Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kansas Family Physicians Helping Joplin Tornado Victims

RHES would like to share this article that was posted in kafp WEEKLY. 
May 27, 2011 Kansas family physicians come to aid of Joplin tornado victims
Thank you to all who have reached out to the victims of the tornado in Joplin, Mo. Many Kansas family doctors are in the trenches helping to treat patients and to restore lives. One of our members, Beth Loney, MD (Wesley FM resident) has family in Joplin. Her grandparents and aunt and uncle lost their homes. Our sympathy and thoughts go out to Dr. Loney and her family.

The KAFP thanks the following for their relief efforts --- you are true heroes of family medicine! The volunteers report that words cannot describe the devastation and loss of the people in Joplin. Here is a partial list of those who have gone to Joplin to help. If you know if anyone else not mentioned, please let us know.
Jay Allen, MD (Fort Scott)
Casana Siebert Brunton, MD (Independence)
Josh Brueggeman, MD (Pittsburg)
Deb Clements, MD (Kansas City)
Aaron Davis, DO (Wichita)
Mike Kennedy, MD (Kansas City)
Ross Kimball, MD (Salina)
Beth Loney, MD (Wichita)
Gary Morsch, MD (Olathe)
Jen Bacani McKenney, MD (Fredonia)
Dru Nichols, MD (Ottawa)
Mike Oller, MD (Wichita)
Belinda Vail, MD (Kansas City)

Here are some important links about volunteer resources:
Show-Me Response: an online registration system for volunteer health professionals.

Heart to Heart
City of Joplin, Missouri
American Red Cross Shelters
American Red Cross Donations 
Missouri State Emergency Management Agency
You can also follow these helpful Twitter and Facebook accounts for up-to-date information:
• Relief Spark: @reliefsparknola is using its' Twitter feed to help with volunteer efforts
St. John's Health System is using its' Facebook account for updates.
Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery a group created a page to help in the efforts.
Joplin, MO. Tornado Survivors is a page created to help locate survivors.
Animals Lost and Found from the Joplin, MO tornado

You can also view the article at:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Relief Efforts for Recent Tornadoes

In the wake of the recent tornadoes that have devestated the region, RHES would like to share information on the relief efforts currently in place and how the public can help. The following information has been combined from various sources including the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas Hospital Association and the American Red Cross.

Joplin Tornado

Kansas hospitals have treated 126, admitted 55, and released 11 patients from the Joplin tornado based on preliminary data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

At this time, the health care providers in Joplin and Springfield, Mo. have sufficient staff identified for the immediate future and there is not a need for more medical personnel to volunteer.

However, there are many other ways we can support the relief effort. You can send much-needed monetary donations to the American Red Cross by visiting http://www.redcross.org/ or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Heart-to-Heart International is also accepting donations for victims of the Joplin tornado.  The organization is also providing care kits of survival essentials to families in Joplin. Here is the list of items needed for the Heart-to-Heart International care kits:

    new hand towels
    new washcloths
    wide-tooth combs
    10-15 oz. bottles of shampoo
    new individually wrapped toothbrushes
    4-6 oz. tubes of toothpaste
    individually wrapped bath-size bars of soap
    adhesive bandages
    one-gallon-size, zipper-seal plastic bags

If you have items that you have collected, you can contact Heart-to-Heart International at volunteer@hearttoheart.org.

Reading Tornado

An extensive clean-up effort in Reading, Kan. is currently taking place in response of Saturday's tornado. Medical personnel are not needed but annyone who would like to take part of the clean-up effort should contact the Lyon County Extension office at (620) 341-3220 for more information.

If individuals wish to provide monetary contributions to relief efforts in Reading, contributions should be directed through the United Way of the Flint Hills (http://www.uwfh.org/). Please put "Reading Relief" in the focus area section and 100% of your contribution will go to the long-term relief effort for Reading.

American Red Cross

The Midway-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross has lots of information on how to get involved in the relief effort of the recent tornadoes.

You can also find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to recieve up-to-date information.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Governor holds Economic Summit on Life Sciences at KU Medical Center

May 24, 2011
By Cori Ast

More than 150 scientists, government and civic leaders, and others with a stake in future of the life sciences gathered at the University of Kansas Medical Center on Tuesday for the Governor's Economic Summit on Life Sciences. The meeting focused on Kansas' strong foundation for reaching its global potential in the life sciences.

In opening the event, Governor Sam Brownback said Kansas needs to increase life sciences research to improve health care and develop more jobs.

"You have to be a global competitor if you're going to enter the field," said Brownback. "We need to pick where we are going to compete and win at it,"

The value of partnerships and collaboration was underscored by the six speakers and 10 roundtable participants. Building relationships was emphasized as a foundation to success in several key life sciences areas, including National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, the use of technology to improve public health, drug development, and the future health care workforce.

National Cancer Institute Designation

KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson, MD, pointed to numerous collaborations that have propelled KU's pursuit of NCI designation. Those collaborations include the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, hospital partners in the Midwest Cancer Alliance, the Kansas Bioscience Authority, Johnson County taxpayers and others.

Roy Jensen, MD, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, underscored the value of these relationships. "We would not have a chance, we would not be competitive [as a candidate for NCI designation] without the support provided by the legislature and our partners," he said during the roundtable discussion.

Governor Brownback agreed that the focus on achieving NCI designation was a critical economic force for Kansas. He also noted that the efforts to achieve NCI designation had already been a huge economic driver for the regional economy.

Technology Innovation

Another economic engine for the region will be the ability of KU Medical Center and others to tap the possibilities provided by the ultra-fast Google broadband resources in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Milo Medin, vice president of access services for Google Inc., said the high-speed Internet will bring results not yet even imagined. "We believe speed is critical to innovation and competitiveness. We believe we are in the early stages of a revolution. We want to invent the future with you,"

Google's new profile in the greater Kansas City region was mentioned by a number of people as evidence of how technology can help advance the life sciences. Dr. Atkinson said that the Google technology could enhance home health for chronic disease management, a major contributor to high health care costs for both Medicaid and Medicare.

Pharmaceutical Development

Summit participants also focused on the economic potential of pharmaceutical development in Kansas. Getting drugs from lab bench to bedside quickly would not only result in increased revenue from the development process, but improved economic productivity for the Kansans who need those medications.

Governor Brownback also urged Kansas to pursue drug discovery for neglected diseases and diseases that affect developing nations.

"I don't think anybody goes wrong doing the right thing," he said.

Health Professional Workforce

The need for a well-educated, strong health workforce that's willing to work for Kansas was another topic of discussion at the summit.

"I like to think the asset we exceed the most with here is people," said Pat George, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Scooter Plowman, an MD/PhD student at the KU School of Medicine agreed. "It was the human capital at this school that brought me here," said the Chicago native.

Despite the current strength of Kansas' health professional workforce, participants noted that more infrastructure and more physicians would be needed to adequately provide for Kansans' health needs.

Ed McKechnie, president of the Kansas Board of Regents, said training more doctors for Kansas would require more Kansas residency slots to make sure that the doctors educated in Kansas are retained by Kansas.

Presentations at the summit were made by:

•         KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson, MD;

•         KU Medical Center Interim Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery Paul Camarata, MD;

•         R. Scooter Plowman, KU Medical Center MD/PhD student;

•         Bob Page, President and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital;

•         Milo Medin, Vice President of Access Services, Google Inc.; and

•         Steven St. Peter, MD, Managing Director of MPM Capital.

A roundtable discussion followed the presentations, moderated by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, MD.  University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, PhD, provided opening remarks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

KU School of Medicine is the most popular medical school in the country

May 17, 2011

The University of Kansas School of Medicine is the nation's most popular medical school, according to an analysis by U.S. News and World Report.

The report ranked the percentage of students admitted to medical schools who opted to enroll in the program. At the KU School of Medicine, 176 - or 82.2 percent - of the 214 accepted students chose to attend the school in the academic year beginning in 2010, which was tops among the 121 U.S. medical schools that were included in the report.

"We have long been aware that the KU School of Medicine is the school of choice among many of our applicants," said Barbara F. Atkinson, MD, Executive Vice Chancellor at KU Medical Center and Executive Dean at the KU School of Medicine. "Like most medical schools, we consider rankings one of many ways to measure success. We're extremely pleased to be at the very top of this list."

Every school on the list of most popular medical schools is a state institution, which likely contributed to the rankings, since tuition for in-state students at public medical schools is significantly lower than tuition for out-of-state students or at private schools.

Bailey Roberts, a first-year student at the KU School of Medicine, was accepted at four medical schools, including Vanderbilt University. She acknowledged that the lower tuition was a big factor in her decision to come to KU, but it wasn't the only one.

"During the admissions process, I just had a feeling KU was the best choice for me," Roberts said. "I want to go into pediatrics and work with underserved populations, and this was going to be the best school for me to pursue that dream."

A key finding is that five of the most popular schools on the new U.S. News and World Report list are also among the top medical schools in the country when it comes to training primary care physicians. The KU School of Medicine's primary care program is ranked 41st in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report.

"Over the past several years, we have developed a reputation as one of the best medical schools in the country for educating primary care doctors," said Heidi Chumley, MD, senior associate dean for medical education at the KU School of Medicine. "I know many of our applicants are interested in pursuing a career in primary and rural medicine, and they are very aware that this is the place to get the best training for those areas."

To address the need for more primary care and rural physicians, the KU School of Medicine is adding a four-year program in Salina and expanding its Wichita campus to a full, four-year program in the fall of 2011.

To read more about the U.S.News and World Report study on popular medical schools, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/2011/05/17/10-most-popular-medical-schools.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ellsworth County Native is NRHA’s 2011 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year

Congratulations to Dennis Kepka, MD, of Ellsworth County, Kan. He was recognized as NRHA’s 2011 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year.

NRHA Announces 2011 Rural Health Award Recipients

From www.raconline.org
May 10, 2011

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has announced its 2011 Rural Health Award recipients who were honored May 5, 2011, during the 34th Annual Rural Health Conference, which attracted more than 900 rural health professionals and students to Austin, Texas.

“We’re proud of this year’s winners,” said Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. “They have each already made tremendous strides to advance rural health care, and we’re confident they will continue to help improve the lives of rural Americans.”

Dennis Kepka, MD, is NRHA’s 2011 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year. With a passion for rural communities, Kepka and his wife, Jennifer, moved to Ellsworth County, Kan., after practicing elsewhere for several years. During his tenure in his native Ellsworth County, Kepka started three rural health clinics, provided training for more than 30 physician assistant students, has provided prison and jail medical services and was the sole medical provider in the county for 18 months. Kepka has practiced medicine in Ellsworth County for more than 21 years.

Friday, May 6, 2011

RHES Presents at the National Rural Health Association Conference in Austin, Texas

Did anyone attend the NRHA conference this week in Austin, Texas? Rural Health's Joyce Grayson and Auburn Weber presented on Thursday, May 5 and Tyler Doyle moderated their session.

Below you can read a description of the presentation:

Retention education for today's health care student
Educating health care students on workforce retention prepares them for their job search and provides them with necessary information to identify the right opportunity. Emphasis on retention encourages them to locate a good, long-term, professional fit. Examine the benefits of educating health care students on retention while preparing them for the job search process.

If you were able to attend the presentation let us know what you thought!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

KU Medical Center Student Highlighted by the National Rural Health Association

Rural Health Education and Services (RHES) found this article in rural roads, a publication by the National Rural Health Association (NHRA) and wanted it to share it with you.

National Rural Health Association | Rural Roads Online | Spring 2011 | Beginnings and Passages
Beginnings-Aniesa Slack
City life calls student back to country roots

   It took me months to stop waving at every car I met on the road when I moved to the big city. And that was just the beginning of the culture shock that I was about to experience. As a first-generation college student I couldn't wait to get out of Oxford, Kan., population 1,067, and live the life I thought my parents never could.

   I never imagined how much I would miss my country roots, mostly because until I left the farm, I didn't realize that rural life was so different from the rest of the world. 

   My experience has convinced me that rural Americans have a distinct culture, one that crosses socioeconomic strata, encompasses all ethnicities and knows no geographic boundary. Rural doesn't describe a place; it describes a people, my people. But I didn't always see it that way. I spent my undergrad years trying to find myself and my calling. 

   The further I got from home, the more people I met who were shockingly out of touch with any lifestyle not found in metropolitan areas. It was as if urban tunnel vision had created a society blind to the world of rural America. 

   Baffled and discouraged, I called Mom and Dad for advice. There I was, explaining to them how unfortunate it was that my rural culture was misrepresented, taken for granted and misunderstood by the urban majority. But not by me. I identify with rural folks. They represent me, my family and my neighbors. I understand these people, can relate to their problems and empathize with their situations. 

   They deserve a doctor who recognizes the challenges they face and can appreciate the sacrifices they make. And just like that, I realized I had finally found my calling.

Aniesa Slack is a second-year medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and was recently accepted into the Rural Track Program, where she will continue her clerkship rotations in a rural setting. She joined the National Rural Health Association in 2010.