School of Medicine faculty and partner hospital Children’s Mercy Kansas City return to the spotlight on Jan. 27 and Jan. 30 for Season 3 of Inside Pediatrics.
The Emmy Award-winning documentary looks at world-class pediatric health care through the stories of patients and their families from the Kansas City area and beyond, and the professionals who take care of them. Actor Paul Rudd, a Kansas City area native, is narrator for the series that will air at 6 p.m. on Jan. 27 and at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30 on KMBC Channel 9.
These episodes feature brave families who have allowed cameras to follow them and capture their heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking moments.
With a collaboration unlike any other in the nation, many of Kansas City’s leading health-care institutions announced today that they have agreed to align more closely to form the UMKC Health Sciences District. The newly created district combines the unique expertise and services of 10 partners to spur research and community outreach in service of the Kansas City region and beyond.
The UMKC Health Sciences District is unlike any other in the nation. It is one of 18 areas in the country that have public schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing in one location along with a children’s hospital and an adult, acute-care hospital. But by including a health department, the medical examiner and a mental health center that bring together agencies of the city, county and state, the UMKC Health Sciences District is one of a kind.
Drawing on these institutions’ efforts, the UMKC Health Sciences District has the potential to enhance collaboration on research and grant requests; combine efforts on community outreach; improve faculty recruitment; coordinate area parking, safety and transportation; and create shared opportunities in health and wellness for more than 16,000 health professionals, faculty members and students.
“We have all worked together already for a long time, and worked very well together, but today we are opening a new chapter,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “Today, we will sign an agreement designed to stimulate economic growth and job creation, attract new talent to Kansas City, create shared opportunities in health and wellness, and improve opportunities for recruiting and neighborhood outreach.”
“Better functioning health-care teams provide better patient care. Interprofessional education means educating future physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and other health-care professionals to work effectively as members of those teams so that patients get the best and safest care possible,” said Steven L. Kanter, M.D., Dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. Kanter will serve as the first executive director of a newly-formed Health Sciences District Board.
“The UMKC Health Sciences District is the perfect environment for students, scientists and health-care professionals to work and learn together as they deliver top-quality, personalized health care,” Kanter said.
“This District is a collaboration among dedicated organizations determined to improve the health and wellness of people in Kansas City—and across the United States,” said Charlie Shields, President and Chief Executive Officer of Truman Medical Centers and University Health. “We believe that as the UMKC Health Sciences District, we will be able to stimulate collaboration in research, advance interprofessional education and foster communication. Those are the steps necessary to developing the kind of innovations that will shape the health care of the future.”
“Children’s Mercy is proud to be a part of this one-of-a-kind District, celebrating the collective spirit of innovation, research and discovery that drives our collaborative quest for answers, new treatments and cures,” said Randall L. O’Donnell, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Mercy. “And while today’s announcement focuses on the organizations within the boundaries of this District, the resulting impact of our work together will benefit every corner of our city and touch families throughout the region and the nation.”
The UMKC Health Sciences District will be governed by a board composed of approximately 20 members, including two from each institution. The board will also appoint a chair for a two-year period beginning July 1, 2018. The chair will rotate among the following participants in the following order: UMKC, TMC and CMH. The first chair, who will serve a two-year term, will be the UMKC Chancellor. The executive director of the District will serve a three-year term.
The District is about two miles in circumference and will be bound on the north by 20th Street; south by 25th Street; west by Oak Street; and east by U.S. 71 South.
Students on the Purple docent unit at Saint Luke’s Hospital have a new place to call home.
School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., and Saint Luke’s Hospital CEO Jani Johnson, RN, MSN, shared the honor of the official ribbon cutting on Monday, Sept. 12, on the hospital’s renovated fifth-floor medical education department, the new location of the Eleanor N. and Mary N. Little Purple Docent Unit. The Littles are sisters who, through their estate, made a charitable gift to the Saint Luke’s Foundation in support of medical education and patient care at Saint Luke’s.
In his remarks, Kanter said the docent program is a living symbol of the close relationship between Saint Luke’s Hospital and the School of Medicine.
“This wonderful new unit, the Eleanor N. and Mary N. Little Purple Docent Unit, which is the home for purple docent teams, is clear testimony to what a wonderful partnership we have had,” he said.
The fifth floor of the hospital also houses the administrative offices for the medical education department, a health sciences library and house staff quarters for residents.
Docent offices for the Purple Unit were previously located in the hospital’s Medical Plaza building. Doug Cochran, M.D., docent for the Purple 2 team, said that moving the education offices to one site has been a convenience for students and docents.
“We have several options for conference rooms, immediate access to the library, unlimited access to the electronic resources in the library and multiple places for students to gather in small groups,” Cochran said.
This past spring, the School of Medicine added a fourth docent team to the Purple Unit. With the renovations at the hospital complete, two students now share each of the 24 offices in the new docent unit. The area also has a multifunctional media center that allows students to access patient lists, obtain evidence for rounds, and scan and send documents from the unit.
“The best and most valued asset for me, and for the students, is a private space where I can close the door and have some time for focused study,” Cochran said. “The new unit is well-designed, well-resourced, and extremely functional in our first DoRo experience.”
Kanter said the docent system is key to making the medical education program at the School of Medicine function properly, and that it is critical for docent teams to have the right space in which to work and learn.
“I want to extend my thanks to the Saint Luke’s Health System, to Saint Luke’s Hospital, the Saint Luke’s Foundation, and, of course, to all of you who have so generously supported Saint Luke’s and the School of Medicine in our shared mission of educating the next generation of physicians,” Kanter said.
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.”