• Stormont Vail Launches New Cardiac Procedure to Reduce Stroke Risk

    Monday October 9, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is the first in the area using a new device called the Watchman, a first-of-its-kind, minimally invasive, local solution for stroke risk reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation.

    “The Watchman device is a permanent implant designed to close off the left atrial appendage so blood clots can’t form there and escape to cause a stroke,” said cardiac electrophysiologist Alap Shah, M.D. “It is proven to lower the risk of stroke and long-term bleeding in patients with atrial fibrillation.”

    Topeka is one of only five hospitals in Kansas who are currently offering the Watchman to its patients.  

    Sandy Snovell is one of the first patients to have had the procedure performed at Stormont Vail Hospital. Snovell had lived with atrial fibrillation for eight years with a history of blood clots.

    “The biggest reasons for me to have the procedure done were that it would lower my risk of stroke and blood clots, and that I wouldn’t have to go through the monthly blood draws,” said Snovell. “I was only in the hospital for one night, and was feeling great by the next day.”

    Snovell no longer has to take her blood thinner medication and for her, this was great news.

    “I was taking eight medications every day,” said Snovell. “If I can stop taking a few of these, that will make me a happy woman.”

    The Watchman is a permanent implant, the size of a quarter, made of light and compact materials commonly used in other medical implants. Open-heart surgery is not required. The procedure is performed in a lab under general anesthesia in less than an hour. Patients come back after 45 days for a follow-up appointment to evaluate the device’s efficacy.

    The Watchman is ideal for patients whose atrial fibrillation is not caused by heart valve problems and who have experienced major bleeding while taking blood thinners or those who have a lifestyle, job or health condition that puts them at risk for major bleeding.

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  • Foundation Supports Nursing Education

    Wednesday October 4, 2017

     The Stormont Vail Foundation was pleased to fund nursing scholarships totaling $81,350 for 93 students at the Baker University School of Nursing, Stormont Vail Campus, for the Fall 2017 semester.  Congratulations to the following nursing students who were awarded scholarship assistance.


    Avis Van Lew Nursing Scholarship

    Aidan Allen, Soldier, KS

    Cassandra Long, Harrisonville, MO


    June D. Billingham Nursing Scholarship

    Andrea Barton, Manhattan, KS

    Maren Dannenberg, Wichita, KS

    Morgan Koelzer, Silver Lake, KS


    Blanche Bryden Nursing Scholarship

    Jordyn Beck, Topeka, KS

    Laura Gonzales, Topeka, KS


    Caring Hearts Nursing Scholarship

    Katherine Kelly, Lawrence, KS


    Carol Perry-Lumb Nursing Scholarship

    Chelsea Peuser, Bucyrus, KS

    Corey True, Beloit, KS


    Carson Family Nursing Scholarship

    Katherine Kelly, Lawrence, KS

    Caitlin Shields, Oberlin, KS


    Christ’s Wolff Nursing Scholarship

    Jessica Abendroth, Carbondale, KS

    Aiyat Abuanga, Kansas City, KS

    Cody Barger, Hoyt, KS

    Ryan Debus, Meriden, KS

    Taylor Dunagan, Tucson, AZ

    Abbigail Eisenhut, Topeka, KS

    Baleigh Haag, Wichita, KS

    Helen Hawkins, Lawrence, KS

    Morgan Hofmeister, Overland Park, KS

    Christ’s Wolff Nursing Scholarship (cont.)

    Katelynn Hoobler, Horton, KS

    Allissa Houchin, Gypsum, KS

    Alyssa Hurla, Paxico, KS

    Lakisha Irwin, Raytown, MO

    Taylor Knoth, Salina, KS

    Amanda Lasswell, St. Marys, KS

    Megan Lee, Topeka, KS

    Krysten Lile-Brown, Lawrence, KS

    Cambry Lynch, Lawrence, KS

    Chelsey Mann, St. Joseph, MO

    Kaitlin McAlister, Perry, KS

    Tanner Mihesuah, Flagstaff, AZ

    Jamesha Murry, Lawrence, KS

    Breanna Nutt, Dennis, KS

    Riley Obetz, Overland Park, KS

    Dylan Price, Wellsville, KS

    Heidi Prockish, Westmoreland, KS

    Cheyenne Ratner, Topeka, KS

    Erica Ray, Topeka, KS
    Katie Ridgeway, Topeka, KS

    Natalie Romo, Overland Park, KS

    Jacey Rottinghaus, Seneca, KS

    Andrea Schmeissner, Valley Falls, KS

    Grace Sexton, Abilene, KS

    Whitney Silkey, Tecumseh, KS

    Bailey Snyder, Manhattan, KS

    Hailey Stapleton, Topeka, KS

    Erinn Steere, Topeka, KS

    Jodi Stegman-Mullins, Topeka, KS

    Taylor Stoever, Wimberley, TX

    Ruth Story, Lawrence, KS

    Susan Stromgren, Scranton, KS

    Jeris Thomas, Topeka, KS

    Molly Thomas, Lawrence, KS

    Haley Thompson, Rogers, AR

    Tori Tomlinson, Osage City, KS

    Lisa Tran, Wichita, KS

    Corey True, Beloit, KS

    Samantha Twenhafel, Nortonville, KS

    Brianna Vann, Valley Center, KS

    Rose Wahlmeier, Burlington, KS

    Sydney Wedel, Minneapolis, KS

    Chase Winter, Augusta, KS


    Conkling-Hussey Nursing Scholarship

    Darby Soloman, Englewood, CO

    Raymond Whitaker, Perry, KS


    Cotton O’Neil Clinic 20th Anniversary Nursing Scholarship

    Darby Soloman, Englewood, CO


    Dean Kathleen L. Harr Nursing Scholarship

    Sarah Fugate, Overland Park, KS

    Lindsey Unrein, Shawnee, KS

    Emery A. Dains Nursing Scholarship

    Sarah Fugate, Overland Park, KS


    Wilma M. Dains Nursing Scholarship

    Alisa Becker, McPherson, KS

    Rhianna Becker, Sabetha, KS

    Emily Brent, Topeka, KS

    Jamie Crockett, Merrillville, IN

    Cassidy Eisenbarth, Baileyville, KS

    Addison Ellis, Lawrence, KS

    Tara Folsom, Lawrence, KS

    Mary Allyson Fry, De Kalb, MO

    Lexus Gower, Topeka, KS


    Gault-Hussey Nursing Scholarship

    Lili Gagin, Grayslake, IL

    Hannah Green, Ottawa, KS

    Catherine Gronniger, Topeka, KS

    Caroline Gustafson, Overland Park, KS

    Whitney Silkey, Tecumseh, KS


    Klemmer Endowed Nursing Scholarship

    LaTasha Scales, Hutchinson, KS

    Hailey Stapleton, Topeka, KS


    Lawrence Gabel Nursing Scholarship

    Nicole Haug, Baileyville, KS


    Marjorie Groll Nursing Scholarship

    Nicole Haug, Baileyville, KS

    Mikayla Henderson, Carbondale, KS

    Ezekiel Kramer, Bancroft, KS

    Grayson Manley, Topeka, KS


    Dr. Charles S. & Doris F. Joss Nursing Scholarship

    Mikayla Lady, Topeka, KS

    Mitchell Lierz, Sabetha, KS

    Shannon Maxwell, Auburn, KS

    Chloe McMahon, Lenexa, KS


    Kohls Family Nursing Scholarship

    McKenzie Hartzog, Wichita, KS

    Josh Horton, Topeka, KS


    Mary B. Storey Medcalf Nursing Scholarship

    McKenzie Hartzog, Wichita, KS


    Schane/Winans Nursing Scholarship

    Chloe McMahon, Lenexa, KS

    Jonathan Nye, Topeka, KS


    Security Benefit Group Nursing Scholarship

    Allissa Houchin, Gypsum, KS

    Grayson Manley, Topeka, KS

    Casey Pierron, Topeka, KS

    Stormont Vail Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship

    Josh Horton, Topeka, KS

    Roxana Modarres, Lawrence, KS


    Stormont Vail Foundation Nursing Scholarship

    Breanna Nutt, Dennis, KS

    Jonathan Nye, Topeka, KS


    Woman’s Club Nursing Scholarship

    Casey Pierron, Topeka, KS


    30th Anniversary Nursing Scholarship

    Cambry Lynch, Lawrence, KS

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  • Cotton O’Neil Announces Annual Flu Shot Clinics

    Friday September 29, 2017

    Cotton O’Neil, a division of Stormont Vail Health, has scheduled many opportunities for the public and Cotton O’Neil patients to obtain a flu shot. Here is a list of all the flu shot clinics.

    Public Walk-In Flu Clinics will be held at Cotton O’Neil Express Care Noto, Cotton O’Neil Express Care North and Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cotton O’Neil Express Care North and Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown will also host public walk-in flu clinics on the weekends from noon to 3 p.m.

    Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and 24. Cotton O’Neil patients 19 years of age and older should go to the Stormont Vail Surgery parking, located at the corner of 10th and Garfield Ave. for their vaccination.

    Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic at Cotton O’Neil Pediatrics Gage will be held Thursday, Oct. 12 and Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Wednesday Oct. 18 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. These flu shot clinics are for Cotton O’Neil patients ages 6 months and older. Vaccines For Children (VFC) patients are also welcome to attend this clinic. Cotton O’Neil Pediatrics Gage is located at 4100 S.W. 15th St.

    Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic at the HealthWise Clinic will be held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in October 2017, from 8 a.m. to noon. These flu shot clinics are for Cotton O’Neil patients ages 6 months and older. The HealthWise Clinic is located in the Stormont Vail Retail Pharmacy building, 2252 S.W. 10th Ave.

    The seasonal flu vaccine is especially important for pregnant women, people 65 years of age and older, and others with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. People with chronic illnesses may have an increased chance of developing pneumonia as a result of getting the flu. Those who may have close contact with high-risk individuals including infants should also be vaccinated. That might include: adults or children living with or caring for people at high-risk of developing complications.

    Consent forms in English and Spanish are available at www.stormontvail.org/flu and may be completed and brought to the seasonal flu shot clinic to save time.

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  • Douglas Rose, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Quality Officer Announces Retirement

    Thursday September 28, 2017

    Douglas Rose, M.D., vice president and chief medical quality officer and medical director of Population Health, has announced his intention to retire from Stormont Vail Health on Jan. 13, 2018.

    Dr. Rose has been with the organization for 23 years, serving as an Emergency Department physician and then medical director of the Emergency Department before taking on his current role.

    He has earned numerous external awards for quality and safety, and was elected chair of the Kansas Hospital Association's Council on Quality and Patient Safety in 2013.

    Dr. Rose has worked diligently on helping develop a culture of high performance grounded in teamwork and the scientific method. During his tenure, the Emergency Department has been redesigned and transformed into a welcoming front door to the hospital.

    He has also worked on numerous quality improvement initiatives, including Patient Safety First, Lean process improvement, Clinical Documentation Improvement and the Mayo Clinic Care Network Colorectal Surgery Enhanced Recovery collaborative.

    Dr. Rose will be moving to DeKalb, Illinois, where his wife has accepted the position of president of Northern Illinois University. He plans to spend his time boating, hiking, traveling and supporting his wife’s role in the university.

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  • Family Medicine Physician Bhavika Patel, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Garfield

    Monday September 25, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Bhavika Patel, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as a family medicine physician. Her practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Garfield, 901 S.W. Garfield, in Topeka.

    Improving the health of her patients and the overall health care system drives Dr. Patel’s passion for her work.

    “My father taught me to always leave things better than I found them,” Dr. Patel said. “I strive to do that with the health care industry, and I love to help my patients reach their potential by keeping them healthy and out in the world, doing what they love.”

    Dr. Patel received her medical degree at the American University of Antigua, Coolidge, Antigua, in 2013. She completed a family medicine residency at University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 2016. She is currently pursuing a master’s in healthcare delivery science at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

    Dr. Patel builds on the strength of her clients, helps them work on their weaknesses and strives to create a support network to help her patients reach their health goals.

    She enjoys the arts and being outdoors. She loves music and wants to learn how to play the bass guitar. She has an eclectic taste, but draws the line at horror movies.

    Dr. Patel is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (785) 354-9591.

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation to host 17th Annual Golf Tournament

    Thursday September 14, 2017

    The Stormont Vail Foundation will host its 17th annual BIG HEARTS for little hearts Golf Tournament on Monday, Sept. 18, at Topeka Country Club. The tournament has already raised more than $212,000 in sponsorships, gifts and registrations.

    The golf tournament will have an 8 a.m. morning flight and 12:30 p.m. afternoon flight, with a dinner and awards ceremony following the tournament.

    Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Stormont Vail Foundation Children’s Endowment Fund. This fund supports important services and programs that are dedicated to children at Stormont Vail Health including the mother and infant services: Level III Stormont Vail Neonatal Intensive Care, Stormont Vail Birthplace and Stormont Vail Breastfeeding Center. The Fund also provides support for pediatric services including the Stormont Vail Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Stormont Vail Pediatrics, as well as pediatric services with Stormont Vail Behavioral Health, Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center and Cotton O’Neil Diabetes & Endocrinology Center.

    This year’s honorary tournament chairs are Shawn and Olga Smith. The presenting sponsor is the Hospital Assistance Program with Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer and Lockton Companies serving as co-title sponsors.

    “The quality of care for children in our area is amplified by the generous support we receive from our sponsors, golfers and volunteers,” said Tina Long, Stormont Vail Foundation development officer. “We are thankful for their faithful support throughout the years as well as the excitement and generous giving we have seen from new partners.”

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  • Palliative Medicine Physician Brandy L. Ficek, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Mulvane

    Monday September 11, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Brandy L. Ficek, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as a palliative medicine physician. Her practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Mulvane, 823 Mulvane, in Topeka.

    Ficek says the differences between palliative medicine and hospice care are often misunderstood.  Although both are focused on providing symptom management and support for patients with serious illnesses, palliative medicine doctors care for patients throughout the entire trajectory of their illness – both during and after traditional treatments.

    “I enjoy being able to care for patients throughout every stage in their illness,” said Dr. Ficek.  “As a part of their healthcare team, I’m committed to helping them make positive changes in their lives and the lives of their family members.”       

    Dr. Ficek received her medical degree at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, in 2008 and completed a family medicine residency at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2011. She completed a faculty development fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and then completed a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, both in Phoenix, Arizona. She received Phoenix Magazine’s “2016 Top Doctor” award.

     Dr. Ficek was raised with the mindset of using whatever talents you have to help others. She is committed to building close relationships with her patients, often spending extra time to get to know them and their families. She enjoys an active lifestyle, dedicating some of her free time to running, hiking, traveling and reading.

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