Tag Archives: Hospital Affiliates

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.

Published study on obese women and breastfeeding garners attention

Felix Oka, M.D.
Felix Oka, M.D.

New mothers who want to breastfeed their babies would do well to watch their weight according to a collaborative study by a group that includes Felix Oka, M.D., M.S., professor of pediatrics and assistant dean for career advising, and fellows Teresa Orth, M.D, and Shilpa Babbar, M.D.

The research conducted by a team of investigators from the School of Medicine, Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the Kansas University Medical Center showed that obesity significantly reduces the chances of a woman ever breastfeeding. Women who are obese are 16 percent less likely to be able to breastfeed than women whose weight falls within a normal range, the study reported. Orth presented results and highlights of the study at the April 26-30 annual meeting of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chicago.

Results were based on a survey of more than 66,000 mothers in the United States conducted between 2009 and 2010. Identifying obesity as a high-risk group for not breastfeeding could help clinicians to design future interventions for overweight mothers.

The student is also the focus of a recent article published in Live Science.

School of Medicine announces new Psychiatry chair

Nash Boutros, M.D.
Nash Boutros, M.D.

The UMKC School of Medicine has announced the appointment of Nash Boutros, M.D., as the academic chair of the Department of Psychiatry, effective February 24, 2014. He will also serve as Medical Director for the Center for Behavioral Medicine.

Boutros currently serves as associate chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University School of Medicine where he is also a professor of psychiatry and neurology and director of Psychiatric Clinical Electrophysiology and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratories.

“Dr. Boutros will be an asset to the Kansas City community,” said Betty Drees, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. “His experience and expertise will help lead mental health care treatment at a critical time of need locally and across the state of Missouri.”

He received his medical degree from Cairo University Medical School. He did his residency in psychiatry at Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, a neurology residency and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at the University of Illinois, and a fellowship in epileptology and behavioral neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine in Dallas.

He is boarded in psychiatry, neurology, and clinical neurophysiology. He has served on the faculties of the medical schools at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, Ohio State University, Yale, and Wayne State University. He is the author of more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles, including research studies in schizophrenia and neurophysiology, and is co-author of books on neuroanatomy and electroencephalography in psychiatry.

Boutros succeeds Stuart Munro, M.D., who became chair of the School of Medicine’s new Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences in March 2013.

Long-time Department of Anesthesiology chair, Dr. Eugene Fibuch, retiring in April

Dr. Eugene Fibuch
Dr. Eugene Fibuch

Eugene Fibuch, M.D., professor and long-time chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology, has announced plans to retire and step from his position as chair in Spring 2014. The department has been fortunate to have his leadership as the Chair since 1997.

He has served as only the second chair in the history of the department, and was the second program director for the residency for 35 years until transitioning that responsibility to Adam Reese, M.D., ’99, earlier this year. Under Fibuch’s leadership, the residency program flourished, graduating more than 125 residents, most of whom remain and practice in this region. Fibuch recruited the first Westport/Missouri Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology, John Wang, M.D. Together, they enhanced the research and scholarship in the department.

His leadership has extended beyond the department to include quality initiatives at Saint Luke’s Hospital and Saint Luke’s Health System. His efforts were instrumental in the recognition of Saint Luke’s Hospital as a Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award winner in 2004.

Most recently, Fibuch participated with the School of Medicine and the UMKC Bloch School for Management in the development of a Physician Leadership Program that is now in its second year.

He served as vice-chair of the Department of Anesthesiology from 1985 to 1997 and was appointed chair of anesthesiology at UMKC in 1997, overseeing a program with faculty and residents at Saint Luke’s Hospital, Truman Medical Centers, and Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Reese took on the role of residency program director last October. Reese completed his anesthesiology residency at UMKC and a neuroanesthesia fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.

The School has formed an eight-member search committee, chaired by Mark Friedell, M.D., professor and chair of surgery, and is currently in the process of developing a list of candidates for a new department chair. The position has both academic leadership responsibilities for the department across the School of Medicine and clinical leadership responsibilities at Saint Luke’s Hospital.

The affiliation agreements between the UMKC School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals of Saint Luke’s Hospital and Truman Medical Center stipulate the process for academic department chair searches. The Anesthesiology Chair is primarily located at Saint Luke’s Hospital, with required residency rotations at Truman Medical Center. Thus the search committee is composed of eight members: three appointees from St. Luke’s Hospital, three from the School of Medicine, and two from Truman Medical Center.

There will be opportunities for faculty members from all affiliates, including Children’s Mercy Hospital, to meet candidates when they interview. A search firm will be engaged for a national search for the next chair of the department.

Department of Radiology welcomes first international visiting professor

Dr. Savvas Andronikou
Dr. Savvas Andronikou

Savvas Andronikou, M.B.B.Ch., F.C.Rad., F.R.C.R., Ph.D., an expert in pediatric radiology, spent two days with the UMKC School of Medicine Department of Radiology learning and teaching at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Saint Luke’s Hospital as the department’s first international visiting professor.

Adronikou spoke to fculty, residents and students on international radiology outreach opportunities and the imaging of Tuberculosis in children in South African during his stay in Kansas City on Dec. 4-5.

Andronikou is chairman of the Outreach for the World Federation of Pediatric Imaging, in which he works to arrange training in pediatric radiology in Africa and helps establish opportunities in Africa through teleradiology connections between institutions throughout the world. He serves as a mentor at multiple South African universities, helping perform research with limited support in an area that faces extensive public health challenges.

“The Department of Radiology at the UMKC School of Medicine was fortunate to have Professor Andronikou as its first international visiting professor,” said Lisa Lowe, M.D., professor and chair of radiology.

Andronikou serves as president of the College of Radiologists of South Africa and chairman of the South African Society of Pediatric Imaging. He has published more than 200 paper, books and book chapters and given more than 164 oral presentations across the world. He also serves on the editorial board of Pediatric Radiology, was chief editor of the South African Journal of Radiology and has organized several radiology courses and meetings in South Africa.

Andronikou trained at Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa. He did his radiology training at Whittington and Great Ormond Street Hospitals in London, UK and received his Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town.

Dr. Moormeier appointed Department of Medicine chair

Jill Moormeier, M.D.
Jill Moormeier, M.D.

The School of Medicine and Truman Medical Centers announced the appointment of Jill Moormeier, M.D., professor of medicine, as the new chair of the Department of Medicine. The appointment is effective immediately for a term of up to two years.

Moormeier has served as associate dean for Graduate Medical Education since 2006. She joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1990 and has served as a senior docent and as section chief and fellowship director for hematology and oncology. She has also been vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Medicine and served as the associate director of the Internal Medicine Residency program.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, Moormeier completed her residency training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and did fellowship training in hematology and oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine Medical Center.

She has held numerous committee positions and offices at the School of Medicine and Truman Medical Centers, having served as a member of the board of directors for the University Physicians Associates and as chair of the UPA finance committee.

Medical research tax initiative will go before Jackson County voters

umkcThe proposed $800 million combined research interests of UMKC and School of Medicine clinical affiliates Children’s Mercy Hospital and Saint Luke’s Hospital are now in the hands of Jackson Country voters.

Plans to place a half-cent sales tax to support the Jackson County Institute for Translational Research and Medicine before county voters on Nov. 5 received the approval of the Jackson County Legislature in August and have earned the support of Donald J. Hall and the Hall Family Foundation, which pledged $75 million to erect a new medical research building.

The proposed 20-year tax would raise an estimated $40 million a year to attract world-class researchers and provide them with the equipment, facilities and support staff necessary to work toward medical discoveries, treatments and cures. Children’s Mercy Hospital would receive $20 million per year and UMKC and Saint Luke’s Hospital would each receive $8 million annually to support the work and salaries of researchers. The remainder would be used for related economic development.

The nine-member Jackson County Legislature voted 7-2 to place the tax initiative on the November ballot. The tax is currently the only countywide issue on the ballot.

Hall and the Hall Family Foundation on Sept. 4 announced a commitment of $75 million for a four-story building north of Children’s Mercy Hospital with the Institute for Translational Research and Medicine occupying two floors of the facility. The commitment is good only if voters approve the tax in November.