than 350 million medication orders.

UMKC will use the combination of i2b2 and Health Facts to prioritize up to 10 laboratory- related quality gaps, informed by insights from the practice-based evidence in Health Facts. TMC’s i2b2 data will be utilized to evaluate baseline status for candidate quality improvement projects. The prioritization phase will use Health Facts to characterize the severity of the quality gaps at TMC.

This project will provide methods that will enable TMC to develop quality improvement initiatives that are prioritized and designed using these data sources.

Reality television star speaks at Children’s Mercy

Jennifer Arnold_Dean Kanter_PRN
School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., (second from right), and Okunola Oluola, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics (third from right), joined Children’s Mercy staff members in welcoming physician and reality TV star Jennifer Arnold, M.D., to Kansas City.

Pardon the students, residents and faculty if there were a few double takes recently as they strode through the halls of Children’s Mercy Kansas City, a UMKC School of Medicine affiliate hospital. After all, it’s not every day that a highly recognizable television personality gives a Grand Rounds lecture. Even at one of the country’s top children’s hospitals.

Then, again, Jennifer Arnold, M.D., is not just one of the stars of the television series, The Little Couple, on the TLC TV network. She’s also a neonatologist and medical director of the pediatric simulation center for the largest neonatal intensive care unit in the United States. And belying her 3-foot, 2-inch physical stature, Arnold delivered a big message in conjunction with National Disability Month.

A motivational speaker in addition to her roles at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Arnold encouraged her audience to think big in order to make a difference, achieve their goals, to improve health care, and ultimately, for the sake of their patients.

Arnold’s own life has been a lesson in perseverance. Born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder that causes skeletal anomalies and short stature, Arnold has undergone more than 30 surgeries just to stand, walk and breathe more easily.

When questioned about her ability to succeed as a physician, she disproved the naysayers by earning a medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completing residency at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

UMKC School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., came to know Arnold and saw her in action as a pediatric resident while he was vice dean at the Pittsburgh medical school. When he learned she was coming to Children’s Mercy, Kanter reached out to offer her a special welcome.

“Dr. Arnold is a great motivator, giving a voice to those who face obstacles, physically and professionally,” Kanter said.

After overcoming much adversity in her life, Arnold would face one more major obstacle. Arnold is also a cancer survivor.

“What a great opportunity for our students, residents, faculty and staff at Children’s Mercy to hear her story of perseverance,” Kanter said. “I have enjoyed watching her remarkable grace and intelligence permeate every aspect of her life as she transformed from a pediatric resident to a respected pediatrician and well-known TV personality, and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for her and her family.”

SOM graduate Mark Steele, M.D., appointed Chief Operating Officer for Truman Medical Centers

Mark Steele, M.D.
Mark Steele, M.D.

Truman Medical Centers President and Chief Executive Officer Charlie Shields has named Mark T. Steele, M.D. ’80, chief operating officer, responsible for the clinical and business operations of TMC.

Steele will continue to serve as TMC chief medical officer. He also serves as UMKC School of Medicine associate dean of TMC programs and University Physician Associates executive medical director.

“I am excited about this expansion of Dr. Steele’s role,” Shields said. “He has served as a dedicated educator and mentor to hundreds of medical students and residents. Perhaps most importantly, Dr. Steele is deeply committed to the success of our medical staff, a commitment I share as chief executive officer.”

Steele said that in his new role he intends to focus initially on quality, productivity, patient safety and satisfaction, and patient throughput.

“I look forward to this new challenge in helping to lead not just the clinical operations of TMC, but also the business side of the organization,” Steele said. “TMC has a long history of serving the people of Kansas City. It has a bright path for growth and prosperity and I am thrilled to help lead us into the future.”

Steele has served on the faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UMKC School of Medicine/Truman Medical Centers since his graduation from residency in 1983. He is currently a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and served as the emergency medicine residency program director and as chairman of the department from 1996 to 2000.

Steele is a nationally-recognized emergency medicine physician with many awards and more than 100 published journal articles, 50 of which are in premier emergency medicine journals. His interests have been in the areas of infectious disease, wound care, circadian rhythms, shift work, emergency medicine practice and workforce issues. Steele is a member of EMERGEncy ID NET, a national emergency department-based emerging infections sentinel network. He also served as president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine in 2010.

Among his awards, Steele received the School of Medicine’s 2000 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing award, presented to alumni for outstanding achievements in their medical field. He has also been named as one of Ingram’s Top Doctors of Kansas City. Other honors and awards include becoming a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians in 1988, the UMKC Alumni Achievement Award in 1990, induction as a faculty member into Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society at the UMKC School of Medicine in 1992, and receiving the UMKC School of Medicine Excellence in Medical Education award in 1992.

He is a member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the Missouri State Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. In 2003, Steele was selected to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, where he served as President in 2010-2011. He also served the board as an item writer, chief examiner for the oral examination, chair of the Test Administration Committee, and chair of the Emergency Medicine Continuous Certification Task Force. He continues to serve as an oral examiner.

Gold Humanism members spread early Valentine’s cheer

Members of the School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and their faculty sponsor, Carol Stanford, M.D., delivered roses and Valentine's cards to patients at Truman Medical Center.
Members of the School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and their faculty sponsor, Carol Stanford, M.D., delivered roses and Valentine’s cards to patients at Truman Medical Center.

Armed with roses in a rainbow of colors, a large box of handmade cards and a stack of yellow buttons and stickers, nearly a dozen School of Medicine students took time on Friday, Feb. 13, to spread some early Valentine’s cheer to patients at Truman Medical Center and promote compassionate care.

The students are members of the School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. This was the third year in a row members of the organization have delivered roses and Valentines to patients. This year, they also handed out yellow stickers and buttons to hospital staff that proclaimed “Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care.”

“It feels good to do something like this,” said Maria Uloko, one of the Year 6 students. “It’s kind of lonely being in the hospital. So on a holiday like Valentine’s Day, it’s fun to do this for the patients.”

Before heading to the hospital to visit the patients, Carol Stanford, M.D., the chapter’s faculty sponsor, also handed out a stack of 11-by-17 sheets of paper and markers with instructions to ask the patients a few questions about themselves. The students were to write down their responses then post the sheets somewhere nearby were hospital staff could read them and know a little more about their patients.

“Our goal is to find out more about our patients,” Stanford said.

With that, the students paired off in teams of two and began delivering the flowers and cards.

The broad smile on the face of Valerie Nevels, one of the patients, showed how much patients at Truman appreciated the gesture. “This really brightens my day,” she said.

Nevels said she is usually the one visiting someone else at the hospital and having the students stop by with their special gifts and kind words helped her feel as if she hadn’t been forgotten. Then she looked at the card she had just received and read the message: “Smile!”

“They must have known that I love to smile,” Nevels said. “This is very much appreciated. When I get home, this rose will be frozen and the card is going to be framed.”

TV documentary features SOM pediatrics faculty, patients

School of Medicine alumnus, Corey Iqbal, M.D., ’03, chief of fetal surgery, is one of the physicians highlighted in a television documentary series, Inside Pediatrics, that tells the stories of patients, their families and the health care professionals who take care of them at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

The six-part program premiered in Kansas City on KMBC-TV on Dec. 17. It is currently available to viewers online.

The series, filmed over a span of three months last summer, offers an inside look at Children’s Mercy from the hospital’s clinics, specialty units and operating rooms to the transport units. Paul Rudd, a Kansas City actor, narrates the series.

More than a dozen CMH doctors who also serve as School of Medicine faculty are featured in the program that documents 28 patients from cities across five states. Each episode lasts about 22 minutes and focuses on two to four different patients.