Showing all Releases for 2014

  • ACOs Moving Ahead – 89 New Accountable Care Organizations Join Program to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries

    Tuesday December 23, 2014

    Cotton O’Neil ACO has been selected as one of 89 new Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), providing approximately 1.6 million additional Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today. That brings the total to 405 Shared Savings Program ACOs serving over 7.2 million beneficiaries.      

    Doctors, hospitals and health care providers establish ACOs in order to work together to provide higher-quality coordinated care to their patients, while helping to slow health care cost growth. Cotton O’Neil ACO will be one of 405 ACOs participating in the Shared Savings Program as of this January 1st.  Beneficiaries seeing health care providers in ACOs always have the freedom to choose doctors inside or outside of the ACO.

    ACOs share with Medicare savings generated from lowering the growth in health care costs when they meet standards for high quality care. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that work together to give Medicare beneficiaries in Original Medicare (fee-for-service) high quality, coordinated care. ACOs can share in any savings they generate for Medicare, if they meet specified quality targets. 

    “Cotton O’Neil ACO will be joining a program that is one part of this Administration’s vision for improving the coordination and integration of care received by Medicare beneficiaries”, said Sean Cavanaugh, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare. “We look forward to continuing this partnership with Cotton O’Neil ACO in increasing value and care coordination across the health system.”

    Since ACOs first began participating in the program in early 2012, thousands of health care providers have signed on to participate in the program, working together to provide better care to Medicare’s seniors and people with disabilities. The 89 new ACOs will bring approximately 23,000 additional physicians and other providers into the ACO program starting January 1.

    ACOs are starting to see promising results. This fall, CMS released the early findings from the ACOs who started the program in 2012. ACOs improved on 30 of the 33 quality measures in the first 2 years, including patients’ ratings of clinicians’ communication, beneficiaries’ rating of their doctors, and screening for high blood pressure. ACOs also outperformed group practices reporting quality on 17 out of 22 measures.  ACOs are also demonstrating promising results on cost savings with combined total program savings of $417 million for the Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer ACO Model. 

     While CMS is encouraged by what they have seen so far, they also understand there are opportunities to improve the program to make it stronger. Earlier this month, they published a proposed rule to update the guidelines for the program. CMS is looking forward to receiving comments from ACOs, beneficiaries, and their advocates, providers, and other stakeholders interested in seeing the ACOs succeed long-term.

    ACOs are also just one way that CMS is working to reduce the rate of growth in Medicare spending while improving care. Medicare spending per beneficiary was essentially flat in nominal dollars in fiscal year 2014, and from 2010 to 2014, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at a rate that was 2 percentage points per year less than growth in GDP per capita. While the recent slow cost growth has multiple causes, our reforms in the Medicare and Medicaid programs are meaningful contributors to these gains and are improving quality as well.  Preliminary data for 2013, for example, indicates improvements in patient safety has resulted in 50,000 fewer deaths, 1.3 million fewer patient harms, and $12 billion in avoided health care spending.  Recent research implies that many of these reforms may be generating savings in the private sector as well. 

    Ultimately, today’s announcement is about delivering better care, spending dollars more wisely, and having healthier people and communities. ACOs drive progress in the way care is provided by improving the coordination and integration of health care, and improving the health of patients with a priority placed on prevention and wellness.

    More information about the Shared Savings Program is available at:

    For a list of the 89 new ACOs announced today, visit:

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation Receives Recognition Grant from Kansas Health Foundation for Care Line Patient Assistance

    Thursday December 4, 2014

    The Stormont Vail Foundation has been awarded a recognition grant of $25,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation to fund the Care Line Family Service program. The program provides assistance to families while their children are receiving medical treatment or hospitalization. Assistance may be in the form of temporary lodging, transportation assistance or meal vouchers.

    The Kansas Health Foundation is a private philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Health Foundation, visit

    The Care Line support often enables family members to stay with or travel between home or work and the hospital while their child is receiving treatment. Care Line support in the Families Services category is expected to see increases in the coming year. This is due to the continued growth of pediatric services at Stormont Vail HealthCare. Stormont Vail operates the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care in the region and has expanded its pediatric specialty areas in hematology/oncology, endocrinology and cardiology, as well as a Maternal Fetal Medicine program. Stormont Vail has a pediatrics intensive care unit in addition to the pediatrics unit and a young adult unit for patients needing hospitalization.

    Additionally, Stormont Vail is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, which provides the expertise of Mayo Clinic doctors through consultations with Stormont Vail physicians - minimizing disruptions in school, activities, work, and family life when a child needs care.

    The focus on pediatrics at Stormont Vail means Kansas children and families can stay closer to home for medical care, increasing the need for Care Line resources.

    For more information or to learn how you can make a donation to the
    Stormont Vail Foundation or volunteer, please visit or call (785) 354-6851.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ Recognition from The Joint Commission

    Tuesday November 25, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare has been recognized as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. Stormont Vail was recognized as part of The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. Stormont Vail is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

    The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. This is the second year Stormont Vail has been recognized as a Top Performer for its performance on accountability measure data for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. It is one of only of 712 hospitals to achieve the Top Performer distinction for the past two consecutive years.

    To be a 2013 Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

    • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
    • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; and
    • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and within each measure set, all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above. 

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  • Stormont Vail Nurses Receive Nurse of the Year Awards

    Wednesday November 12, 2014

    Three Stormont Vail HealthCare staff members were named winners in the 2014 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Awards - Greater Kansas Chapter, and eight others were honored as finalists. The awards were presented at a gala Nov. 7 in Kansas City, Mo.

    Stormont Vail winners and the categories they received recognition in are Carrie Browning, RN, BSN, Case Management; Brooke Shumaker, RN, BSN, MSN, CNL-C, Emergency/Transport; and Libby Rosen, RN, PhD, IBCLC, School of Nursing Educator.

    "These awards are significant," said Carol Perry, RN, BSN, MSM, FACHE, vice president and chief nursing officer at Stormont Vail. "They honor distinguished nurses at Stormont Vail and across the region. Not only do they showcase the high quality care that the Stormont Vail nursing staff provides to our patients and the community, they recognize the individual accomplishments of these nurses."

    The Nurse of the Year Awards event recognizes exceptional nurses from across Kansas and the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Nurses play a vital role in our society and are the unsung heroes of the health care provider community.

    Stormont Vail finalists were Natalie Waetzig, RN, Case Management; Dianne Davis, RN, Case Management; Tiffany Horsley, RN, Infection Prevention and Control; Kathleen Payne, RN, Neonatology; Dana Jones, RN, Nursing Informatics; Robin Holthaus, RN, Oncology; Ursula Beuchat, RN, Pediatric; and Alison Wilson, RN, Public Health / Ambulatory Care.

    Earlier this year, Stormont Vail HealthCare achieved Magnet redesignation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence. Stormont Vail is one of two health care organizations in the state of Kansas to have that designation and first received it in 2009.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Physicians Remember Colleagues

    Tuesday October 14, 2014

    Three physicians at Stormont Vail HealthCare will be available to speak with news media representatives at 2:30 p.m. today (Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014) about two of their colleagues who were among the three people killed in a small plane crash Sunday night in suburban Chicago.

    Tausif Rehman, M.D., Cotton O’Neil neurosurgeon, and Ali A. Kanchwala, M.D., Cotton O’Neil pulmonologist, and Dr. Kanchwala’s wife, Maria Javaid, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, were aboard a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron when it crashed in a vacant lot in a Palos Hills neighborhood.

    Available to speak today about these physicians are Dr. Kent Palmberg, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Dr. Matthew Wills, neurosurgeon, and Dr. Shawn Magee, pulmonologist.

    If you would like to attend or call in by phone, please contact Nancy Burkhardt, director of Marketing, at or cell phone (785) 224-6690.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Mourns Loss of Physicians in Plane Crash

    Monday October 13, 2014

    Two Stormont Vail HealthCare physicians were among three people killed in a small plane crash Sunday night in suburban Chicago. The third person, also a physician, was the wife of one of the Stormont Vail physicians.

    Tausif Rehman, M.D., Cotton O’Neil neurosurgeon, and Ali A. Kanchwala, M.D., Cotton O’Neil pulmonologist, and Dr. Kanchwala’s wife, Maria Javaid, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, were aboard a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron when it crashed in a vacant lot in a Palos Hills neighborhood. The plane was returning to Lawrence, Kan., when the crash occurred shortly after takeoff from Chicago Midway Airport.

    “Dr. Rehman and Dr. Kanchwala were extremely valued, highly skilled and beloved members of our staff,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Stormont Vail HealthCare. “We are heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these individuals and the staff who worked closely with them. These physicians were deeply committed to their patients and to bringing the best of care to our community. We also extend our deepest sympathies to the Providence Medical Center staff for the loss of Dr. Javaid.”

    Dr. Rehman joined Stormont Vail in February 2013. Dr. Rehman received his medical degree from Aga Khan University, Pakistan, in 2002.  He participated as a research assistant at Aga Khan University Department of Neurosciences following his medical degree. He completed an internship in general surgery at Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 2005. He then completed an additional year of training in general surgery at Weil Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, in 2006. In 2006, he began a residency in neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M., which he completed in 2011, along with an infolded fellowship in Neuroradiology. Dr. Rehman was a member of the Congress of Neurosurgeons and the American Association of Neurosurgeons.


    Dr. Kanchwala was a pulmonologist and medical intensivist and joined Stormont Vail HealthCare in August 2010. He received his medical degree from DOW University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, in 2000. He completed his residency in internal medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y., in 2007. He completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and sleep medicine in 2010 at East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, N.C. Dr. Kanchwala was a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the American Thoracic Society.



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  • Miguel Tsukayama-Oda Joins Cotton-O’Neil Clinic Pulmonary Medicine

    Thursday September 11, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare and Cotton O’Neil Clinic welcome the addition of Miguel Tsukayama-Oda, M.D., to the pulmonology medical sub-specialty at Cotton O’Neil Clinic. Dr. Tsukayama Oda joins fellow pulmonologists Shawn Magee, M.D., Vlad Dimitriu, M.D. Ali Kanchwala, M.D. and Salah Najm, M.D. at 823 S.W. Mulvane in Topeka. He is currently accepting new patients by physician referral.

    Dr. Tsukayama-Oda received his medical degree from San Martin de Porres University School of Medicine, Lima, Peru, in 2004. After relocating to the United States, he completed a residency in internal medicine followed by a fellowship in geriatric medicine at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York City, in 2011. He completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine in 2014.

    He is board certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and pulmonary disease and is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society.

    For more information about this new Cotton O’Neil Clinic pulmonologist, visit or call Stormont Vail Health Connections at (785) 354-5225.

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation receives grant from Capitol Federal® Foundation to provide tools for newborn nutrition management system

    Monday September 8, 2014

    The Stormont Vail Foundation has been awarded a grant of $50,250 from the Capitol Federal® Foundation for a bar code system in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These tools for the newborn nutritional management are critically important for the health of newborns.

    The proprietary software will interface with the patient’s medical record and provide tracking of breast milk, donor milk and formula. Using a unique bar code, the system ensures infants receive the correct feeding product, tracks the inventory for expiration dates, does inventory management for quantity and provides processing management for fortified milk. The system includes texting capability to keep the mother engaged and informed about milk inventories for her child.

    Stormont Vail has always promoted and supported mothers who are able to breastfeed their babies. An extensive stay for the child in the NIC often makes breastfeeding a challenge since mother and baby may be in different locations.

    For mothers who are not able to initiate or continue breastfeeding, Stormont Vail has implemented the use of donor human “banked” milk as an alternative. On rare occasions, babies are provided formula with additional supplements. By increasing the opportunity for human milk feedings, there is a reduction in neonates developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) which is a serious intestinal disease affecting premature infants that can be life threatening.

    At Stormont Vail, 85 percent of all babies in the NIC are fed mother’s milk. Last year, 480 infants were cared for in the Stormont Vail NIC. Stormont Vail became the sixth and largest hospital in the state of Kansas to be designated a “High 5 for Mom and Baby” hospital in August. High 5 promotes the adoption of five evidence-based maternity care practices that support breastfeeding success.

    Stormont Vail is one of only three health care organizations in Kansas with a neonatal intensive care unit to care for babies with the most serious health needs. Stormont Vail has been providing neonatal intensive care services since 1984 and moved into its current location in 2005, with the increased capacity to care for 35 babies.  In 2013, Stormont Vail and St. Francis Health began collaborating on pediatrics and neonatal services to better serve the community and region. The result is more children and babies are able to receive the appropriate level of care in the community without being transferred to Kansas City. That decreases stress levels for families.

    The Stormont Vail Neonatal Intensive Care (NIC) is Joint Commission Disease Specific Certified in Prematurity. It also received the 2014 PRC National Excellence in Healthcare 5-Star Award, which is given to health care facilities and providers scoring in the top 10 percent of the Professional Research Consultants’ national client database. The award is based on the percentage of patients who give a rating of “Excellent” for overall quality of care.

    For more information or to learn how you can make a donation to the
    Stormont Vail Foundation or volunteer, please visit or call (785) 354-6851. 

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  • Stormont Vail to Break Ground for New Orthopedic Surgeons, Single Day Surgery and Outpatient Therapy Building

    Tuesday August 26, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare has officially broken ground for the new home for orthopedic surgeons, single day surgery and outpatient therapy services. The building will be located at 2601 S.W. East Circle Drive North in Topeka. The new building will be the home for eight Stormont Vail orthopedic surgeons, which includes: John Gilbert, M.D., Peter Lepse, M.D., Mike McCoy, M.D., Joseph Mumford, M.D., Bradley Poole, M.D., Michael Smith, M.D., Brett Wallace, M.D., and
    Brian Wilson, M.D.

    The three-story building will be 87,657 square feet of space. The first floor will house Stormont Vail Outpatient Surgery. The second floor will house Occupational & Speech Therapy services. Orthopedic surgeons and mid-level providers will be located on the third floor of the building as well as two digital X-ray rooms. 

    The new building is scheduled to be completed late in 2015. Architectural design is provided by HMN Architects, Inc. The general contractor is Murray Company. All sub-contractors are local.

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  • Stormont-­Vail HealthCare Receives American College of Cardiology Award for Higher Standard of Care for Heart Attack Patients

    Tuesday August 19, 2014

    NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum award recognizes high standards

    Stormont-­‐Vail HealthCare has received the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2014. Stormont-­‐Vail is one of only 256 hospitals nationwide to receive the honor. This is the third consecutive year that Stormont-­‐Vail has received this recognition.

    The award recognizes Stormont-­‐Vail’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that Stormont-­‐Vail has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

    To receive the ACTION Registry–GWTG Platinum Performance Achievement Award, Stormont-­‐Vail consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry–GWTG Premier for eight consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90 percent for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

    “The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association commend Stormont-­‐Vail for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols. The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline-­‐recommended therapy is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients,” said James Jollis, M.D., FACC, ACTION Registry-­‐GWTG Chair and Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Duke University Hospital.

    The Center for Disease Control estimates that over 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

    “This award is a proud achievement for Stormont-­‐Vail. It reflects the hard work and dedication of the staff who care for some of our most seriously ill patients and their families,” said Joe Hopeck, administrative director for the cardiovascular service line at Stormont-­‐Vail HealthCare. “The implementation of these guidelines requires successful coordination of the cardiovascular team and emergency personnel and is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients.” 

    ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. ACTION Registry-­‐GWTG empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-­‐based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-­‐risk heart attack patients.

    The American College of Cardiology is a 47,000-­‐member medical society that serves as the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care. It also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit

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  • Bilal Khan, M.D., Allergy, Asthma, Immunology Specialist Now Accepting New Patients at Cotton-O’Neil Clinic

    Wednesday August 13, 2014

    Cotton O’Neil Clinic, a division of Stormont Vail HealthCare, announces the addition of Bilal Khan, M.D. Dr. Khan joins Dr. Allen Kossoy at the allergy, asthma, immunology practice located at 901 S.W. Garfield in Topeka.

    Dr. Khan received his medical degree at University of Punjab, Pakistan, in 2002. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tenn., in 2008. He completed a fellowship in Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in Birmingham, Ala., in 2010. He went on to complete a second fellowship in allergy and immunology at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre, Jackson, Miss., in 2012.

    Dr. Khan is board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology. He is a member of the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology.

    Dr. Khan is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment speak with your physician or call (785) 354-9591. 

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  • Kellie Bartlow, D.O., Sports Medicine Specialist, Now Accepting New Patients at Cotton-O’Neil Clinic

    Tuesday July 22, 2014

    Cotton‐O’Neil Clinic, a division of Stormont‐Vail HealthCare, announces the addition of Kellie Bartlow, D.O., a sports medicine specialist.

    A native of Meriden, Kan., Dr. Bartlow received her osteopathic medical degree at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Mo., in 2009. She completed a family medicine residency at University of Missouri–Kansas City, in 2013. She completed a fellowship in primary care sports medicine at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, in 2014. She has clinical interests in non‐surgical orthopedics and sports medicine services for adults and children including, acute and overuse injuries, concussions and sports physicals.

    Dr. Bartlow is a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    Dr. Bartlow is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Cotton O’Neil Clinic at (785) 354-9591.

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  • Naziya Tahseen, M.D., Pediatric Endocrinologist, Joins Cotton-O’Neil Clinic Diabetes and Endocrinology Center

    Tuesday July 15, 2014

    Cotton O’Neil Clinic, a division of Stormont Vail HealthCare, announces the addition of Naziya Tahseen, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist. Dr. Tahseen is currently accepting new patients by physician referral.
    Dr. Tahseen received her bachelor of medicine and surgery at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, India, in 2005. She received her medical degree at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2011. She went on to complete a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics, Kansas City, in 2014. She has clinical interests in insulin resistance and the treatment of delayed puberty and disorders of calcium metabolism.
    Dr. Tahseen is currently accepting new patients by physician referral. To learn more about this physician call, (785) 354-9591.

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  • Stephen Eichert, DO, FACOS, Neurological Surgeon, Joins Cotton-O’Neil Clinic

    Tuesday June 24, 2014

    Cotton‐O’Neil Clinic, a division of Stormont‐Vail HealthCare, announce the addition of Stephen Eichert, DO, FACOS, neurological surgeon. Dr. Eichert is currently accepting new patients.

    Most recently Dr. Eichert has been affiliated with Miami Valley Hospital/Good Samaritan Hospital, in Dayton, Ohio. He has clinical interests in general neurosurgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

    Dr. Eichert received his osteopathic medicine degree Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, in 1981. He completed a rotating residency at Botsford General Hospital, in Detroit, in 1982. He completed a general surgery residency at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital/Bi‐County Hospital, Detroit, in 1983. He completed a neurology residency at Oakland General Hospital, Madison Heights, Mich., in 1984. He went on to complete a neurological surgery residency at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital/Bi‐County/Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, in 1989.

    He is now accepting new patients for his neurological surgery practice at Cotton‐O’Neil Clinic. To schedule an appointment, speak with your primary care physician.


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  • Melissa Herrman, M.D., Family Medicine Physician Now Accepting New Patients at Cotton-O’Neil Clinic

    Wednesday June 18, 2014

    Cotton‐O’Neil Clinic, a division of Stormont‐Vail HealthCare, announces the addition of Melissa Herrman, M.D., to the family medicine group at 901 S.W. Garfield Ave., in Topeka. She is currently accepting new patients.

    Most recently practicing at Family Health Center of Morris County, Council Grove, Kan., Dr. Herrman received her medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, in 2004. She completed a family medicine residency at Cox Family Medicine Residency, Cox Health Systems, in Springfield, Mo., in 2007. She is currently board certified in family medicine.

    Dr. Herrman is a Diplomat of the American Family Medicine Board. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians and the Kansas Medical Society.

    Dr. Herrman is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Stormont‐Vail Health Connections at (785) 354‐5225.

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  • 2014 Excellence in Nursing Awards

    Tuesday May 20, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare held its 7th Annual Excellence in Nursing Awards on May 8, in the Pozez Education Center Auditorium. This year there are 18 patient care staff members that were nominated and selected to receive an Excellence in Nursing Award. “These individuals represent different clinical specialties, but have in common careers that combine professional knowledge with human caring,” said Carol Perry, BSN, MSM, FACHE, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. “They exemplify the image of nursing by acting as role models, acquiring and incorporating new learning in their practice environment, demonstrating strong leadership and interpersonal skills, inspiring others through their service as mentors and preceptors, and promoting diversity in the workplace.

    Award honorees were nominated by physicians, nurses, colleagues, mentors and friends who took the opportunity to recognize those who continually strive for and contribute to the professionalism of patient care.

    The honorees include:

    • Gina Geis, RN, Excellence in Nursing Practice
    • Sharon Reed, RN, Excellence in Nursing Practice
    • Alison Wilson, RN, Excellence in Nursing Leadership
    • Ursula Beuchat, RN, Excellence in Nursing Mentorship
    • Tisha Schmidt, RN, Excellence in Nursing Mentorship
    • Karen Burns-Reynolds, RN, Excellence in Nursing Preceptorship
    • LaDonna Andritsch, RN, Excellence in Nursing Research
    • Dana Jones, RN, Excellence in Nursing Research
    • Rebecca Rocha, LPN, Excellence in Licensed Practical Nursing
    • Staci Thompson, LPN, Excellence in Licensed Practical Nursing
    • Nicole Brandenburgh, PCT, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Curtis Johnson, Surgical Tech, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Jerry Martens, LMHT, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Kaytee Winsor, PCT, Excellence in Patient Care
    • Brooke Shumaker, RN, Distinguished Community Service Award
    • Ashley Berroth, RN, Rising Star
    • Tony Zoucha, RN, Rising Star


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  • Dean Harr to Retire After 17 Years as Dean of the Baker School of Nursing

    Monday May 19, 2014

    A retirement reception to honor Dean Kathleen Harr will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 20, in the Stormont Vail HealthCare’s Pozez Education Center.

    For 17 years as Dean of the Baker School of Nursing, Kathy Harr has overseen remarkable growth in the program that has doubled in enrollment since 1998 when Baker had 86 students at the Stormont Vail HealthCare facility. Baker set a program record for total enrollment with 175 students for the fall 2013 semester.

    “It has been a joy to be a part of growing the program beyond what we thought was possible,” said Harr. She lauded the efforts of the administration teams past and present from Baker University and Stormont Vail HealthCare.

    “All have been role models and mentors,” said Harr. “Their wise counsel has been appreciated over the years and their support of the school a key to our success.”

    Harr’s first day at Baker was Sept. 29, 1997. She has announced her retirement, which will be Sept. 30, 2014 – almost 17 years to the date of when she stared her career.

    Harr shared some reflections on her years at the Baker School of Nursing. Here is what she said she is most proud of:

    • Overseeing the pinning and graduation of 1,126 (80% of all BUSN grads) students, knowing that they were well prepared to be excellent nurses and contributors to society. 
    • Hearing from and talking with graduates about their career successes. What a joy to see those who struggled now excelling as nurse leaders here at Stormont Vail HealthCare and elsewhere.
    • Watching faculty members and students work together to support our local community and the Streams of Hope Clinic in Kenya. Through their efforts, the School of Nursing has a presence at Doorstep, Topeka Rescue Mission, the Lawrence Community Shelter, Marion Clinic, Breakthrough House, Mission Towers and others. Baker outreach has included working with nurse, Ruth Sarna, to assist with physicals for the football team and working the Baldwin Community Health Fair.
    • It has been “awesome” (as Stormont Vail HealthCare’s Chief Nursing Officer Carol Perry would say) to see the professionalization of nursing and the growth and development of nurses at Stormont Vail HealthCare. It has been a huge joy to see this transformation and to be a part of the Magnet Certification and recertification process.  I am extremely proud of Dr. Ruth Ohm for her role in developing the concept of evidence-based practice for the nursing staff at Stormont Vail.
    • Seeing the growth of a true “academic-practice” partnership between the Baker School of Nursing and Stormont Vail.

    “I have been very blessed to have wonderful support from hospital and university administration, my School of Nursing colleagues Assistant Dean, Kay Osinski, and Loanne Martin, all the faculty and staff members who have worked as a team to provide a high-quality learning environment and program,” said Dean Harr. “It truly has been “best of both worlds” and a joy to be a part of two long standing Kansas organizations. I’ve loved knowing that my stewardship was part of a long standing history and tradition."

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  • Annual Cancer Survivors' Day Picnic "Puttin' on the Ritz" for 25th Anniversary Celebration

    Tuesday May 13, 2014

    Today, Americans are leading longer, more productive lives despite having cancer. National Cancer Survivors' Day, celebrated in June, is a way to focus on issues facing cancer survivors and show support for them, their families and the dedicated health professionals involved in their care.

    In an effort to congratulate those who are winning the battle, the American Cancer Society, Stormont Vail HealthCare, St. Francis Health Center and Envista Credit Union will sponsor the annual Cancer Survivors' Day Picnic on Sunday, June 1, at the Agricultural Hall at the Kansas Expocentre. Topeka area cancer survivors and their families are invited to the free celebration. Door open at 5:15 p.m.

    In the early years, the annual event was held in Gage Park, but moved to the Agricultural Hall at the Kansas Expocentre in 2003. For some survivors, it an annual chance to mark their personal milestone at surviving a cancer experience. The event usually draws more than 500 people. 

    At this year's event survivors will get a chance to enjoy the evening with family and friends. Local businesses have donated items to be given away as door prizes the night of the event. Admission is free. Registration begins at 5:15 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6:20 p.m. A survivor is anyone who is a current or past patient with a diagnosis with cancer. You are a survivor regardless of your current status.

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  • Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center Launches Initiative to Increase Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment

    Tuesday May 6, 2014

    The Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center is launching a project to positively impact enrollment into clinical research trials and to ensure all patients have equal access to investigational research treatments. The project, “Evaluating the Impact on Accrual through implementation of an EPIC Electronic Health Record Clinical Trials Alert (CTA),” is designed to utilize electronic health records systems to empower patients to have access to important cancer research. This project is being done in partnership with the University of Kansas NCI-Designated Cancer Center’s Midwest Cancer Alliance.

    While cancer patients are in consultation with their physician, the CTA will match the Stormont Vail cancer research trials to the individual patient’s cancer type and medical history, and alert the provider about the trials for which the patient may be eligible. This electronic system will facilitate a discussion about research options during critical times when providers and patients are making joint decisions about their care.

    The CTA project will launch Wednesday, May 7, 2014. A kick-off to celebrate the launch of the project is being held:

    2 p.m., May 7, 2014
    Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center
    1414 S.W. 8th Ave., Topeka

    Research staff, EPIC staff, KU MCA staff, and co-investigators David Einspahr, M.D., and Mehmood Hashmi, M.D., will attend. Media is invited to attend. Please contact Nancy Burkhardt to arrange for security clearance.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Receives 2014 VHA Excellence Award for Clinical Care

    Tuesday April 29, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare announced today it has received an Excellence Award for Clinical Care from VHA Inc., national health care network. The award recognizes Stormont Vail’s achievement of exceptionally high levels of performance in clinical care when compared to national benchmarks. The award was presented Sunday, April 27 during VHA’s national Navigating to Excellence Forum in Las Vegas. 

    “The VHA Excellence Award for Clinical Care recognizes the excellent care and support services that our staff provides as we work together toward a healthier community,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Stormont Vail HealthCare. “This, along with other recent awards, is a reflection of the great care our staff members strive to provide every day.” 

    To determine the winners of the Clinical Care Award, VHA used cost, length of stay, readmission and clinical outcome data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine an integrated performance score for each of its member hospitals. In addition to scoring above the 90th percentile, as compared to other VHA members, the hospital must also have participated in a VHA improvement program in 2013. Stormont Vail was one of seven acute care hospitals (with more than 250 beds) recognized for excellence. 

    “Hospitals today are focused on improving clinical outcomes, making operations more cost effective and enhancing the patient’s experience,” said Byron Jobe, VHA executive vice president, service and delivery. “VHA’s Clinical Care Award honors institutions who are succeeding in those areas and that are diligently working to identify areas for improvement to deliver even better results and lower costs for the communities they serve. Their spirit and commitment to continuous improvement reflects VHA’s mission, and we are proud to recognize Stormont Vail’s achievements.”

    VHA is a national network serving more than 5,100 health system members and affiliates that work together to achieve new levels of clinical performance and operational efficiency. By recognizing institutions for their commitment and achievements, VHA hopes that other health systems will apply these leading practices in their own organizations to further enhance the overall level of quality in our nation’s health care system.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Honored with Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Care

    Tuesday April 29, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

    Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Stormont Vail HealthCare earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include aggressive use of medications and risk-reduction therapies aimed at reducing death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients.

    Stormont Vail also received the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll for meeting stroke quality measures that reduce the time between hospital arrival and treatment with the clot-buster tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. People who suffer a stroke who receive the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms may recover quicker and are less likely to suffer severe disability.

    “Stormont Vail HealthCare is dedicated to improving the quality of stroke care and The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines–Stroke helps us achieve that goal,” said Frisco Morse, D.O., hospitalist and medical director of the stroke program at Stormont Vail HealthCare. “With this award, our hospital demonstrates our commitment to ensure that our patients receive care based on internationally respected clinical guidelines,” added Morse.

    According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

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  • Stormont Vail Health employees donate $293,404.10 to United Way

    Thursday April 17, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare employees raised $293,404.10 for the United Way 2013 campaign. This is a 2.56 percent increase from the previous year’s campaign and is the second highest amount ever donated by Stormont Vail employees in the organization’s history. 

    Donations were raised during the Stormont Vail annual employee giving campaign in October 2013. 

    “It is a pleasure to recognize the employees of Stormont Vail for their generosity and commitment to the United Way Campaign,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail HealthCare president and chief executive officer. “This level of giving is an indication that our employees live Stormont Vail’s mission of ‘Working together to improve the health of our community’ in partnership with the United Way.”

    Stormont Vail employees were involved in a number of awareness events during October. The events included a cupcake sale, a pizza lunch serving LaRocca’s pizza, and a gift basket contest consisting of 22 baskets donated by various departments within Stormont Vail. 

    The Stormont Vail United Way Committee, under the direction of Christina Kratochvil, Emergency Department quality analyst, organized the events for the United Way campaign 2013.

    Miriam Krehbiel of the United Way of Greater Topeka attended a presentation at Stormont Vail today and accepted the check.


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  • National Healthcare Decisions Day Set for April 16

    Tuesday April 8, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare, along with other national, state and community organizations, is leading an effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). As a participating organization, Stormont Vail HealthCare is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and health care providers, and execute written advance directives (health care power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Kansas state laws.  These resources are available online using the patient/visitor information tab at

    On April 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Stormont Vail HealthCare will have materials available in the North Tower/Main Entrance lobby at the hospital. There will also be an information table set up at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library at that same time with free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms. 

    “As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their health care decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Lisa Johnson, BSN, RN, CPN,Stormont Vail HealthCare.  “Fewer families and health care providers will have to struggle with making difficult health care decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient. Health care providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance health care planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.” 

    For more information about National Healthcare Decision Day, please visit

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  • Stormont Vail Health Announces Collaboration with Mayo Clinic

    Tuesday April 1, 2014

    Stormont Vail HealthCare and Mayo Clinic officials announced today that the Topeka-based health system has become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of like-minded organizations that share a commitment to better serving patients and families. Stormont Vail HealthCare is the first health system in Kansas to join the network.

    “Stormont Vail HealthCare is committed to being a national leader in health care through collaboration and innovation,” said Randy Peterson, president and CEO, Stormont Vail HealthCare. “Working with Mayo Clinic through the Mayo Clinic Care Network offers our physicians yet another resource to help them provide the kind of innovative care that our patients have come to expect from us.”

    Stormont Vail HealthCare specialists now have access to Mayo Clinic resources to enhance patient care, including the latest Mayo-vetted medical information through its AskMayoExpert database and eConsults that connect physicians with Mayo Clinic experts on questions of diagnosis, therapy, or care management. These tools will allow staff at Stormont Vail to continue to improve the quality of health in the community.

    “We have known and respected our colleagues at Stormont Vail for many years, and we are excited to strengthen and grow our collaboration through the Mayo Clinic Care Network,” says David Hayes, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Care Network. “The network is about delivering the right care, at the right place, at the right time. And we believe that by working together more patients will be able to stay closer to home for care.”

    “Stormont Vail HealthCare is home to some of the most accomplished health care professionals in the region and the nation,” said Kent Palmberg, MD, chief medical officer, Stormont Vail HealthCare. “This union of forces means our physicians now have more than 4,000 new colleagues to collaborate with. This collaboration means patients will have access to our specialists and additional Mayo Clinic expertise right here at home.”

    Stormont Vail is an integrated health care system based in Topeka, Kan. The organization employs more than 230 physicians and is comprised of the Stormont Vail Regional Health Center, a 586-bed acute care center, the Cotton O’Neil and PediatricCare clinics and a variety of ancillary services. It has the region’s only Level III neonatal intensive care and trauma center. Stormont Vail recently received redesignation as a Magnet facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2014 after first receiving this recognition for excellence in nursing services in 2009.

    The Mayo Clinic Care Network represents non-ownership relationships. Members of the network remain independent and share a goal of improving the delivery of health care in their communities through high-quality, collaborative medical care. Launched in 2011, the Mayo Clinic Care Network now has members in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as Puerto Rico and Mexico.

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  • Community Skin Cancer Screening April 5

    Thursday March 13, 2014

    A free community skin cancer screening will be provided by Stormont Vail HealthCare in an effort to improve the health of our community. This is an opportunity to have suspicious moles and other spots checked for signs of cancer, and to determine if further analysis is necessary. 

    Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and accounts for half of all cancers in the United States.

    The free skin screening clinic will be 8 a.m. to noon. Saturday, April 5, at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center, 1414 S.W. 8th Ave., Topeka. Appointment is required. Call Health Connections, (785) 354-5225.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Announces Changes to Visitor Entrances

    Monday March 10, 2014

    In an effort to improve safety for patients, visitors and staff, Stormont Vail HealthCare will implement changes to visitor entrances at the hospital. The changes will be effective Monday, March 17, 2014.

    Hospital visitors are encouraged to park in the main parking garage, near 9th and Garfield, and enter through the main entrance, which is open 24-hours-a-day. A photo ID will be required for entry between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

    Beginning March 17, the South Tower and Surgery entrances will open at 5 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. (currently open until 9 p.m.). Also on March 17, the Pozez Education Center entrance will become a staff-only entrance. Visitors attending events in the Pozez Education Center should park in the garage, enter through the main entrance, and follow the signs to the Education Center.

    The South Tower Outpatient Center entrance hours will remain the same, opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. As always, the Emergency Department will continue to be open to patients 24/7.

    “We know this may be a transition for some and apologize for any inconvenience,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail HealthCare President and CEO. “However, safety for all is our number one priority.”

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation Supports Nursing Education

    Monday February 17, 2014

    The Stormont Vail Foundation was pleased to fund nursing scholarships totaling $69,425 for 96 students at the Baker University School of Nursing, Stormont Vail Campus, for the Spring 2014 semester. Congratulations to the following nursing students who were awarded scholarship assistance. 

    Avis Van Lew Nursing Scholarship
    Mackenzie Turner, Lenexa, Kan.; Amanda Rice, Baldwin City, Kan.; Amanda Vickers, Topeka, Kan.

    Blanche Bryden Nursing Scholarship
    Emily Amack, Rossville, Kan.; Alexandra Schlauch, Centralia, Wash.; Amanda Welcher, Lawrence, Kan.

    Carol Perry-Lumb Nursing Scholarship
    Randi Richards, Silver Lake, Kan.

    Carson Family Nursing Scholarship
    Madeline Luther, Olathe, Kan.

    Christ’s Wolff Nursing Scholarship
    Katrina Autry, Dayton, Ohio; Katharine Baldwin, Columbia, Mo.; Christina Beat, Denver, Colo.; Jenny Beaver, Topeka, Kan.; Helen Benefiel, Lawrence, Kan.; Tyler Bessey, Shawnee, Kan.; Alanna Blackwell, Topeka, Kan.; Kaylene Bonjour, Formoso, Kan.; Stephanie Bruggeman, Oberlin, Kan.; Laura Brunner, St. Joseph, Mo.; Emily Buhler, Topeka, Kan.; Richelle Burgess, Manhattan, Kan.; Tashe Campbell, Tonganoxie, Kan.; Jeffrey Bradford Casperson, Southlake, Texas; Amber Cessarich, Topeka, Kan.; Alexandria Clark, Junction City, Kan.; Cierra Clark, Lyndon, Kan.; Rachael Clopton, Emporia, Kan.; Erika Crews, Overland Park, Kan.; Emilie Durgan, Lawrence, Kan.; Amanda Edelman, Sabetha, Kan.; Laurel Edwards, Newton, Kan.; Annie Elder, Seneca, Kan.; Shaley Epperson, Silver Lake, Kan.; Lorin Feiden, Shawnee, Kan.; Katherine Gardner, Winfield, Kan.; Rebecca Giancana, Topeka, Kan.; Mercy Githara, Topeka, Kan.; Stephanie Glasper, Wichita, Kan.; Elyse Hawthorne, Soldier, Kan.; Sandra Hohner, Topeka, Kan.; Leia Karimul Bashar, Wamego, Kan.; Kaylen Klocke, Wichita, Kan.; Sharon Tarbutton, Overland Park, Kan.

    Conkling-Hussey Nursing Scholarship
    Erika Crews, Overland Park, Kan.; Cathy Kofoid, Newton, Kan.; Cathryn McClelland, Lawrence, Kan.; Amanda Vickers, Topeka, Kan.

    Emery A. Dains Nursing Scholarship
    Jennifer Huynh, Wichita, Kan.

    Gault-Hussey Nursing Scholarship
    Jessica Grider, Emporia, Kan.; Rebecca Johnson, Lindsborg, Kan.; Alyssa Partridge, Buhler, Kan.; Jennifer Cantillon, St. Marys, Kan.; Ashley Sampson, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Erin Stephan, Leawood, Kan.; Amanda Tofflemire, Topeka, Kan.; Michelle Tran, Wichita, Kan.; Jordan Whitehead, Silver Lake, Kan.; Auston Whitmer, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Erin Whittington, Olathe, Kan.; Whitney Williams, Topeka, Kan.

    Marjorie Groll Nursing Scholarship
    Carla Caywood, Topeka, Kan.; Caitlin Davis, Wichita, Kan.; Jacob Nicolay, Lenexa, Kan. 

    Dr. Charles S. & Doris F. Joss Nursing Scholarship
    Danielle Busch, Smith Valley, Nev.; William Hess, Auburn, Kan.; Amanda Schulte, Garnett, Kan.; Sharon Tarbutton, Overland Park, Kan.; Madelyn Tong, El Dorado, Kan. 

    Klemmer Endowed Nursing Scholarship
    Jodi Brandt, Topeka, Kan.

    Kohl’s Family Nursing Scholarship
    Elizabeth Mariner, Topeka, Kan. 

    Lawrence Gabel Nursing Scholarship
    Nicole Chrisopulos, Rowlett, Texas; Erica Grandon, Overland Park, Kan.

    Mary B. Storey Medcalf Nursing Scholarship
    Melissa Naff, Lawrence, Kan.

    Schane/Winans Nursing Scholarship
    Kayla Schmidt, Lyndon, Kan.

    Security Benefit Group Nursing Scholarship
    Zachariah Reeb, Baldwin City, Kan.

    Stormont Vail HealthCare Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship
    Ashlyn Clark, Kingman, Kan.; Lauren Mitchell, Stilwell, Kan.

    Stormont Vail Foundation Nursing Scholarship
    Garrett DeLong, Tecumseh, Kan.; Marci Flory, Lawrence, Kan.; Maggie Holmberg, Topeka, Kan.; Chelsey Huddleston, Frankfort, Kan.; James Jordan, Clay Center, Kan.; Cathy Kofoid, Newton, Kan.; Melissa Kramer, Topeka, Kan.; Kerry Kurta, Overland Park, Kan.; Elizabeth Louden, Richmond, Kan.; Elizabeth Mariner, Topeka, Kan.; Holly Martinez, Prairie Village, Kan.; Faith May, Topeka, Kan.; Cathryn McClelland, Lawrence, Kan.; Tanner McCrary, Berryton, Kan.; Hannah Moore, Lawrence, Kan.; Lisa Nguyen, Maize, Kan.; Jordon Oldfather, Hilo, Hawaii; Emily Padilla, Topeka, Kan.; Rebekka Parker, El Paso, Texas; Courtney Pfau, Fort Riley, Kan.; Kristen Potter, Topeka, Kan.; Hannah Prohaska, Topeka, Kan.; Kaitlin Pukach, Topeka, Kan.; Amanda Schulte, Garnett, Kan.; Breann Sherbert, Junction City, Kan.; Madelyn Tong, El Dorado, Kan.; Erin Whittington, Olathe, Kan.

    Woman’s Club Nursing Scholarship
    Linsey Gilroy, Overland Park, Kan.; Taylor Weishaar, Winchester, Kan.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Receives Highest Nursing Credential with Prestigious Magnet® Recognition…For the Second Time

    Tuesday January 28, 2014

    Recognition reinforces commitment to providing patient care excellence 

    Stormont Vail HealthCare has again attained Magnet® recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. This voluntary credentialing program for health care organizations recognizes excellence in nursing. This credential is the highest honor an organization can receive for professional nursing practice. “Receiving Magnet redesignation shows that Stormont Vail staff is setting and maintaining excellence as the standard,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail HealthCare President and CEO. “Our physicians and staff provide high quality, safe and compassionate care, comparable to other top tier health care facilities across the nation. This Magnet redesignation is another step toward our vision of being a national leader in providing compassionate, high-quality and efficient integrated care.” 

    Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence and is taken into consideration when the public judges health care organizations. In fact, U.S. News & World Report’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care. To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process that demands widespread participation from leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous on-site review process, the Commission on Magnet will review the completed appraisal report and vote to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted. 

    An organization seeking to reapply for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence of how Magnet concepts, performance, and quality were sustained and improved over the four-year period since the hospital received its initial recognition. In particular, the Magnet model is designed to provide a framework for nursing practice, research, and measurement of outcomes. Through this framework, ANCC can assess applicants across a number of components and dimensions to gauge an organization’s nursing excellence. The foundation of this model is composed of various elements deemed essential to delivering superior patient care. These include the quality of nursing leadership and coordination and collaboration across specialties, as well as processes for measuring and improving the quality and delivery of care. Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as: 

    • Higher patient satisfaction with nurse communication, availability of help, and receipt of discharge 
    • information 
    • Higher job satisfaction among nurses 
    • Lower nurse reports of intentions to leave position 

    “Receiving Magnet redesignation validates the excellence our staff provides every day, 24/7,” said Carol Perry, Stormont Vail HealthCare Vice President and chief nursing officer. “The honor is a reflection of the wonderful multidisciplinary team we have at Stormont Vail.” 

    Being recognized as a Magnet facility for the second time is a great achievement for Stormont Vail HealthCare as it continues to proudly belong to the Magnet community—a select group of 397 health care organizations out of nearly 6,000 U.S. health care organizations. Stormont Vail HealthCare was initially designated a Magnet hospital in 2009. Hospitals must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years based on adherence to Magnet concepts and demonstrated improvements in patient care and quality. 

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation receives grant from Lewis H. Humphreys Charitable Trust to purchase state-of-the-art neonatal ventilators

    Monday January 27, 2014

    The Stormont Vail Foundation has been awarded a grant of $33,079 from the discretionary funds held by the Lewis H. Humphreys Charitable Trust, Bank of America, Trustee, to purchase four non-invasive ventilators for premature babies. The non-invasive ventilators are state-of-the-art treatment for babies needing assistance with breathing. In 2013, Stormont Vail was one of eight neonatal intensive care units in the U.S. to receive the Gold Seal of Approval for Prematurity from the Joint Commission.

    “The Humphreys’ family were always such great supporters of our Neonatal IntensiveCare Unit,” said Nicki Bradbury, Director, Stormont Vail Neonatal IntensiveCare. “It is fitting that their gift assured the purchase of these non-invasive ventilators allowing us to provide the latest technology for our tiniest patients who have respiratory issues.”

    For more information or to learn how you can make a donation to the Stormont Vail Foundation or volunteer, please visit or call (785) 354-6851. 

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  • Wael Khreiss, M.D., General Surgeon, Joins Cotton-O’Neil Clinic

    Monday January 13, 2014

    Cotton‐O’Neil Clinic, a division of Stormont‐Vail HealthCare, announces the addition of Wael Khreiss, M.D., to the general surgery practice at 823 S.W. Mulvane St., in Topeka. He is currently accepting new patient consultations at the clinic.

    Dr. Khreiss received his medical degree at American University of Beirut, Lebanon, in 2005. He completed at residency in general surgery at American University of Beirut, Lebanon, in 2007. He then completed an internship and residency in general surgery at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 2013. He is a member of the American College of Surgery and is skilled to surgically treat a variety of diseases and conditions including, cancer, hernias, conditions affecting the breast, gallbladder, endocrine system, and gastrointestinal tract. He is also a member of the Stormont‐Vail Trauma team.

    Dr. Khreiss is now accepting new patients at Cotton‐O’Neil Clinic. To schedule an appointment, speak with your primary care physician for a referral or call, (785) 354‐9591.

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