The UMKC Health Sciences District is once again pleased to serve as an event sponsor for one of the oldest and most-storied races in Missouri: the 46th Annual Hospital Hill Run, which returns to Kansas City on Saturday, June 1.
This year’s race event will take place on one day, with the starting and finishing lines for all three race distances – 5K, 10K, and half marathon – set up at Kansas City’s Crown Center.
Through the sponsorship, all UMKC running enthusiasts, faculty, staff, students and alumni may receive a 20 percent discount on registration for any race distance. Just use the code: UMKCDISC19. Register here.
Over the years, more than 170,000 athletes of all levels from across the world have participated in this event. Originated by UMKC School of Medicine founder Dr. E. Grey Dimond, M.D., the Hospital Hill Run served as host to the first USATF National Championship half marathon in 2002. In 2013, the race was recognized by Runner’s World Magazine as the 11th best half marathon in the United States.
UMKC faculty, staff, students and alumni who aren’t participating in the races may serve in one of many volunteer roles. Volunteers are the backbone of the Hospital Hill Run. Individuals and groups are needed to help unwrap medals; pack post-race food packets; sort, stack, and pass out t-shirts; distribute race bibs; set up and staff aid stations; cheer and steer participants on course; award medals; hand out wet towels, food, and hydration at the finish line; and help with event clean up. Volunteers may register here.
The warm weather is here – and the UMKC Health Sciences District has a number of upcoming healthy initiatives for staff, students and faculty. Whether it’s an e-bike rental or a walking group, the District is working to get everyone active and outdoors.
The Health Sciences District Run/Walk club has begun again this year. Each weekday over the lunch hour, you can join fellow students, faculty, staff and friends from throughout the district to run or walk the 2.5-mile route. If you’re interested in participating, the group meets at 24th St. and Charlotte – just look for the Run/Walk sign. New this year: the group is putting together a team to participate in the Hospital Hill Run.
Unlike past year’s, this year’s race will take place on Saturday, June 1. The starting and finishing lines for all three race distances – 5K, 10K, and half marathon – will be set up at Kansas City’s Crown Center. All UMKC running enthusiasts, faculty, staff, students and alumni, may receive a 20 percent discount on registration. To sign up for any of the day’s races, use the code UMKCDISC19. Register at hospitalhillrun.com. If you’re not participating as a runner but would still like to get involved, the event is looking for volunteers. Contact Alison Troutwine at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
On April 24, the District will be host to a free pop-up yoga class. Start time is at 5:15 pm. The class will be held outdoors in the green amphitheater space on the NE Corner of 25th St. and Holmes Rd. All registered participants will be entered to win a free yoga mat and a gift card from Ruby Jean’s Juicery. If interested, bring your own mat and register at umkchealthsciencesdistrict.org.
And if you need help getting around to all these fun activities, the District has you covered. RideKC Bike has released a new fleet of smart, electric-assisted bikes housed in the district for bike share users. They are already available just outside the UMKC Health Sciences Bookstore, and you can start or end your trip at any RideKC Bike hub around the city. To. Get started, download the Drop Mobility app to find bikes and hub locations near you. Your first ride is free.
The district is committed to encouraging a healthy lifestyle throughout our District community. It’s a perfect time to enjoy this beautiful weather and take advantage of these great offerings.
Medical school can present unique personal challenges. A new student assistance program is available to all UMKC School of Medicine students to help work through such issues.
Through a partnership between the School of Medicine and WellConnect by Student Resource Services, students now have 24-hour access to help with mental health, legal and financial issues.
The WellConnect program links students with licensed counselors for up to six, confidential in-person or telephone counseling sessions, or three sessions with a financial consultant or attorney. The services are free for students enrolled in any School of Medicine program and their household families, said Niloofar Shahmohammadi, School of Medicine wellness coordinator.
Access codes for students and faculty/staff can be found on posters and card in the School of Medicine Student Wellness Wing and throughout the building.
Two years ago, Shahmohammadi began conducting brief, 10-minute wellness checkups with the school’s first- and second-year medical students.
“Through those meetings, I was seeing a high number of students who needed more counseling,” she said. “Seeing that, we wanted to find something to meet those needs.
The WellConnect program supplements the services provided by the UMKC Counseling Center by providing a one-stop shop for addressing student issues. Students can contact WellConnect by phone or online. They do not need a referral to use the service, Shahmohammadi said.
“There are a lot of perks to this program that meet the needs of professional students,” Shahmohammadi said. “A recurring theme for our students has been that they often need after hours help. Especially during their clinical years, they’re basically in a 9-to-5 job. This remedies that issue because they have hours more conducive to our students’ schedules.”
Because WellConnect is a nation-wide network, it also benefits students in out-of-town rotations or research programs. Those students can contact the service and get needed assistance at any time while they’re away from the School of Medicine and Kansas City.
The service also offers an around-the-clock help line for faculty and support staff who have concerns about a student. The Faculty/Administrative Support Team (FAST) line provides high-level sessions with senior clinical consultants to discuss help for students struggling inside or outside the classroom.
Access codes are required for students or faculty/staff to contact WellConnect. The codes can be found on posters and cards in the Student Wellness Wing and throughout the building.
WellConnect was first launched at the School of Medicine in June and students are already utilizing the program.
“I’ve already heard from students that are happy with the service,” she said.
Note to students entering the UMKC School of Medicine’s new fifth-floor Wellness Wing: Studying is off limits.
Niloofar Shahmohammadi is the school’s wellness program coordinator who brought the Wellness Wing to life. She calls the space a special area where students can step away from the rigors of schoolwork for a short while.
“This is our official wellness place where you can take a break, step away and then get back to what you need to do,” Shahmohammadi said.
A massage chair sits discreetly in one corner of the room. Large bean bags on the floor along one wall allow students to stretch out and relax while soft music fills the area. Tables loaded with puzzles, coloring books and arts and crafts, sports equipment that can be checked out, and a small library of books on wellness are just some of what the area offers as an escape from the rigors of study and work.
Two computers loaded with meditation software are available. Students can also step in for a drink of tea, or to check out a Fitbit to count their steps while they’re active.
The area once housed the school’s curriculum office. Now, Shahmohammadi said, it is intentionally designed not to look or feel like any other room in the building.
“You are in the library studying all day. You are in the clinic and you’re working all day,” she said. “This is a little oasis where you can step away in the middle of your day, maybe during your lunch break, maybe in a break between classes, step in here and get rejuvenated.”
The room will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to provide students a place to get away after class hours. Student members of the wellness council will fill shifts manning a front desk to help those who want to check out equipment or need help with the meditation software.
Shahmohammadi applauded School of Medicine advancement director, Fred Schlichting, for obtaining support and funding from the school’s alumni association to make the area a reality. The two met about a year ago to talk about student wellness needs. That’s when she shared her ideas for a physical space at the medical school where students can escape the stresses of schoolwork.
“He said, ‘I think we can make that work,’” Shahmohammadi said. “Because he works with the alumni, he was able to allocate some alumni association funds for this project. All of a sudden, in one year, it’s here and we’re very excited.”
Striking just the right balance between work, particularly the demanding role of a health care professional, and the home and family life can be a challenge for anyone. A panel of female faculty members from the School of Medicine shared their experience on how they go about it during an after school discussion on Oct. 22 in Theater C.
The Women in Medicine event conducted by the School’s Wellness Program drew a number of female students who took part with questions for five panelists: Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., associate dean for Graduate Studies and Allied Health, Kathy Ervie, M.P.A.S., P.A.-C., director of the School’s Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant program, Reem Mustafa, M.D., Blue 3 docent, Rebecca Pauly, M.D., Blue 4 docent, and Fariha Shafi, M.D., Gold 7 docent.
Pauly, who also works with the School’s faculty development programs, said her advice for maintaining a health balance includes being efficient and living in the present moment.
“Multitasking means none of the tasks have your full attention and likely are not being completed with your best effort,” she said. “Stay focused.”
There are times in life, Pauly said, when one may need to make the decision to put aspects of their career on hold for a period of time.
“You may decide that you can work full-time while your child is age 3 months to 4 years but when he or she starts school at age 5 or 6, you want to be home in the afternoon and thus need to work part-time until the child enters middle school,” Pauly said. “During these years you may elect to only travel to one academic meeting per year, not three or four.”
Pauly also suggested that one should seek help whether from family, friends or even be willing to hire help to avoid becoming isolated and stretching oneself too thin across too many responsibilities.
“Look for time to escape and rejuvenate,” she said.
The Wellness Program offers students wellness planning and coaching sessions to help them succeed in a rigorous academic environment as well as a variety of workshops throughout the year that focus on topics from cooking to making therapeutic lifestyle changes.
For more information about the Wellness Program, contact Niloofar Shahmohammadi, program coordinator, at email@example.com or at 235-1862.
A program to clear the air across UMKC begins on Aug. 1 when the Hospital Hill and Volker campuses embark on a new smoke-free, tobacco-free policy. UMKC students, employees and vistors will no longer be allowed to smoke on University property, including parking garages.
Smoking will be prohibited inside all University buildings, but will be permitted outdoors off UMKC property. University properties include, but are not limited to:
All outdoor common and educational areas; inside all university owned or leased buildings
Campus parking lots
University-owned and leased vehicles (regardless of location)
The smoking ban does not apply to public rights-of-way (sidewalks/streets) within the campus boundaries, as these are governed by City of Kansas City ordinance.
The University will offer aid to smokers with a desire to quit with a smoking cessation coach and other resources.
“I understand that this change may be difficult for those of you who smoke,” UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton said. “For employees and students who would like to stop, the university will work in conjunction with Healthy for Life, the Student Health and Wellness Center and other resources that offer cessation programs. In some cases, cessation tools and nicotine replacement therapy will be free to students and employees.”
The policy change comes as a result of a student-led initiative that indicated a significant majority of employees and students of the University value smoke and tobacco-free campuses. The policy reaffirms the University’s commitment to provide a safe and healthy physicial envoironment for its students, staff, faculty, patients and the general public.
Visit the University’s policy page to learn more about the smoke-free initiative.
The UMKC Staff Council’s Outreach Committee will be conducting a food drive for the Bishop Sullivan Center’s St. James Place from May 19 through May 22 on both the Volker and Hospital Hill campuses.
St. James Place provides basic necessities for those who are unable to do so and encourages those who are able to become more self sufficient. It also provides a community kitchen where hot meals are served five nights a week.
Participants in the food drive are asked to bring non-perishable food items such as canned and boxed items and pasta.
The School of Medicine lobby will be one drop off location on Hospital Hill. Others will be located on the first floor of the Health Sciences Building and the second floor, canteen area of the Dental School.
For additional information, contact Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty, staff and their dependents enrolled in the UM Health Care plan are eligible to receive free flu shots as part of the Healthy for Life program.
Those getting the flu shot must bring their insurance card and a completed Flu Consent Form. The shots are also available to those not enrolled in a UM Health Care plan for $15.
The shots will be available on Hospital Hill at three different times starting Oct. 9. Those times include from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 in Health Sciences Building Room 5309; 9 a.m. – noon on Oct. 10 in School of Medicine Room M5 – C05; and 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the School of Dentistry fourth floor lobby.
Shots will also be available on the Volker Campus.
The complete schedule:
Oct. 2 9 a.m. – noon Volker Campus, Administrative Center Plaza Room
* Oct. 9 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Hospital Hill Campus, Health Sciences Bld, Rm 5309
* Oct. 10 9 a.m. – noon Hospital Hill Campus, School of Medicine, Rm M5 – CO5
Oct. 16 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Volker Campus, Student Union, Rm 302
Oct. 17 9 a.m. – noon Volker Camus, Administrative Center, Gillham Park Room
* Oct. 23 10 a.m. – 1p.m. Hospital Hill Campus, Dental School, 4th Floor Lobby
Students, residents, faculty and staff learned about one of the most common and talked about problems in the country today – obesity – and the science behind it during the 35th annual Dr. Mark Dodge Lectureship on Dec. 6 at the School of Medicine.
Michael D. Jensen, M.D., ’79, delivered the lecture after being introduced by Dodge’s daughter, Martha. His talk, titled “How Does Dysfunctional Adipose Tissue Cause the Metabolic Complications of Obesity?” focused on the effects of obesity and the behaviors of fatty acids.
Jensen, who was named a Mayo Distinguished Investigator in 2012, is a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He is also director of the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Medicine Obesity Treatment Research Program and a professor of medicine. After graduating from the UMKC SOM, Jensen completed residencies in internal medicine at Saint Luke’s Hospital and the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and was a W. L. Stevenson Fellow in Clinical Nutrition at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine.
His research includes looking at the effects of upper verses lower body fat and the effect each has on one’s health, visceral health being the most detrimental. “When things start going wrong with fat, things go wrong with all the other tissues,” he said.
Jensen shared his experiences with patients and through research to illustrate the importance of education about obesity.
“Those of us who are normal weight are carrying around roughly three months worth of groceries in our fat, and most of us can regulate that so precisely that we maintain perfect metabolic health,” he said. “But when you start gaining fat in your upper body, you may have six months to a year’s worth of groceries stored in your fat cells and these are getting out at the wrong time.”
Approximately 30 School of Medicine students from years 3 to 6 joined TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in providing free “15 Minute Physicals” on Oct. 30 at the Research Medical Center Brookside Campus.
Nearly 150 volunteers performed more than 800 physicals throughout the day. Amanda Augustine, MS 3, and Katelyn Davis, MS 4, worked together at a screening station and said they saw the need in Kansas City for this event. “It was important because a lot of the people we saw had no access to care,” Augustine said. “They were able to get the vital numbers that could be the most threatening to their health, but also some that are the easiest to change.”
Davis said her favorite part of the day was meeting a wide variety of patients and learning more about what they are going through. “I was really surprised to hear how much these simple lab tests cost without insurance,” she said. “I talked to a patient who went in for lab tests and as a result, was prescribed medication. She didn’t go back to get the tests again to check for improvements because it was too expensive.”
Augustine and Davis helped a woman who underwent a double mastectomy but had not been back to the doctor since for fear of bad news. “She was very nervous about her lab results,” Davis said. “We were so excited when she had great results on the screenings!”
When student volunteers discovered an alarming situation with a patient or had questions, supervising physicians, such as Darryl Nelson, M.D., ’86, were there to help. Nelson, chief medical officer of HCA Midwest Health System, said this event was a great way for patients, students and physicians to learn more about each other.
“We look for opportunities to engage across the community, from provider to those in need,” Nelson said. “Folks may be uneasy to see a doctor, so an event like this can be life-changing for them. This is also a great way to expose medical students to this patient population.”
Kansas City was the sixth destination for the nationwide event and the only one that will be featured on the two-time Emmy® Award-winning, nationally syndicated The Dr. Oz Show, which airs locally on KMBC Channel 9 at 4 p.m. Patients pre-registered and provided their medical history on The Dr. Oz Show website. With that information in hand, they first spent five minutes at a station where volunteer medical and nursing students screened them for public health indicators such as glucose levels, cholesterol (triglyceride, HDL, LCL and total) and BMI.
In partnership with HCA Midwest Health System, Alere, Inc., and PracticeFusion, the “15 Minute Physicals” provide results, trends and averages in real time throughout the day. The next 10 minutes of the physical included a visit to a consultation desk where patients received advice and analysis of their test results. Volunteers offered information on local health care providers for follow-up care before patients exited.
At 3 p.m., Oz presented Mayor “Sly” Sylvester James with a report card containing the results of data collected from registrants during the day. This showed that four out of 10 patients seen had high blood pressure, 72 percent were overweight or obese and 13 percent were morbidly obese. The one area where Kansas City did well was getting plenty of sleep.
Oz said medical students are an important element of the event. “We love having med students at our ‘15 Minute Physicals’ because of their dedication and enthusiasm to patient care,” he said. “It helps them understand their mission in medicine, which is why we have them as part of the med unit for The Dr. Oz Show.”