• Gastroenterologist Brings Single Balloon Enteroscopy Technique to Topeka to Treat Small Bowel Disorders Without Surgery: John Sun, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center

    Tuesday August 23, 2016

    John Sun, M.D., specializes in uncommon and difficult digestive cases involving patients with small bowel disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), some of whom have suffered with symptoms for years without relief. Dr. Sun performs a technique known as single-balloon enteroscopy and is proud to return to Topeka and offer this procedure to patients for the diagnosis and treatment of small bowel diseases. This highly specialized and unique endoscopic procedure uses a balloon-assisted enteroscope, which provides unprecedented visualization of lesions and abnormalities in the small bowel, and has the ability to allow non-surgical treatment and biopsy of small bowel pathology. Through single-balloon enteroscopy, many treatments of the small bowel are now possible including stricture dilation, polyp removal, tissue sampling, and various hemostatic procedures to stop active blood loss or destroy bleeding lesions. Dr. Sun was one of the first physicians in the country to perform this procedure.

    Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Dr. Sun has joined our medical team and will practice as a gastroenterology physician. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center, 720 S.W. Lane St. in Topeka. Dr. Sun previously worked at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City as an assistant professor of medicine from 2013 to 2016 and also at Kansas Medical Clinic in Topeka from 2012 to 2013. From 2005 to 2012 he practiced at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco and was also clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, one of the nation’s top academic medical centers.

    Dr. Sun received his medical degree at Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1999. He completed a categorical internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2002. He completed a gastroenterology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2005.

    Tanner Speake, PA-C, has also joined the medical team and will be available to see new patients at the Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center. Speake received his master of science in physician assistant studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, in 2016. He received his bachelor of arts in kinesiology at Washburn University in Topeka in 2013.

    “Making your patients better is what keeps me going,” said Dr. Sun. “There is no greater satisfaction than treating a patient who has been through multiple treatments and has had several procedures with no relief, but then tells you ‘I haven’t felt this good in years!’”

    Running and photography are two passions that Dr. Sun enjoys in his spare time. He has an eye for abstract architecture, and his photography has been on exhibit in both the NOTO Arts District in Topeka and in San Francisco, California.

    Dr. Sun and Tanner Speake are now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral.

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  • Stormont Vail Health Recruitment Entry-Level Job Fair

    Tuesday August 23, 2016

    Stormont Vail Health will hold an entry-level job fair on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at Stormont Vail Hospital in the Pozez Education Center, meeting room Centennial C, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Representatives will be on hand to meet with applicants. Entry-level positions are available for the following departments in the hospital: Environmental Services, Linen Services, Nutritional Services, Pharmacy, and Security.

    Applicants should apply online at stormontvail.org before coming to the job fair or please bring a resume with them.

    Meeting room Centennial C, in the Pozez Education Center, is located on Stormont Vail Health's main campus at S.W. 8th and Horne streets. Free parking is available in the parking garage. Please enter through the main hospital entrance and follow the signs and guides to the job fair.

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

    Friday August 5, 2016

    Stormont Vail Health was recognized among the best hospitals in the country in the U.S. News & World Report 2016-17 Best Regional Hospitals rankings. Stormont Vail Health was ranked second in Kansas and achieved the highest rating possible in eight procedures or conditions, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and aortic valve surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colon cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery, heart failure, hip and knee replacement and lung cancer surgery.  Only the University of Kansas Hospital ranked higher in Kansas.        

    “The vision of Stormont Vail Health is to be a national leader in providing compassionate, high quality and effective integrated care through collaboration that results in a healthier community. Seeing recognition like that from U.S. News help us affirm whether or not we are on target with our vision,” said Randy Peterson, CEO and president of Stormont Vail Health. “It’s also exciting to see that one of our collaborative partners, the Mayo Clinic, was ranked as the number one hospital in the United States.”

    Stormont Vail Health joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network in 2014. This partnership includes electronic medical consults between physicians, the ability to ask Mayo experts questions, as well as learn best practices for ancillary services and the business departments within the hospital.

    “When patients come to Stormont Vail Health they can expect to receive some of the best possible care in the state as well as support from the best possible care in the nation,” Peterson continued. “We are proud that our doctors, nurses and other health care professionals provide such a high standard of care.”

    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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  • Tender Compassion for Community, Along With Embracing Innovative and Less Invasive Procedures: Cardiothoracic Surgeon Zaynoun El Khoury, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Heart Center

    Monday August 1, 2016

    Zaynoun El Khoury, M.D., brings a wealth of excellent training and qualifications to his new position as cardiothoracic surgeon for Cotton O’Neil and Stormont Vail Health.

    Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Dr. El Khoury has joined our medical team and will practice as a cardiothoracic surgeon. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, 830 S.W. Mulvane in Topeka.

    Dr. El Khoury has comprehensive clinical training in all aspects of cardiothoracic surgery with a focus on open and minimally invasive cardiac surgery procedures including coronary artery bypass surgery (on/off pump); valve surgery, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR); both heart and lung transplant surgery; ventricular assisted device surgery; pulmonary thromboendarterectomy; and both benign and malignant thoracic surgery. He embracesthe importance of innovative treatments and less-invasive procedures, which give new hope to patients living with heart and lung disease.

    He also brings a tender compassion for community. Dr. El Khoury’s colleagues have described him as an exceptionally personable, intelligent and motivated young man who is eager to please and serve. He embraces the power of information and communication technologies to support patients and their families with the best available information, while respecting their individual values and preferences. He also believes that working cooperatively with other members of the health care team is the key for success and better patient care.

    His journey has been far from conventional. “The path that took me to where I am today is definitely not the one with least resistance,” said Dr. El Khoury. “In fact, during each stage, I had to reevaluate and recommit to what I valued the most.”

    Dr. El Khoury received his medical degree at the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, in 2007. He completed a preliminary residency in general surgery at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, in 2009. He completed a categorical residency in general surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2014. Dr. El Khoury completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at the University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, in 2016.

    Giving back to the community is something that Dr. El Khoury is very passionate about. “My choice through life, and in my career, has seldom been identical,” said Dr. El Khoury. “As a child from a rural village North of Lebanon, my aspirations and goals were shaped by conscientious, loving parents and teachers who instilled in me a sense of discipline, compassion and determination.”

    In Lebanon he served in multiple non-political, non-religious, non-profit medical organizations affiliated with the United Nations Foundation. He was an active member and involved in several projects, including peer education for HIV-AIDS and organizing medical care for displaced victims of the 2006 war in Lebanon. He also served on surgical missions including an assignment to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 2012. 

    “As senior resident, I accompanied one of my general surgery faculty members on a surgical mission opportunity at King’s Hospital in Haiti,” said Dr. El Khoury. “In an inpatient and outpatient setting we provided a wide array of general surgery services to the medically underserved population of Port-au-Prince.”

    Dr. El Khoury is board certified in general surgery and is a member of the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this specialty physician.

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  • Infectious Disease Physician Has Successful Reputation in the Topeka Community: Michael Tablang, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil

    Monday August 1, 2016

    Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Michael Tablang, M.D., has joined our medical team and will practice as an infectious disease physician. Dr. Tablang is dedicated and passionate in his specialty, and he is looking forward to continuing to serve patients in the Topeka community that he calls home. He will practice in the hospital as well as in an outpatient clinic located at Cotton O’Neil Infectious Disease, 901 S.W. Garfield in Topeka. Prior to joining Cotton O’Neil Infectious Disease, Dr. Tablang practiced at St. Francis Health Center.  

    Dr. Tablang is well trained in treating a wide variety of infections in adult patients, including HIV or AIDS, MRSA and hospital-acquired infections.

    He received his medical degree at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, in 2002. He completed a residency in internal medicine in 2009 at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut. Dr. Tablang completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, in 2012.

    Dr. Tablang is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this specialty physician.

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  • Compassionate Drive to Serve Others and a Tragic and Personal Loss Leads to Career in Pulmonary Medicine: Hassan Taha, M.D., Joins Stormont Vail Health

    Monday August 1, 2016

    A passion for science, curiosity to understand human disease and a compassionate drive to serve others have all been present with Hassan Taha, M.D., ever since he was young. When a close family member died from respiratory failure due to complications of her lymphoma cancer, this tragic and personal experience sparked a passion in Dr. Taha to become a medical doctor, and later to sub-specialize in the field of pulmonary and critical care medicine.

    Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Dr. Taha has joined our medical team and will practice as a pulmonology, critical care and sleep medicine physician. His practice will be located at 823 S.W. Mulvane in Topeka.  

    Dr. Taha received his medical degree at Jordan University of Science and Technology, Ar Ramtha, Jordan, in 2008. He completed a year internship at Ministry of Health, Prince Hamzeh Hospital, Jordan, in 2009. He also completed an internal medicine internship and residency at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, in 2013. Dr. Taha completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and affiliated hospitals, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2016.

    “Medicine has allowed me to give back to the community and to the people who gave me the opportunity to be here,” said Dr. Taha. “Helping patients at their weakest times and supporting them through the most difficult moments in their life is very satisfying. Providing up-to-date medical care and evidence based practice, as well as advice, guidance and love, honors my passion about medicine and my specialty in particular.”

    Areas of focus and interest for Dr. Taha include pulmonary hypertension, interstial lung diseases, lung cancer and diagnostic bronchoscopy. While working at the Medical College of Wisconsin and their affiliate hospitals, he had extensive exposure to bone marrow transplant patients, post-transplant complications and a wide variety of obstructive and restrictive lung diseases.

    Outside the office, Dr. Taha enjoys salmon and trout fishing on and around Lake Michigan, as well as spending time with his wife and two very active boys, enjoying hiking and watching movies.

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

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  • Stormont Vail Health Heritage Room Grand Opening

    Monday August 1, 2016

    Members of the media are invited to a grand opening event at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Stormont Vail Hospital, 1500 S.W. 10th Ave., Topeka, Kansas.

    A short introduction and invocation will begin at 3 p.m. by Tracy O’Rourke, Stormont Vail Health senior vice president and chief strategy officer.

    About the Stormont Vail Health Heritage Room

    The Stormont Vail Health Heritage Room is home to a wealth of historical information about and images of the people and milestones of Stormont Vail Health and Cotton O’Neil Clinic. It features displays tracing Stormont Vail’s growth from two independent hospitals at the turn of the 19th century, the merger of Stormont Vail and Cotton O’Neil in the 20th century, and the organizations growth into a health care leader in hospital and clinic medical services for Kansans in the 21st century.

    The room features an interactive kiosk charting the organization’s history, medical advancements, many specialty and regional clinics, and the legacy of leadership in administration and medicine.

    Also on display are a selection of artifacts from the history of medicine, including a patient registration book from the early 1900s along with a patient bill from the same time period. Examples of employee newsletters and a small selection of surgeon’s tools are also on display.

    The room was made possible through the generosity of the Stormont Vail Foundation.

    To attend the grand opening, please contact Nancy Burkhardt, Director of Marketing & Communications, at (785) 354-6927 or nburkhar@stormontvail.org.

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