Showing all Releases for 2017

  • Cotton O’Neil Manhattan Staff Spread Warmth this Holiday Season

    Monday November 27, 2017

    As temperatures outside begin to drop, the importance of a warm, winter coat is becoming more obvious.

    The staff at Cotton O’Neil Manhattan partnered with the Unified School District 383 Families in Transition (FIT) Closet and Clothing Exchange to provide warmth by providing 42 coats to families this holiday season.

    “As an individual, it’s easy to feel like your donation, your contribution is small,” said Preeti Singh, M.D. “Something as simple as partnering with your co-workers can really demonstrate how these little acts of kindness can have a big influence on another family’s life.”

    The FIT Closet and Clothing Exchange is USD 383’s way of providing essentials such as food, clothing, toiletries and school supplies to families in need. It depends on the support of individuals, churches and businesses in the Manhattan area that donate all of the clothing and essential supplies.

    The staff at Cotton O’Neil Manhattan encourages other businesses to do the same this holiday season.

    “That one coat you find that you or your child has outgrown could improve someone’s comfort this winter season,” said Scott Coonrod, M.D. “It’s small acts like these that help us further the mission of Stormont Vail Health to work together to improve the health of our community.”

    The clinic plans to make this an annual giving opportunity for their staff.

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  • Sridevi Donepudi, M.D., MMM, FAAFP, Joins Stormont Vail Health as Chief Medical Quality Officer

    Monday October 30, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Sridevi Donepudi, M.D., MMM, FAAFP, will join the organization as the new chief medical quality officer.            

    Donepudi is returning to Stormont Vail, having previously been a practicing family medicine physician for the health system.

    “I am excited to return to the team at Stormont Vail Health and to pledge my commitment to drive forward the work of the organization to manage costs, improve experiences and advance the health of our communities,” said Donepudi. “In healthcare, quality is our obligation and our promise and I’m excited to partner with Stormont Vail as we reach for our potential – for our neighbors and ourselves.”

    Donepudi received her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, in 2000. She completed her family practice residency at Lutheran General Hospital Family Practice Program, Park Ridge, Illinois, in 2003. She also received a master’s degree in Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2016. Donepudi joins Stormont Vail Health from Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware, where she served as the associate chief medical informatics officer. During her tenure at Christiana Care Health System, Donepudi also served as the founder and co-chair of the ambulatory clinical informatics committee and practiced part time as a family medicine physician.

    She is a member of the American College of Physician Executives and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice. She is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and board certified in Clinical Informatics.

    Donepudi will begin her new position early February, 2018.

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  • Robert O. Langland, CPA, Joins Stormont Vail Health as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

    Thursday October 26, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Robert O. Langland, CPA, will join the organization as the new senior vice president and chief financial officer on Monday, Nov. 27.     

    “I am pleased to welcome Robert Langland to the Stormont Vail Health team,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail president and chief executive officer. “Langland will work to ensure that our patients receive the best value for the services that we provide.”

    Langland is a seasoned executive with more than 33 years of health care finance experience, having served the past eight years as the vice president of financial services at St. John Health System in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His experience includes both for-profit and non-profit health care, as well as serving as a vice president and corporate controller during a health care takeover. 

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  • 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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  • Family Medicine Physician Stephanie Kehoe, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Croco Clinic

    Wednesday September 6, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Stephanie Kehoe, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as a family medicine physician. Her practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Croco, 2909 S.E. Walnut Drive, in Topeka.

    Making a positive impact on people every day while providing personal care is the main reason Dr. Kehoe chose practicing medicine as a career.

    “It is a privilege to share the intimate relationships that I have developed with patients as a family doctor,” said Dr. Kehoe. “My current position, which I have held for nine years, has shown me that it is those relationships that drive me to do and be my best every day.”

    Dr. Kehoe received her medical degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, in 2004. She completed a family medicine residency at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vermont, in 2007.

    Dr. Kehoe has a warm smile and infectious laugh. Attentive, kind, caring, compassionate, thorough and supportive are words that her past patients have used to describe the care she provides.   

    She enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, ages 9 and 11, as well as boating, reading, knitting, walking and shopping.

    Dr. Kehoe is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (785) 270-4440.

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  • Two Family Medicine Physicians Join Cotton O’Neil North Clinic

    Tuesday September 5, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that two new family medicine physicians, Lalitha Rayavarapu, M.D., and Melissa Zepp, M.D., will be joining our medical team at Cotton O’Neil North, 4505 N.W. Fielding Road, in Topeka.  

    Dr. Rayavarapu received support and inspiration from her father, a pediatrician, but the real turning point for her was her experience as a patient.

    “At a very young age, I had to undergo open heart surgery to correct a heart murmur,” Rayavarapu said. “The medical care, comfort and guidance that I received from the medical team left a lasting impression of what it means to be a health care provider.”

    Dr. Rayavarapu received her medical degree at the Pravara Medical Trust Medical College, Loni, Maharashtra, India, in 2003 and completed a family medicine residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, in 2015.

    Dr. Zepp took an interest in the medical field from an early age, growing up in a family of medical providers in Meriden, Kansas.

    “Both of my parents were nurses, so I’ve been surrounded by the medical field for my entire life,” Dr. Zepp said. “I never even considered being anything other than a doctor.”

    Dr. Zepp received her medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, Kansas, in 1996. She completed a family medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic Health Systems, Fairview General Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1999 and an obstetrics fellowship at the same location in 2000. She considers her patients as an extension of her family and enjoys being part of their lives.

    Both doctors are accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call 785-270-4440.

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  • Family Medicine Physician Brian Bondurant, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Carbondale Clinic

    Friday September 1, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Brian Bondurant, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as a family medicine physician. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Carbondale Clinic, 211 E. Main St.

    Dr. Bondurant says practicing medicine is like the best of both worlds.

    “Medicine provides the rigorous intellectual challenges I have always enjoyed with the personal interaction I have always wanted,” Bondurant said. “The personal connection and growth that medicine facilitates is what makes working as a physician a truly rewarding career for me.”

    Dr. Bondurant received his medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, in 2014 and completed a family medicine residency at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, in 2017, serving as the chief medical resident. Prior to joining the medical field, he spent time in both engineering and finance.

    “Having spent time overseas, in the dirt on jobsites and in boardrooms with CEOs, I bring a very unique perspective to my practice,” Bondurant said. “I can easily relate to and understand diverse populations and situations.”

    In his spare time, Dr. Bondurant loves to travel. He’s spent time in Cuba, Iceland, Boston, London and Prague. He’s also a huge sports fan, both playing and watching, and loves to cheer on the Chiefs, Royals and Wildcats.

    Dr. Bondurant is taking new patients. To schedule an appointment, call 785-836-7111.

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  • Behavioral Health Physician Gregory C. Hahn, D.O., Joins Stormont Vail Behavioral Health Center

    Friday September 1, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Gregory C. Hahn, D.O., has joined our medical team and will practice as a behavioral health physician. His practice will be located at Stormont Vail Behavioral Health Center, 3707 S.W. Sixth Ave., in Topeka.

    Dr. Hahn enjoys caring for his patients and helping them lead better lives.

    “I’ve always had an interest in health care,” Dr. Hahn said. “Prior to medical school, I served as a nurse for eight years.” 

    Dr. Hahn received his medical degree at the Des Moines University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines, Iowa, in 2007 and completed a psychiatry residency through the National Capitol Consortium at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., in 2011.

    A 20-year military veteran, Dr. Hahn deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Infantry Division as a psychiatrist. Drawing on his experience in the military, he is known for being patient and taking time to listen to the issues of his patients. He enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music and traveling. 

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  • Internal Medicine physician, Charisse Symmonds, M.S., D.0., joins Stormont Vail Health in Emporia

    Monday August 21, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Charisse Symmonds, M.S. D.O., has joined its medical team and will practice at Cotton O’Neil Emporia.

    Dr. Symmonds knew she wanted to become a doctor after reading the book “Think Big” in the fifth grade.

    “It fascinated me and took my love for learning to the next level,” said Dr. Symmonds. “It inspired me to consider a future in medicine.”   

    Dr. Symmonds received her medical degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed her residency at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she served as the co-chief resident.  

    She joins six additional internal medicine specialists, four family medicine providers, two obstetrics & gynecology physicians and one pediatrician at Cotton O’Neil Emporia, 1301 W. 12th Ave., Emporia. Dr. Symmonds will see adult patients and specialize in diabetes and weight management, including insulin pump therapy and glucose monitoring.

    Dr. Symmonds is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call 620-343-2900.

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  • Urology Specialist, Steve Walter H. Waxman, M.D., J.D., FCLM, joins Stormont Vail Health

    Tuesday August 15, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Steve Walter H. Waxman, M.D., J.D., FCLM, a urology specialist, has joined our medical team..

    Coming from a family of physicians, Dr. Waxman grew up in an environment of helping others and learning about medicine from his parents.

    “Becoming a doctor was truly a calling,” said Dr. Waxman. “I get fulfillment from helping others from a medical perspective.”  

    Dr. Waxman received his Doctorate of Medicine from and completed his residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas. He completed a fellowship in female and reconstructive urology at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina and a fellowship in pediatric urology and urologic oncology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences, Denver Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colorado.

    In addition to his medical career, Dr. Waxman also received his Juris Doctorate with Health Law Concentration from Indiana University Law School. Dr. Waxman currently serves as a Colonel and flight surgeon in the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade with the Missouri Army National Guard.

    As a flight surgeon, Dr. Waxman spends one weekend a month and two weeks a year making sure pilots and air crew are in good health and fit to fly.

    “Some of my patients call me talkative, especially if there is a military connection,” said Dr. Waxman. “I like to hear what branch of the service they were a part of and hear about their experiences. It’s one of the ways I connect with my patients.”

    When Dr. Waxman is not working or flying with the Army National Guard, he enjoys hiking, running and spending time with his family. 

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  • Family Medicine Physician, James M. McIntosh, M.D., joins Stormont Vail Health

    Tuesday August 15, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that James M. McIntosh, M.D., a family medicine physician, has joined our medical team and will practice at Cotton O’Neil Wamego, 1704 Commercial Circle, Wamego, Kansas.

    Dr. McIntosh says that like most physicians, he got into medicine because he wanted to help people.

    “As a family medicine physician, my role is to treat the whole person, checking every system in the body, including the psycho-social aspect,” said Dr. McIntosh. “My role is to help my patients navigate everything they need to be healthy. If that means we work with a specialist, I help them find the right one. But most importantly, I help my patients with preventative care.”

    Dr. McIntosh received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas and completed his family medicine residency at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana. As a resident, Dr. McIntosh was awarded the Resident of the Year award given to a resident who has shown outstanding clinical and academic performance, exceeds expectations and promotes teamwork in residency.

    “There aren’t many things that are more important than someone’s health,” said Dr. McIntosh. “I get to touch my patients’ lives in so many ways. Medicine today can be convoluted and difficult. I get to help my patients navigate the system so they can be healthy.”

    Outside of work, Dr. McIntosh enjoys landscaping and watching movies, both of which he uses to connect on a more personal level with his patients. 

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  • Stormont Vail Health Recognized by U.S. News & World Report

    Tuesday August 8, 2017

    For the second year in a row, Stormont Vail Health was recognized among the best hospitals in the country in the U.S. News & World Report 2017-18 Best Regional Hospitals rankings. Stormont Vail Health was ranked second in Kansas and achieved the highest rating possible in five procedures or conditions. Two of the highest performing areas were cardiac care with recognition in heart bypass surgery and heart failure, and orthopedics with recognition in knee surgery. Other areas of recognition include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and colon cancer surgery.

    “Being listed in these rankings affirms the hard work and excellent care our doctors, nurses and other health care professionals provide right here in Kansas,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail Health President & CEO. “We will celebrate this accomplishment with our team and continue to be a national leader in quality, innovation and patient experience.”

    Mayo Clinic, with whom Stormont Vail Health is affiliated through the Mayo Clinic Care Network, was ranked first in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-2018 Best Hospitals Honor Roll, ranking first in more specialties than any other hospital in the nation.

    The U.S. News analysis of hospitals includes data from nearly 5,000 centers across multiple clinical specialties, procedures and conditions. Scores are based on a variety of patient outcome and care-related factors, such as patient safety and nurse staffing. Hospitals are ranked nationally in specialties and regionally in states and major metro areas. U.S. News assigns a rating to hospitals in a handful of common procedures and conditions.

    According U.S. News, the Best Regional Hospitals rankings were created to provide consumers who want to stay close to home with an overall assessment of their region's hospitals across multiple areas of care. To be recognized regionally, a hospital must have been either nationally ranked in one of the 12 specialties or received ratings of high performing in four or more of those specialties or the procedures and conditions.

    For patients and their physicians, these and other rankings and ratings should be seen as a starting point when considering where to go for care. Individual diagnosis and personal priorities will dictate their personal best choice.

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  • Infectious Disease Specialist, Siddhi Mankame, M.D., joins Stormont Vail Health

    Monday August 7, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Siddhi Mankame, M.D., an infectious disease specialist, has joined our medical team.

    Dr. Mankame grew up in India and attributes her interest in infectious diseases to the myriad of maladies she saw growing up.

    “Every monsoon brought its flood of malaria, dengue fevers, typhoid and hepatitis. Even leprosy, a disease eradicated in the West, was still prevalent in poorer neighborhoods. This has definitely given me an edge in terms of exposure and knowledge,” said Dr. Mankame.

    Dr. Mankame received her degree in Medicine from Seth G.S. Medical College, Mumbai, India. She completed an internal medicine residency at Jacobi Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and went on to complete an infectious disease fellowship at North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York. In addition to practicing infectious disease medicine, Dr. Mankame has served as an academic instructor at Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine, New York, and has authored numerous publications on infectious diseases.  

    “Growing up, I had a great interest and flair for science. I also wanted to work with people. Medicine allowed me to apply science, working directly with people,” said Mankame.

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  • Cardiac Electrophysiologist Alan Helmbold, D.O., Joins Cotton O’Neil Heart Center

    Friday July 14, 2017

    Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Alan Helmbold, D.O., has joined our medical team and will practice as a cardiac electrophysiologist. His practice will be located at the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, 920 S.W. Mulvane St. in Topeka.

    Dr. Helmbold is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserve and has served on active duty for the past 15 years. He attributes his military experience, which includes a combat tour in Iraq and a second combat tour in Afghanistan, as something that sets him apart from others in his field.

    “My military career has taught me how to improvise, to be adaptable, and to think on my feet,” said Dr. Helmbold.

    Dr. Helmbold received his degree in osteopathic medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2002. He completed an internal medicine residency at Brook Army Medical Center-Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas in 2005, and then practiced internal medicine for two years. He completed a cardiology fellowship at Brook Army Medical Center- Fort Sam Houston in 2010, and then practiced general cardiology for three years. In 2015, he completed a clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and then practiced clinical cardiac electrophysiology in the Army for the past two years.

    “I consider it a great honor to be trusted by my patients to improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Helmbold. “The field of electrophysiology has numerous procedures that are exciting to perform with each case having its unique challenges.”

    Dr. Helmbold says that he is committed to ensuring the very best care for each of his patients and he strives to treat them as if they were members of his family. Respectful, diligent, thorough, passionate, honest, empathetic, competent and resolute are words that his past patients have used to describe the care he provides.   

    Faith plays an important part in Dr. Helmbold’s life. He enjoys the outdoors and exercising, but the thing he says he enjoys most is spending time with his wonderful family.

    Dr. Helmbold is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this cardiac electrophysiologist.

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  • American Academy of Pediatrics Releases Updated Policy Statement Recommendations for Fruit Juices in Infants, Children and Adolescents

    Monday July 10, 2017

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) released updated policy statement recommendations in May that say some children should be consuming less juice than previously advised. Concern has been expressed about increasing obesity rates and risks for dental problems.

    Pam Harrison, M.D., family medicine physician at the Cotton O’Neil Emporia Clinic, explains that the updated policy statement clarifies that there is virtually no nutritional value for fruit juice, and it should be limited to small amounts for children and generally avoided in infancy.

    “Expensive juice products designed specifically for infants are found to be of no value to their diet,” said Dr. Harrison. “Water and cow’s milk are preferred as the primary fluid sources for children after weaning – with cow’s milk to be given over age one.”

    The APP recommendations include:

    • Juice should not be introduced to infants before one year unless clinically indicated in the management of constipation. Daily intake should be limited to 4 ounces in toddlers ages 1-3 years, 4-6 ounces for those 4-6 years. For those 7-18 years, limit juice intake to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2-2.5 cups of fruit servings per day.
    • Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable covered cups that make it easy to consume throughout the day, nor should they be given juice at bedtime.
    • Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and educated on the benefit of fiber intake.
    • Families should be educated that human milk and/or infant formula are sufficient to satisfy fluid requirements for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.
    • Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged.
    • Grapefruit should be avoided in those taking certain medications.
    • When evaluating children with malnutrition – as well as chronic diarrhea, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating – pediatricians should determine the amount of juice being consumed.
    • In evaluating risk for dental caries, discuss the relationship between fruit juice and dental decay, and inquire about the amount and means of juice consumption.
    • Routinely discuss the use of fruit juice vs. fruit drinks, and educate older children and parents about the differences.

    The Academy’s goal is for these policies to lead to a decrease in juice consumption, especially in small children, while ensuring an adequate intake of whole fruits. It recognizes that juice may provide some vitamins but lacks the fiber and protein critical for the growth of children.

    Dr. Harrison suggests if you want to offer fruit juice to children, give the real whole fruit, which has fiber as well as juice, or make the juice yourself instead of reaching for sugar-added bottled juice.

    “For a fun alternative and a way to incorporate fresh fruit into your diet, have older children join you in the kitchen and help you make a smoothie,” said Dr. Harrison.

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  • American Academy of Pediatrics Releases Updated Policy Statement Recommendations for Fruit Juices in Infants, Children and Adolescents

    Monday July 10, 2017

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) released updated policy statement recommendations in May that say some children should be consuming less juice than previously advised. Concern has been expressed about increasing obesity rates and risks for dental problems.

    Regan Dulin, D.O., family medicine physician at the Cotton O’Neil Manhattan Clinic, explains that the updated policy statement clarifies that there is virtually no nutritional value for fruit juice, and it should be limited to small amounts for children and generally avoided in infancy.

    “Expensive juice products designed specifically for infants are found to be of no value to their diet,” said Dr. Dulin. “Water and cow’s milk are preferred as the primary fluid sources for children after weaning – with cow’s milk to be given over age one.”

    The APP recommendations include:

    • Juice should not be introduced to infants before one year unless clinically indicated in the management of constipation. Daily intake should be limited to 4 ounces in toddlers ages 1-3 years, 4-6 ounces for those 4-6 years. For those 7-18 years, limit juice intake to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2-2.5 cups of fruit servings per day.
    • Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable covered cups that make it easy to consume throughout the day, nor should they be given juice at bedtime.
    • Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and educated on the benefit of fiber intake.
    • Families should be educated that human milk and/or infant formula are sufficient to satisfy fluid requirements for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.
    • Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged.
    • Grapefruit should be avoided in those taking certain medications.
    • When evaluating children with malnutrition – as well as chronic diarrhea, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating – pediatricians should determine the amount of juice being consumed.
    • In evaluating risk for dental caries, discuss the relationship between fruit juice and dental decay, and inquire about the amount and means of juice consumption.
    • Routinely discuss the use of fruit juice vs. fruit drinks, and educate older children and parents about the differences.

    The Academy’s goal is for these policies to lead to a decrease in juice consumption, especially in small children, while ensuring an adequate intake of whole fruits. It recognizes that juice may provide some vitamins but lacks the fiber and protein critical for the growth of children.

    Dr. Dulin suggests if you want to offer fruit juice to children, give the real whole fruit, which has fiber as well as juice, or make the juice yourself instead of reaching for sugar-added bottled juice.

    “For a fun alternative and a way to incorporate fresh fruit into your diet, have older children join you in the kitchen and help you make a smoothie,” said Dr. Dulin.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Welcome Baby Jubilee: Invitation to Media

    Wednesday June 21, 2017

    Media: If you would like to attend, please contact Niki Maloney, communications manager, at (785) 249-2721 and she will make arrangements to meet you in the main entrance lobby and escort you over to the event. 

    Stormont Vail Health will host an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight for expecting moms and women thinking about having a baby. Moms-to-be will have the opportunity to speak with Stormont Vail professionals, including Birthplace staff who will provide information on the Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic, Neonatal Intensive Care (NIC), Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM), pediatric services and delivery services available at Stormont Vail Health.

    Tours of the Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic, NIC and MFM will be available. Local individuals and organizations will be available to discuss child and baby services offered in the community. Expectant moms may register to win either a Medela breast pump or a $250 gift card to Babies R Us along with a variety of other prizes.

    Dads, grandparents, partners and family who will spend time with the baby are welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to get their Tdap vaccination. Tdap is a vaccination that prevents tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis and is highly recommended for anyone who will be in the presence of a newborn.

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  • Safe Family Fun in the Summer Sun

    Tuesday June 20, 2017

    As temperatures outside rise, so should our attention to summer safety as families enjoy the lazy days of summer.        

    Whatever your plans are between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Cotton O’Neil Manhattan family medicine physician, Dr. Regan Dulin, D.O., has some Safe Kids Worldwide safety tips to share.  

    “Whether you plan to spend some R&R in the backyard or load up the family vehicle for a road trip, summer can best be enjoyed when you plan out some ways to keep your adventures as safe as they can be,” said Dr. Dulin.

    Here are some tips to consider.

    Grilling Safety:

    • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
    • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
    • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.

    Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke:

    According to Safe Kids Worldwide, every 10 days, across the United States, a child dies from being left in a hot car. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up and become deadly to a child inside. As summer temperatures rise, more kids are at risk.

    “Create reminders for yourself,” said Dr. Dulin. “When you put a child in the back seat place one of their things, like a shoe or favorite stuffed toy, up in the front seat with you so that reminds you that they are in the back. You could also place your cell phone, purse or one of your personal items in the back with the child so you have to go into the back seat first when you exit the car.”

    Water Safety:

    Dr. Dulin suggests you assign an adult to watch children around water. Whether a public pool or in a backyard, don’t’ assume someone else is watching them. Use a lanyard or fun hat that marks the person whose sole responsibility is watching swimmers.

    Safe Kids Worldwide offers a free download for a Water Watcher Card that identifies someone at all times as the designated responsible adult to keep an eye on kids in the water at all times. Other tips include:

    • Swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they are not appropriate to be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
    • Age appropriate and complexion appropriate sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and needs to be reapplied every two hours after that. Dr. Dulin recommends zinc oxide. It is safe for all.

    Road Trip Safety Tips:

    “Adults should set good examples for children and make sure they are buckled up every time they are in a vehicle,” said Dr. Dulin. “It is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car.”

    Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Safe Kids Worldwide has an online Ultimate Car Seat Guide to help protect kids on the move.         

    For these and other safety tips, and to find the Water Watcher Card or Ultimate Car Seat Guide, visit www.safekidsworldwide.org.

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  • Safe Family Fun in the Summer Sun

    Friday June 16, 2017

    As temperatures outside rise, so should our attention to summer safety as families enjoy the lazy days of summer.        

    Whatever your plans are between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Cotton O’Neil Emporia family medicine physician, Dr. Robert Stewart, M.D., has some Safe Kids Worldwide safety tips to share.  

    “Whether you plan to spend some R&R in the backyard or load up the family vehicle for a road trip, summer can best be enjoyed when you plan out some ways to keep your adventures as safe as they can be,” said Dr. Stewart.

    Here are some tips to consider.

    Grilling Safety:

    • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings, out from under eaves and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
    • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
    • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately.

    Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke:

    According to Safe Kids Worldwide, every 10 days, across the United States, a child dies from being left in a hot car. It only takes a few minutes for a car to heat up and become deadly to a child inside. As summer temperatures rise, more kids are at risk.

    “Create reminders for yourself,” said Dr. Stewart. “When you put a child in the back seat place one of their things, like a shoe or favorite stuffed toy, up in the front seat with you so that reminds you that they are in the back. You could also place your cell phone, purse or one of your personal items in the back with the child so you have to go into the back seat first when you exit the car.”

    Water Safety:

    Dr. Stewart suggests you assign an adult to watch children around water. Whether a public pool or in a backyard, don’t’ assume someone else is watching them. Use a lanyard or fun hat that marks the person whose sole responsibility is watching swimmers.

    Safe Kids Worldwide offers a free download for a Water Watcher Card that identifies someone at all times as the designated responsible adult to keep an eye on kids in the water at all times. Other tips include:

    • Swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they are not appropriate to be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
    • A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.

    Road Trip Safety Tips:

    “Adults should set good examples for children and make sure they are buckled up every time they are in a vehicle,” said Dr. Stewart. “It is the single most important thing a family can do to stay safe in the car.”

    Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Safe Kids Worldwide has an online Ultimate Car Seat Guide to help protect kids on the move.

    For these and other safety tips, and to find the Water Watcher Card or Ultimate Car Seat Guide, visit www.safekidsworldwide.org.

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  • Welcome Baby Jubilee Provides Valuable Information for Expecting Mothers

    Thursday June 15, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health will host an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, for expecting moms and women thinking about having a baby. Moms-to-be will have the opportunity to speak with Stormont Vail professionals, including Birthplace staff who will provide information on the Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic, Neonatal Intensive Care (NIC), Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM), pediatric services and delivery services available at Stormont Vail Health.

    Tours of the Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic, NIC and MFM will be available. Local individuals and organizations will be on hand to discuss child and baby services offered in the community. Expectant moms can register to win either a Medela breast pump or a $250 gift card to Babies R Us along with a variety of other prizes.

    Dads, grandparents, partners and family who will spend time with the baby are welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to get their Tdap vaccination. Tdap is a vaccination that helps prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis and is highly recommended for anyone who will be in the presence of a newborn.

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  • Family Medicine Physician, Karen Bruce, M.D., Joins Stormont Vail Health

    Tuesday June 13, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Karen Bruce, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as a family medicine physician. Her practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Corporate View, 601 S.W. Corporate View Road in Topeka.

    Dr. Bruce started off as a chemical engineer and entered medical school planning on a career in biomedical research. But she found that providing direct clinical care was an incredible experience that not only allowed her a view into her true calling in life, but that would also modify her career path.

    “I enjoy people and I love learning,” said Dr. Bruce. “Family medicine combines both of these interests and offers a unique opportunity to maintain relationships with patients and their families over decades and generations. From my engineering background I enjoy the use of electronic records, data and data management, and I believe this type of background also trained me for the type of problem-solving that is integral to primary care.”

    Dr. Bruce received her medical degree at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, in 1987. She completed a family practice residency at both San Pedro Peninsula Hospital, San Pedro, California, and East Carolina University, Greensville, North Carolina. Dr. Bruce completed a fellowship in Family Medicine Faculty Development at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    Her patients describe her as caring, compassionate and curious, and they often recognize her by the cowboy boots she wears to the office.

    Dr. Bruce enjoys the outdoors and trail riding with her husband. She loves gourmet cooking, which she calls her personal therapy, and she is classically trained in both piano and cello. Dr. Bruce has four children who range in age from 10 to 17. 

    Dr. Bruce is now accepting new patients. Patients may call (785) 234-0880 or (785) 295-4500 to set up a new appointment.

     

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  • Family Medicine Physician, Betsy Johns, M.D., Joins Stormont Vail Health

    Tuesday June 13, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Betsy Johns, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as a family medicine physician. Her practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Corporate View, 601 S.W. Corporate View Road in Topeka.

    Dr. Johns says trying to combat illness fascinates her about practicing medicine, but more importantly, she sees her role as assisting her patients in preventing disease.

    “I became a physician because I love science and working with people,” said Dr. Johns. “Medicine allows me to study and understand the biology of the body, the chemistry of medicines and how behavior impacts our health. I’m passionate about using that science to help patients make decisions about their health. ”

    Dr. Johns received her medical degree at the Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1994. She completed a residency training in family practice at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a faculty development fellowship at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, St. Margaret, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Johns completed a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Her patients describe her as professional and compassionate, and they appreciate her courteous, thorough and professional staff.

    “The doctor-patient relationship is very important, and I endeavor to listen to every patient, even in a world of time pressures,” she said. “Patients receive the best care possible when we are working together to make decisions.”  

    Dr. Johns is involved in her church and with her extended family. She enjoys traveling, photography, playing tennis and reading.

    Dr. Johns is now accepting new patients. Patients may call (785) 234-0880 or (785) 295-4500 to set up a new appointment.

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  • Psychiatrist Matthew Masterson, D.O., Joins Stormont Vail Behavioral Health

    Friday June 9, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Matthew Masterson, D.O., has joined our medical team and will practice as a psychiatrist with a subspecialty in pediatric and adolescent psychiatry. His practice will be located at Stormont Vail Behavioral Health, 3707 S.W. 6th St. in Topeka.

    Dr. Masterson has always had a strong interest in science and helping others. He had a deep respect for the physicians that worked in the town where he grew up, and he saw them as knowledgeable, caring, helpful individuals, and he aspired to be like them.

    “I was determined to pursue a career in medicine with a goal of serving the community where I lived and promoting the health of others,” said Dr. Masterson. “I am passionate about what I do, and I find great satisfaction in helping others work through issues while working towards wellness and health.”

    Dr. Masterson received his degree in osteopathic medicine at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Missouri, in 1998. He completed a psychiatry residency, and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Masterson also has a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, and an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Pre-Medicine from Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho.

    What sets Dr. Masterson apart from others in his field is his wide range of practice experience from working in multiple locations and different environments throughout his career. His focus is on a holistic approach to mental health wellness, taking into account medical, social, environmental and mental health issues. His patients describe him as caring, compassionate, easy to engage and knowledgeable.

    He loves the outdoors, and in his spare time Dr. Masterson enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities.

    Dr. Masterson is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this psychiatrist.

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  • President and Executive Director of the Stormont Vail Foundation Announces Retirement

    Wednesday June 7, 2017

    Jane Mackey, MBA, president and executive director of the Stormont Vail Foundation, has announced her intent to retire on Oct. 31, 2017. Mackey has served the Foundation in this role since February 2012 and also served in the same capacity from 2000-2005. Under her leadership, Foundation assets have grown from $12 million to $22.5 million.

    “I will miss the people,” she said. “We have a terrific group of volunteers who are trustees and long-time volunteers helping in the Foundation. The Foundation staff is a small but mighty group that works very hard to fulfill the mission.”

    During her tenure from 2000-2005, Mackey led the Foundation’s first capital campaign since its inception in 1982, raising $5.7 million for the benefit of the Neonatal Intensive Care remodeling in 2005.

    “The project was fun, and the remodeled unit was an incredible transformation from the old one,” she said. “I remember taking people on tours of the old unit who were so excited about seeing the babies, and then they just were stunned at the small size and medical challenges that the babies were facing.”

    Mackey also established the Foundation’s first golf tournament, an accomplishment she said couldn’t have been done without the tremendous support from Stormont Vail Health employees and business partners.

    Between 2005 and 2012, Mackey also has served as a consultant providing training, consultation and contract services to local not-for-profit organizations on board development, fundraising and other management initiatives. She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Kansas.

    Mackey and her husband, Bob, have lived in Topeka since 1976 and have one son, who is married and lives in Kansas City. Mackey added that while she’ll miss her co-workers, she has something she is looking forward to during retirement, the arrival of her first grandchild in late June.

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  • Garden Honors Long-Time Cotton O’Neil Physician

    Tuesday June 6, 2017

    In recognition of a career that helped shape health care in Topeka and northeast Kansas, Stormont Vail Health and the Cotton O’Neil Clinics have designated a garden in honor of Ray Lumb, M.D.  A dedication ceremony will be held starting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13.

    Located at 9th St. and Mulvane Ave., the Dr. Ray Lumb Reflection Garden will be a place where patients, area health care professionals and neighbors can enjoy the restorative powers of a serene outdoor space. The reclaimed green space features seating areas, a walking path, trees and various plants. The garden was funded by the Stormont Vail Foundation through a gift from Carol Perry-Lumb.

    “It has been my privilege and pleasure to spend my career as a Cotton O’Neil physician and a member of the Stormont Vail family,” said Lumb. “While I am personally grateful for this honor, I truly feel this garden acknowledges the history, vision and legacy of the Cotton O’Neil practice and in particular, its founding members.” 

    Lumb came to Topeka in 1974, the city’s first rheumatologist and seventh physician to join Internal Medicine P.A., which later became Cotton O’Neil. In addition to his skills as a physician, Lumb brought his business acumen to the practice, negotiating leases and managing vendor relationships.

    “Ray was instrumental to the early success of Cotton O’Neil,” said Kent Palmberg, M.D., a long-time colleague and friend of Lumb and former Chief Medical Officer of Stormont Vail. “His leadership and natural people skills helped propel the practice beyond its initial internal medicine focus to include primary care.”    

    Lumb retired in 1989 but returned to Cotton O’Neil in 1991 exclusively in an administrative role. In 1995, when the physicians group merged with Stormont Vail, Lumb joined the newly formed organization’s operating committee. For the past 20 years he has been involved with a variety of projects primarily related to physician recruitment, retention and relationship building.

    For Palmberg, Lumb’s legacy lies in his giving spirit. 

    “Ray is one of the most caring persons I’ve ever known,” said Palmberg. “I’m sure he’s helped hundreds of people, physicians and others, overcome professional and personal crises. He was always available to quietly help, to listen, and steer people to the resources they needed. And then he always followed up to make sure things were OK or provide additional assistance. That’s the sort of thing people always appreciate and never forget.”       

    As part of the garden dedication ceremony, a memorial plaque will be re-dedicated to Larry Patterson,  who was the first full-time administrator for Cotton O’Neil, joining the practice in 1973, just before Lumb’s arrival. The two worked closely together until Patterson’s untimely death in 1985. Shortly after Patterson’s death, a tree was planted in his memory in the space, which is now the Lumb garden.

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  • Christine Hogan-Newgren, MSM, CPA, FHFMA, Joins Stormont Vail Health as Chief Compliance Officer

    Friday May 26, 2017

    Christine Hogan-Newgren, MSM, CPA, FHFMA, believes that in the current health care industry, hospitals have a greater capacity to remain focused on patient care and the health of the community. She also knows that strategic initiatives to ensure expansion and growth of a system are both exciting and challenging.

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Hogan-Newgren has joined our team as chief compliance officer.                 

    “I am a problem solver at heart,” said Hogan-Newgren. “That is truly what compliance and audit are all about—managing and completing a task that is in the best interest of the organization and its patients and that protects the physical, financial, patient and employee assets, as well as its reputation.”            

    Hogan-Newgren received her Master of Science in Management from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2017. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota, in 1987. Hogan-Newgren most recently served as the chief compliance officer and chief audit executive of the University of Colorado Health. Previously she worked as chief compliance office and director of internal audit for the University of Colorado Hospital. She has also worked at Exempla Healthcare as vice president of corporate responsibility and internal audit, Centura Health as vice president and chief compliance officer, and Benedictine Health System as vice president of corporate compliance and audit services/system integrity.

    She is a certified public accountant, a certified health care financial professional and a fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

    “I take the responsibility of corporate compliance very seriously,” Hogan-Newgren said. “I really enjoy broadening our scope of coverage by creating meaningful partnerships with individuals at all levels of the organization.”

    Hogan-Newgren has three children and one stepson and three stepgranddaughters. She and her husband enjoy camping, ATV riding, biking and grilling out, and they love to travel and being outdoors hiking with their children and visiting local wineries. 

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  • 2017 Excellence in Nursing Award Winners

    Wednesday May 17, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health hosted its 10th Annual Excellence in Nursing Awards on May 11 in the Pozez Education Center Auditorium. This year 38 patient care staff finalists were nominated to receive an Excellence in Nursing Award. Following a short program, the following winners were announced in nine categories:

    • Excellence in Nursing Practice – A registered nurse who demonstrates outstanding patient care and clinical expertise, collaborates with nursing colleagues and other health-related professionals, and keeps abreast of current trends and issues in nursing practice.
      Sheri Lee, RN – Digestive Health, Carolyn Zeller, BSN, RNC  – Neonatal Intensive Care 
    • Excellence in Nursing Leadership - A registered nurse who promotes a culture of staff who is positive, challenged and involved, has creative problem solving that leads to improved health care outcomes and enhances the role of the nurse. 

    Erica Bletscher, RN-BC – Post Surgical

    • Excellence in Nursing Mentorship – A registered nurse who serves as a resource for the growth and development of others, supports and facilitates positive learning experiences and demonstrates passion that inspires peers. 

    Staci Petersen, BSN, RNC-NIC – Neonatal Intensive Care 

    • Excellence in Nursing Preceptorship - A registered nurse who provides accurate, constructive feedback, promotes multidisciplinary collaboration and provides clinical experiences to promote professional growth. 

    Jennifer Schley, BSN, RN – IV Therapy and Jessie Koci, BSN, RN, 7-North

    • Excellence in Advanced Practice - An advanced practice provider who demonstrates clinical expertise, serves as a resource for growth and development of others, collaborates with all team members, serves as a mentor to peers, advocates for patients and caregivers, demonstrates leadership in research and evidence-based practices, and educates for the advancement of health and disease prevention. 

    Gary Graf, APRN-C – Cotton O’Neil Diabetes & Endocrinology Center

    • Excellence in Licensed Practical Nursing – A licensed practical nurse who fosters a culture that promotes quality nursing practice environments, serves as a patient/family advocate, and collaborates with nursing colleagues and other health-related professionals to facilitate quality care.

    Anna Bailey, LPN – Cotton O’Neil Osage City and Cindy Degand, LPN – Pediatrics 

    • Rising Star - Nurses who show commitment to Stormont Vail Health, exemplify high standards of practice and professionalism, and actively seek out professional growth opportunities. 

    Emily Hartzell, LPN – 5-North and Paula Sanders, BSN, RN – Hospitalists 

    • Excellence in Patient Care - Patient care technicians or operating room assistants who are self-directed, require minimum supervision, exhibit excellence in follow-through skills, are team players and remain eager and willing to learn. 

    Hannah Green, PCT – Post Surgical; Isabel Marquez, PCT – 6-North; Krista Miller, PCT – 5-North; and Lyle Spencer, PCT – Pavilion

    • Distinguished Community Service - A nurse who makes significant contributions through community service activities and influences and inspires others to be involved. 

    Ashley Toyne, MHCL, BSN, RN – Pavilion

    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.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Receives Top Quality Award For Stroke Care

    Tuesday May 16, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite Plus. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

    Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

    To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Stormont Vail Health 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 quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

    “A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” saidCarol Perry, MSN, BSN, RN, FACHE, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.  “Stormont Vail Health continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the AHA/ASA’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

    “The AHA/ASA recognize Stormont Vail Health for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

    Get With The Guidelines®-S puts the expertise of the AHA/ASA to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-S has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.

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  • Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown Open and Ready to See Patients

    Monday May 15, 2017

    The story of exceptional wellness care and ready and reliable urgent care for the community continues with the opening of Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown in the Cotton O’Neil 909 Mulvane building located at 909 S.W. Mulvane St.

    About the Cotton O’Neil Midtown Building:

    The top level of the building houses Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown and Cotton O’Neil Intensive Primary Care.

    Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown will start seeing patients on May 15. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Appointments are never necessary, and patients do not need to have a previous medical history with Cotton O’Neil to be treated.

    Physicians and mid-levels at this urgent care clinic treat minor illnesses and injuries that can’t be immediately treated by a primary care physician.

    Common ailments or injuries that can be treated at Express Care include:

    • Situations that aren’t life-threatening
    • Urgent concerns that normally could be seen by your primary care doctor’s office, except that it is after office hours or needs immediate attention.
    • Suspected broken bones (wrist, hand, ankle, foot). If the bone hasn’t broken the skin and isn’t obviously deformed. All Cotton O’Neil Express Care locations have X-ray equipment and radiologic technicians.
    • Cuts and/or stitches, if the wound doesn’t affect any tendons.
    • Animal bites and insect stings.
    • Routine viruses and common symptoms that have persisted but may need immediate attention, such as ear pain, sore throat, vomiting and fever without rash.

    A lab is available in the building for blood draws, as well as an X-ray room with an all-digital unit.

    The lower level of the Cotton O’Neil 909 Mulvane building houses the Stormont Vail Infusion Center.

    Parking on the south side of the building is for Cotton O’Neil Express Care Midtown and Cotton O’Neil Intensive Primary Care. Parking for the Stormont Vail Infusion Center is on the north and west sides of the building.

    For more information about Express Care clinics, please call Health Connections at (785) 354-5225.

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  • 2017 Excellence in Nursing Awards

    Tuesday May 9, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health will host its 10th Annual Excellence in Nursing Awards at 6:30 p.m. on May 11 in the Pozez Education Center Auditorium. This year 38 patient care staff finalists were nominated to receive an Excellence in Nursing Award. Following a short program, winners will be announced in the following categories:

    • Excellence in Nursing Practice – A registered nurse who demonstrates outstanding patient care and clinical expertise, collaborates with nursing colleagues and other health-related professionals, and keeps abreast of current trends and issues in nursing practice.
    • Excellence in Nursing Leadership - A registered nurse who promotes a culture of staff who is positive, challenged and involved, has creative problem solving that leads to improved health care outcomes and enhances the role of the nurse.  
    • Excellence in Nursing Mentorship – A registered nurse who serves as a resource for the growth and development of others, supports and facilitates positive learning experiences and demonstrates passion that inspires peers. 
    • Excellence in Nursing Preceptorship - A registered nurse who provides accurate, constructive feedback, promotes multidisciplinary collaboration and provides clinical experiences to promote professional growth. 
    • Excellence in Advanced Practice - An advanced practice provider who demonstrates clinical expertise, serves as a resource for growth and development of others, collaborates with all team members, serves as a mentor to peers, advocates for patients and caregivers, demonstrates leadership in research and evidence-based practices, and educates for the advancement of health and disease prevention. 
    • Excellence in Licensed Practical Nursing – A licensed practical nurse who fosters a culture that promotes quality nursing practice environments, serves as a patient/family advocate, and collaborates with nursing colleagues and other health-related professionals to facilitate quality care. 
    • Rising Star - Nurses who show commitment to Stormont Vail Health, exemplify high standards of practice and professionalism, and actively seek out professional growth opportunities. 
    • Excellence in Patient Care - Patient care technicians and operating room assistants who are self-directed, require minimum supervision, exhibit excellence in follow-through skills, are team players and remain eager and willing to learn. 
    • Distinguished Community Service - A nurse who makes significant contributions through community service activities and influences and inspires others to be involved. 

    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.

    Special Note: If you are interested in covering this event, please call or email Linda Ruiz to make arrangements for her to meet you and escort you to the event location.

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  • Stormont Vail Health remains committed to community after recent announcement from SCL Health and St. Francis Health

    Thursday May 4, 2017

    With today’s announcement from SCL Health that Nashville-based Ardent Health Services, in partnership with University of Kansas Health System, will assume operations of St. Francis Health on July 1, 2017, Stormont Vail Health’s commitment to Topeka and the surrounding communities remains the same.

    “When we stepped up to help St. Francis, we wanted to do the right thing to strengthen health care for the community,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer at Stormont Vail Health. “As a not-for-profit, locally owned, operated and managed health system, we will continue to do what is best for the health and well-being of the region.”

    Stormont Vail Health has a long history of collaborating with partners across the region to improve the health of patients, including St. Francis, and would extend the same to Ardent Health Services.  Stormont Vail will also encourage leadership at Ardent, a for-profit organization, to commit to keeping care and investments local in the region.

    “As a member of this community since 1884, we have witnessed Topeka and the surrounding area undergo many changes in health care,” said Peterson. “We are pleased that the doors of St. Francis will stay open. Stormont Vail has remained a strong and dedicated health care provider. Our commitment to deliver compassionate, high-quality and integrated care through collaboration will continue for years to come.”

    Community members interested in learning more about Stormont Vail Health and its commitment to the community should visit https://www.stormontvail.org/community-served.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Hosts Celebrate Life Organ Donation Reception: Invitation to Media

    Monday May 1, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health, along with Midwest Transplant Network and Kansas Eye Bank, will host a reception to honor our patients, and their families who have been organ, tissue and eye donors during the previous year.

    Thursday, May 4, 2017
    5:30 p.m.
    Stormont Vail Health
    1500 S.W. 10th Ave., Topeka, Kansas

    If you would like to cover this event, please meet in the lobby of the main entrance to the hospital at 5:20 p.m. to be escorted to the ceremony location.

    In 2008, Stormont Vail Health dedicated the Gift of Life Garden on our main campus to help increase awareness of organ and tissue donation. Directly adjacent to the garden is a Gift of Life Memorial Wall in an interior hallway. This is an area that is utilized to recognize our organ and tissue donors by name.

    Transplantation offers patients a new chance at healthy, productive and normal lives and returns them to their families, friends and communities. Every year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1 million tissue transplants, and the need for donated tissue is steadily increasing. A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people. To learn more about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, visit DonateLife.net.

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  • Stormont Vail Health submits letter to SCL Health, preparing to assume operations, assets of St. Francis Health

    Friday April 28, 2017

    Today, Stormont Vail Health submitted a letter of intent to move forward in assuming the operations of St. Francis Health as of July 1, 2017.

    “We are committed to ensuring uninterrupted, local health care for our community,” said Randy Peterson, president & chief executive officer of Stormont Vail Health. “We are ready to strengthen the health care services in Topeka and the region and safeguard continued access to care close to home.”

    Transition planning is already underway, and Stormont Vail Health would work closely with SCL Health to expedite what is typically a longer process for operational transitions. Stormont Vail has a strong, resourced transition team to move through a project of this scale thoroughly and quickly.

    “Stormont Vail is a not-for-profit health system, locally owned and managed, and we will ensure business stays in Topeka, and profits are reinvested in our community, just as we’ve done throughout the years” said Peterson. “The mission of St. Francis and Stormont Vail are well aligned, and we have received strong support within the community for this transition.”

    Stormont Vail Health is hopeful to work with SCL Health throughout this process to ensure staff and patient care are able to transition successfully.

    “The employees of St. Francis are more than just our neighbors; they are our friends in health care,” said Peterson. “Through this proposed transition, we would welcome them to join our team, and continue the tradition of bringing high-quality care and compassion to patients.”

    Stormont Vail Health has built a strong health system by connecting services across our medical group and hospital, and are continuing to work on advancing care with partnerships like the Mayo Clinic Care Network that bring additional expertise to Topeka.

    “As a member of this community since 1884, Stormont Vail Health has experienced many changes in health care in our community. Our commitment to this community remains the same with a renewed sense of collaboration,” Peterson continued. “Change is a part of health care and we are equipped to adapt and expand, and have continued to do this throughout the years so that we can provide the highest level of care to the areas we also call home.”

    Community members interested in learning more about Stormont Vail Health and its commitment to the community should visit https://www.stormontvail.org/community-served.

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  • Digital Consultations with Mayo Clinic Increases Access to Advanced Health Care in Topeka

    Monday April 24, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary as Mayo Clinic Care Network Member

    Electronic consultations are not just a luxury in health care, and at Stormont Vail Health they’ve become an integral part of the health care delivery system as it celebrates its third anniversary as a Mayo Clinic Care Network member. Through Stormont Vail Health, Topeka and surrounding communities have increased access to advanced care, allowing for advanced diagnosis and treatment, reducing the cost of care, helping to improve patient outcomes and, most importantly, keeping patients close to home.

    The media are invited to an interview session at 9 a.m. on May 1, 2017, in the Auditorium of the Pozez Education Center, located within Stormont Vail Hospital, where officials from Mayo Clinic and Stormont Vail Health will be on site to talk about how digital consultations, also called eConsults, have changed local care since Stormont Vail Health joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network in April 2014.

    As part of the network, Stormont Vail physicians can collaborate with Mayo experts through eConsults and through access to the Mayo Clinic’s online repository of disease management information and evidence-based treatment recommendations. By embracing collaboration through technology, Stormont Vail Health and Mayo Clinic are ensuring that patients with complex conditions have access to trusted teamwork and expertise − all while staying close to home, and at no additional cost to the patient.

    Stormont Vail Health President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Peterson cited eConsults between Stormont Vail and Mayo Clinic physicians and leadership as the foremost accomplishment of the membership since starting the collaboration.

    “I am pleased to report that our physicians have completed 546 eConsults for patients since our first year,” said Peterson. “That means 546 times our physicians were able to consult with Mayo specialists as they work to ensure the best diagnosis and treatment options are found for our patients, while keeping their care close to home,” said Peterson.

    “As technology expands and we find global opportunities to treat patients, it is important not to lose sight that patients do best with support systems around them, and with familiar environments and routines in place. Both Stormont Vail and Mayo Clinic share a commitment that health care should be provided close to home whenever possible.”

    Also available through the Mayo Clinic Care Network is AskMayoExpert. This online resource tool delivers Mayo Clinic physician-vetted medical knowledge and puts answers to common clinical questions into the hands of Stormont Vail Health providers. AskMayoExpert and eConsults are two of several professional services that Stormont Vail Health providers have access to through this collaborative relationship with Mayo Clinic.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Receives an “A” for Patient Safety in Spring 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

    Wednesday April 12, 2017

    The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety and transparency in the U.S. health care system, today released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide. Stormont Vail Health was one of 823 hospitals to receive an “A” for its commitment to reducing errors, infections and accidents that can harm patients.

    “I am proud of our organization’s commitment to putting patient safety first,” said Randy Peterson, president and CEO of Stormont Vail Health. “This honor belongs to every one of our team members. They all contribute to the positive outcomes by patients at Stormont Vail Health.”

    “Hospitals that earn top marks nationally in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, have achieved the highest safety standards in the country,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “That takes commitment from every member of the hospital staff, who all deserve thanks and congratulations when their hospitals achieve an ‘A’ Safety Grade.”

    Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

    To see Stormont Vail’s full grade and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org or follow the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade mobile app for Apple and Android devices. 

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  • Radiation Oncologist Physician Ajay Tejwani, M.D., M.P.H., Joins Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center

    Wednesday April 5, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Ajay Tejwani, M.D., M.P.H., has joined our medical team and is practicing as a radiation oncology physician. Stormont Vail Health’s radiation oncology services are provided in partnership with The University of Kansas Cancer Center. Dr. Tejwani is practicing at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center, 1414 S.W. Eighth Ave. in Topeka.

    “As the son of a medical oncologist, I have grown up around medicine my entire life,” said Dr. Tejwani. “Seeing the fulfillment my mother gained from practicing oncology eventually inspired me to pursue medical school and a subsequent path toward treating cancer patients.”

    Radiation oncology was the intersection of many of Dr. Tejwani’s clinical interests. “I appreciated the cutting-edge technology the field demonstrates and the ability to eradicate disease or palliate symptoms non-invasively,” said Dr. Tejwani. “My favorite aspect of working in oncology is the ability to work in a team setting with several disciplines regularly.”

    Dr. Tejwani received his medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2008. He completed a radiation oncology residency at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, in 2013.

    Dr. Tejwani actively enjoys being able to offer clinical trials to patients in the community and strives to ensure his patients understand their disease and treatments. His patients have described him as enthusiastic, straight-forward, patient and even-tempered.

    When he is not in clinic, Dr. Tejwani enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, ages 5 and 3. He loves to play basketball and golf in his free time. He says being born and raised in metro Detroit, he is an avid Detroit Pistons basketball fan and a Detroit Lions football fan.

    Dr. Tejwani is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your specialist about a referral to this radiation oncology physician.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Sponsoring Free Skin Cancer Screening April 8 Appointments Can Now Be Made by Calling Health Connections

    Monday April 3, 2017

    A free community skin cancer screening will be provided by Stormont Vail Health 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 cancer screening clinic will be held from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 8, at the Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center, 1414 S.W. 8th Ave., Topeka.

    An appointment is encouraged, but not required. To make an appointment, call Health Connections at (785) 354-5225. Walk-ins are accepted.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Celebrates Doctors’ Day

    Tuesday March 28, 2017

    March 30 is the day set aside for our nation to celebrate Doctors’ Day, but according to Cliff Jones, M.D., Stormont Vail Health vice president, Subspecialty Care, “Every day is Doctors’ Day at Stormont Vail Health; this organization does a good job of honoring and respecting its physicians.” He adds, “What a privilege it is to be involved in patient care. I have a physical license that allows me to be intimately associated with people, who inspire me every day.”  

    Bill Sachs, M.D., vice president, Surgical Services, summed up what he feels is the best part of being a physician.

    “The ability to immediately change somebody’s life for the better,” he said.

    Practicing medicine has many sides to it says Doug Rose, M.D., vice president and chief medical quality officer. “Being a physician has an emotional side, as well as an intellectual side,” said Rose. “The emotional side is doing the right thing for the patient every day. The intellectual side is that health care is an ongoing puzzle. Every day we have to understand what is new, what is changing, so that ultimately we are better able to do the emotional side of our job.”

    According to Robert Kenagy, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, physician leadership is vital at Stormont Vail Health during the transition to a population health organization.

    “Intimate understanding of a patient’s experience allows physicians to advocate effectively during times of change. Doctors take the pulse of the key health issues their patients face and help guide the organization in a rapidly evolving environment,” said Kenagy.

    “Patients are looking for guidance or wisdom about their health,” said Dr. Kenagy. “They want to look to someone who they respect, a professional with the mantle of authority and compassion. I have the privilege to be a colleague to a tremendous number of skilled physicians who change the lives of thousands of patients every day for the better.”

    When asked what the best part of practicing medicine has been for him, Dr. Kenagy said, “As a physician, I’ve had the joy of being involved in many patient’s loves over time, being a part of multiple generations of a family, hearing about their joys and concerns, seeing a child that I’ve cared for in a special care nursery do on to college. These were the aspects of practice that brought me the most joy.”

    The first Doctors’ Day was on March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. The idea came from Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, on the anniversary of the first administration of anesthesia by Dr. Crawford W. Long in Jefferson, Georgia, in 1842.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Welcomes Family Medicine at Tallgrass and Immediate Care at Tallgrass to Cotton O’Neil Family

    Friday March 10, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health announces the purchase of Family Medicine, Immediate Care and Occupational Medicine at Tallgrass located at 601 S.W. Corporate View Rd., Suite 200, in Topeka.

    Current Family Medicine at Tallgrass practicing physicians, Betsy Johns, M.D., and Karen Bruce, M.D., will become Cotton O’Neil providers and will continue to see all current primary care, urgent care and worker’s compensation patients starting June 12, 2017.

    Dr. Johns received her medical degree from Hahnemann University and completed residency in family medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Dr. Johns is board certified in family medicine. She also received a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh and has experience teaching family medicine residents.

    Dr. Bruce received her medical degree from the University of Washington and completed residency training in family medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Bruce taught at East Carolina University School of Medicine for two years before moving to Topeka to help start the Family Medicine Residency Program in Topeka. She is board certified in family medicine.

    “We are very excited to have these two physicians and their team join the Cotton O’Neil family,” said Deb Yocum, vice president and clinic operations officer for Stormont Vail Health. “At Stormont Vail Health and Cotton O’Neil we are not just a family, we are a team. In this era of providing patient-centered care to an entire population, it is important that providers work together as a team to keep patients healthy. That team is also important to ensure any illness or injury is treated quickly and completely to allow the patient to get back to their life.”

    In addition to the two physicians, the clinic staff includes five full-time and two part- time midlevel providers who will continue to see patients.

    All current employees of the clinic will become Stormont Vail Health employees and both physicians will be accepting new Cotton O’Neil patients. Patients may call (785) 234-0880 or (785) 295-4500 to set up a new appointment.

    The new name of the location will be Cotton O’Neil Corporate View. The location has onsite X-ray and Laboratory services and will accept most major insurance plans. Patients will also have access to MyChart, a free service through Stormont Vail Health that gives patients direct, online access to their medical records. Patients can view medical records, manage appointments, request prescription renewals, and stay in touch with their physicians.

    “Patients will soon appreciate having their electronic medical records available at every step from their primary care physician’s office to specialty care office and at the hospital if that level of care becomes necessary,” said Yocum.

    “Both Dr. Bruce and I are happy to be joining the Cotton O’Neil family of providers,” said Dr. Johns. “Joining this team allows us to continue to help each patient become healthier with personalized attention and creates new opportunities for providing quality medical care in our community.”

    Tallgrass Anesthesiology Associates, Tallgrass Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, LLC, and Tallgrass Surgical Center, LLC are not part of the acquisition and will continue to operate separately.

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  • Stormont Vail Foundation Supports Nursing Education

    Friday March 3, 2017

    The Stormont Vail Foundation was pleased to fund nursing scholarships totaling $80,100 for 87 students at the Baker University School of Nursing, Stormont Vail Campus, for the Spring 2017 semester. Congratulations to the following nursing students who were awarded scholarship assistance.

    Avis Van Lew Nursing Scholarship

    Jessica Abendroth, Carbondale, Kansas

    Rebecca Brown, Topeka, Kansas 

    June D. Billingham Nursing Scholarship

    Gabrielle Betsch, Olathe, Kansas 

    Blanche Bryden Nursing Scholarship

    Heidi Hayen, Topeka, Kansas

    Caring Hearts Nursing Scholarship

    Chase Winter, Augusta, Kansas

    Carol Perry-Lumb Nursing Scholarship          

    Tanner Mihesuah, Flagstaff, Arizona                                                                                                 

    Carson Family Nursing Scholarship                  

    Kayla Bales, Muscotah, Kansas               

    Christ/Wolff Nursing Scholarship                                                                           

    LaTeka Allen, Overland Park, Kansas  

    Andrea Barton, Manhattan, Kansas

    Jordyn Beck, Topeka, Kansas

    Alisa Becker, McPherson, Kansas                                                                                                                    

    Jillian Benson, Lenexa, Kansas                                                                                      

    Emily Brent, Topeka, Kansas

    Brenna Cook, Leawood, Kansas           

    Melissa Cushing, Topeka, Kansas

    Taylor Dunagan, Tucson, Arizona

    Tara Folsom, Lawrence, Kansas

    Lydia Hardin, Olathe, Kansas                                                                                                          

    Alexis Hartzog, Wichita, Kansas

    Michelle Haug, Baileyville, Kansas

    Heidi Hayen, Topeka, Kansas

    Molly Hiett, Leawood, Kansas

    Sarah Hightree, Lawrence, Kansas

    Stephanie Hinchey, DeSoto, Kansas

    Katelynn Hoobler, Horton, KS

    Cassidy Hulsing, Baileyville, Kansas

    Lakisha Irwin, Raytown, Missouri

    Samantha Max, Manhattan, Kansas

    Shannon Maxwell, Auburn, Kansas

    Shelly Nichols, Kansas City, Kansas

    Carrie Pierpont, Lecompton, Kansas

    Casey Pierron, Topeka, Kansas

    Dylan Price, Wellsville, Kansas

    Kristen Queen, Manhattan, Kansas

    Cheyenne Ratner, Topeka, Kansas

    Erica Ray, Topeka, Kansas

    Sarah Reedy, McPherson, Kansas

    Jacey Rottinghaus, Seneca, Kansas

    LaTasha Scales, Hutchinson, Kansas

    Maceyn Schreiber, Stafford, Kansas    

    Grace Sexton, Abilene, Kansas

    Bailey Snyder, Manhattan, Kansas

    Anthony Stapleton, Topeka, Kansas

    Jodi Stegman, Topeka, Kansas

    Lidia Strecker, Lawrence, Kansas

    Christina Taylor, McPherson, Kansas

    Skyler Taylor, Kansas City, Kansas

    Jeris Thomas, Topeka, Kansas

    Molly Thomas, Topeka, Kansas

    Tori Tomlinson, Osage City, Kansas

    Lisa Tran, Wichita, Kansas

    Corey True, Beloit, Kansas

    Samantha Twenhafel, Nortonville, Kansas

    Lindsey Unrein, Shawnee, Kansas

    Sydney Wedel, Minneapolis, Kansas

    Chase Winter, Augusta, Kansas

    Conkling-Hussey Nursing Scholarship             

    Regina Georgeson, Topeka, Kansas

    Kaysha Green, Topeka, Kansas

    Cotton O’Neil Clinic 20th Anniversary Nursing Scholarship

    Ilina Kay, Forest Hill, New York

    Dean Kathleen L. Harr Nursing Scholarship

    Ilina Kay, Forest Hills, New York                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

    Emery A. Dains Nursing Scholarship

    Morgan Koelzer, Silver Lake, Kansas

    Klemmer Endowed Nursing Scholarship

    Lauren Burks, Valley Center, Kansas

    Lawrence Gabel Nursing Scholarship

    Shelly Nichols, Kansas City, Kansas

    Marjorie Groll Nursing Scholarship

    Addison Ellis, Lawrence, Kansas

    Alexis Hartzog, Wichita, Kansas

    McKenzie Hartzog, Wichita, Kansas

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

    Frankie Farrant, Meriden, Kansas

    Baleigh Haag, Wichita, Kansas

    Morgan Hofmeister, Overland Park, Kansas

    Kohl’s Family Nursing Scholarship

    Alisa Becker, McPherson, Kansas

    Mary B. Storey Medcalf Nursing Scholarship

    Katelynn Hoobler, Horton, Kansas       

    Schane/Winans Nursing Scholarship

    Ryan Debus, Meriden, Kansas

    Security Benefit Group Nursing Scholarship

    Katelynn Hoobler, Horton, Kansas

    Stormont Vail Health Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship

    Kelli Bauman, Sabetha, Kansas

    Stormont Vail Foundation Nursing Scholarship

    Emily Brent, Topeka, Kansas

    Jamie Crockett, Merrillville, Indiana

    Rachel Dobbins, Kansas City, Missouri

    Taylor Dunagan, Tucson, Arizona

    Abbigail Eisenhut, Topeka, Kansas

    Lydia Hardin, Olathe, Kansas

    Lakisha Irwin, Raytown, Missouri

    Julie Johnson, Renton, Washington

    Savannah Keller, Manhattan, Kansas

    Sabrina Knoll, Eudora, Kansas

    Taylor Knoth, Salina, Kansas

    Amanda Lasswell, St. Marys, Kansas

    Megan Lee, Topeka, Kansas

    Sarah Ludwig-Eatmon, Topeka, Kansas

    Cambry Lynch, Lawrence, Kansas

    Chelsey Mann, St. Joseph, Missouri

    Kaitlin McAlister, Perry, Kansas

    Jessica McKenzie, Lawrence, Kansas

    Allyson Moore, Lenexa, Kansas

    Jamesha Murry, Lawrence, Kansas

    Karen Nissen, Lawrence, Kansas

    Riley Obetz, Overland Park, Kansas

    Heidi Prockish, Westmoreland, Kansas

    Grace Sexton, Abilene, Kansas

    Hailey Stapleton, Topeka, Kansas

    Woman’s Club Nursing Scholarship

    Alexis Hartzog, Wichita, Kansas

    Erinn Steere, Topeka, Kansas 

    30th Anniversary Nursing Scholarship

    Carrie Pierpont, Lecompton, Kansas

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  • Welcome Baby Jubilee Provides Valuable Information for Expecting Mothers

    Thursday February 23, 2017

    Stormont Vail Health will host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, for expecting moms and women thinking about having a baby. Moms-to-be will have the opportunity to speak with Stormont Vail professionals, including Birthplace staff who will provide information on the Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic, Neonatal Intensive Care (NIC), Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM), pediatric services and delivery services available at Stormont Vail Health.

    Tours of the Birthplace, Breastfeeding Clinic, NIC and MFM will be available. Local individuals and organizations will be on hand to discuss child and baby services offered in the community. Expectant moms can register to win either a Medela breast pump or a $250 gift card to Babies R Us along with a variety of other prizes.

    “This event is a great way to learn about what to expect when you are expecting, “ said Libby Rosen, PhD, RN, IBCLC, Baker School of Nursing professor and childbirth class instructor for Stormont Vail Health. “Expecting mothers and their support members have an opportunity to meet our Birthplace team, who are ready to help Mom have the birth experience and good start that she is looking for. Information will be available about classes that will provide hands-on practice for the family. The biggest reported concerns of new families center around feeding and sleeping information for their new baby. We cover both of those in our classes, as well as car seat and safety information.”

    Dads, grandparents, partners and family who will spend time with the baby are welcome to attend and will have the opportunity to get their Tdap vaccination. Tdap is a vaccination that helps prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis and is highly recommended for anyone who will be in the presence of a newborn.

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  • Warm Fuzzies for Kids Brings Comfort to Pediatric Patients

    Friday February 17, 2017

    Members of the media are invited to the Warm Fuzzies for Kids volunteer event from 11 a.m. to noon on Feb. 18 in the Centennial rooms, first floor, Pozez Education Center, located within Stormont Vail Hospital.

    Stormont Vail Health Volunteer Services and the Stormont Vail Foundation are joining together to sponsor and support this kick-off event. Volunteers will make “no sew” fleece blankets for pediatric patients to use during their hospital stay and to bring home after discharge. A goal of 80 fleece blankets is set for Saturday. This amount will meet the need for up to two to three months.

    Two 3-hour shifts are offered for anyone wanting to volunteer from either 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m., and project supplies and light refreshments will be furnished. Each shift can accommodate a maximum of 80 volunteers. Volunteers 13 years or younger are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

    “Blankets are frequently requested for patients to provide comfort and cheer but the supply can be depleted in the colder months,” said Jane Mackey, president of the Stormont Vail Foundation. “This project will ensure that we have an adequate supply of blankets when they are needed.”

    “Community members frequently inquire about special opportunities to volunteer without making a long-term commitment, such as high school studentsm who need to meet community volunteer service requirements for graduation,” said Beverly Rice, director of Stormont Vail Health Volunteer Services. “Many major employers are also looking for opportunities for their employees to give back to the community. Our hope is this event is one of the many new volunteer opportunities that connect our community with Stormont Vail Health.”

    A few volunteer spots are still open. For more information or to register as a volunteer, contact Stormont Vail Health Volunteer Services at (785) 354-6095 or by email at volunteerdept@stormontvail.org. Please be sure to include your name, address, age, phone number and the shift you are interested in attending.

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  • New Guidelines Indicate Introducing Peanut-Containing Products to Infants Can Prevent Allergies

    Tuesday January 31, 2017

    The National Institutes of Health issued new guidelines earlier this month saying most babies should regularly eat peanut-containing foods starting around 6 months of age, some as early as 4 months.        

    The recommendations are based on landmark research that found early exposure is far more likely to protect babies from developing peanut allergies than to harm them.  

    “People with allergies have been desensitizing themselves for many years by getting small doses of things they are allergic to,” said Preeti Singh, M.D., Cotton O’Neil Manhattan. “In fact, this study isn’t too different than that, and if successful, can prevent many deaths and complications in our general population. We have peanut exposure in chocolate, for example, and it is hard for most children to resist candies.”

    The guidelines explain how exactly to introduce infants to age-appropriate peanut products depending on whether they’re at high, moderate or low risk of becoming allergic as they grow.

    Whole peanuts or even a spoonful of creamy peanut butter may be a choking hazard for infants and is not recommended for them. Instead, the guidelines include options such as watered-down peanut butter or easy-to-gum peanut-flavored “puff” snacks.

    Babies at high risk – because they have a severe form of skin rash, eczema or egg allergies – need a check-up before exposure and should receive their first taste in the doctor’s office. For other babies, most parents can start adding peanut-containing foods to their diet much like they introduce oatmeal or mashed fruits and vegetables. Giving any peanut-containing food should always be done when a parent or caregiver can monitor the infant for up to two hours after trying the food to make sure there are no reactions such as itching, rash or difficulty breathing. If there is a reaction, be sure to take the infant to a doctor.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Chief Human Resources Officer to Retire in 2017

    Tuesday January 31, 2017

    Bernard H. Becker, SPHR(L), SHRM-SCP, vice president and chief human resources officer at Stormont Vail Health, has announced his intent to retire before October 2017. Becker oversees Recruitment, Compensation & Benefits, Employee Relations, Employee Health, Education & Staff Development, Medical Education, the Stauffer Health Sciences Library, Spiritual Care, Volunteer Services & Auxiliary and the child care center.

    “While I am sad to be leaving an organization I’m so proud of, I am also excited to spend more time with my wife Barb and our family,” Becker said.

     Becker has been a part of Stormont Vail Health for more than 19 years. He joined Stormont Vail from 1980-1983 as the assistant director of personnel. He re-joined the system in 2001 as the vice president of Human Resources, later changing titles to vice president and chief human resources officer.

    “Bernie has been a great leader for Stormont Vail Health, contributing to our growth,” said Randy Peterson, president and chief executive officer. “During his tenure we’ve grown from about 2,500 employees to more than 4,800.”

    Becker has almost 40 years of human resources experience and has served as the chief human resources officer for multiple hospitals and health care systems in Michigan and Missouri. Additionally, Becker worked for three years as vice president and a consultant for a national health care human resources and labor relations firm. Born and raised in Kanas City and a Vietnam War-era U.S. Army veteran, Becker has a bachelor’s degree in Personnel Administration and Psychology from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in Personnel Management from Central Michigan University.

    A retirement reception will be announced at a later date. Stormont Vail Health is conducting a nationwide search for Becker’s replacement.

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  • New Guidelines Indicate Introducing Peanut-Containing Products to Infants Can Prevent Allergies

    Thursday January 26, 2017

    The National Institutes of Health issued new guidelines earlier this month saying most babies should regularly eat peanut-containing foods starting around 6 months of age, some as early as 4 months.        

    The recommendations are based on landmark research that found early exposure is far more likely to protect babies from developing peanut allergies than to harm them.  

    “This is an exciting development in the allergy field,” said Christy Jansen, M.D., pediatrician at Cotton O’Neil Emporia. “Peanut allergy affects one to two percent of children and can be lifelong. It can cause anxiety in parents as well. The ability to perhaps prevent peanut allergy by early exposure is great.”

    The guidelines explain how exactly to introduce infants to age-appropriate peanut products depending on whether they’re at high, moderate or low risk of becoming allergic as they grow.

    Whole peanuts or even a spoonful of creamy peanut butter may be a choking hazard for infants and it is not recommended for them. Instead, the guidelines include options such as watered-down peanut butter or easy-to-gum peanut-flavored “puff” snacks.

    Babies at high risk – because they have a severe form of skin rash eczema or egg allergies – need a check-up before exposure and should receive their first taste in the doctor’s office. For other babies, most parents can start adding peanut-containing foods to the diet much like they introduce oatmeal or mashed fruits and vegetables. Giving any peanut-containing food should always be done when a parentor caregiver can monitor the infant for up to two hours after they try the food to make sure there are no reactions such as itching, rash or difficulty breathing. If there is, be sure to take them to a doctor.

    Dr. Jansen encourages parents to contact their child’s physician to discuss how to introduce peanuts into their child’s diet as there are different recommendations depending on health history.

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