We Together: A Communication of Stormont Vail Health (Mar 26)

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Welcomes Rebecca Weller, M.D., to Flint Hills Emergency Department
  • Addressing Community Violence Topic of Forum, Upcoming Town Halls
  • Celebrating Stormont Vail Health’s 500th TAVR

Stormont Vail Welcomes Rebecca Weller, M.D., to Flint Hills Emergency Department

Stormont Vail Health proudly welcomes emergency physician Dr. Rebecca Weller to the Flint Hills Campus Emergency Department, Junction City. As a board-certified specialist with more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Weller provides emergency care for patients requiring immediate medical attention for trauma, sepsis, burns, strokes, and other acute illnesses and injuries.

“The one thing I really want people to know is I have a lot of experience in emergency medicine,” Dr. Weller said. “My patients get someone who knows how to do the procedures they need and has the experience. I’ve seen a lot of things, taken care of a lot of things, and care about the community, the hospital, and the particular patient and their medical problems.”

Dr. Weller’s decision to become a physician was as practical as her approach to medicine. As a freshman in high school, her advanced placement biology class took a field trip to the anatomy lab at K-State. While this experience piqued her interest, she realized that she was the only student in the class with an appetite for lunch afterward, which solidified her decision to enter the medical field.

Dr. Weller sought her medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas, intending to become a forensic pathologist. However, after several emergency medicine-related rotations sparked her interest, she changed her path. She completed her emergency medicine residency at the University Health Truman Medical Center (UHTMC)/University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri.

Although the patients and conditions she cares for differ daily (or even every hour), Dr. Weller’s approach remains the same. By focusing on active listening, respectful communication, and empathy, she strives to build rapport with patients during their most challenging moments, facilitating an effective recovery.

Addressing Community Violence Topic of Forum, Upcoming Town Halls

Encouraging community members to be heard and get involved in developing solutions to community violence were messages shared at a community forum last week at Stormont Vail Health.

Sponsored by the 70th Anniversary Brown Coalition, with support from Stormont Vail Health, the event “The Health of the BIPOC Community: A Discussion on Gun Violence”

included a virtual keynote from Dr. Brian Williams, a trauma surgeon and author of “The Bodies Keep Coming.” Also presenting were Stormont Vail’s Dr. Nason Lui who provided a surgeon’s view on gun violence, Mary Snipes, a mother who lost her son to gun violence in Junction City, Danielle Twemlow, community activist, and Daniel Martin, social worker and community activist.

The speakers made a call to action to address gun violence in the community. Williams said the Safer Communities Act, passed by Congress in 2022 to implement gun control laws was a start, but more is needed. Providing services to the broader community and seeking solutions to barriers by engaging with those impacted is the place to begin, said Martin.

The Community Inspired Violence Intervention Coalition (CIVIC), a Topeka community group seeking to develop an evidence-based, community-led violence intervention program, is conducting a community survey and will be sponsoring some upcoming town hall meetings for further discussion. Stormont Vail Health has representation on the CIVIC group. This community survey is in addition to the Shawnee County Community Health Needs Assessment Survey currently underway. The community violence survey is available online.

Celebrating Stormont Vail Health’s 500th TAVR

Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce the cardiology team recently completed its 500th Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, a minimally invasive surgery that replaces the aortic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis. To mark this momentous achievement, we hosted TAVR patients, physicians and team members on March 22 for a day of celebration and connection.

Stormont Vail has been performing TAVRs since Oct. 2015. The procedure is less invasive than open-heart surgery and typically takes less than one hour, making a small cut in either a patient’s groin, neck, or between the ribs. Our physician then guides a thin, flexible tube with the heart valve into a patient’s artery and to the diseased valve. Once the TAVR heart valve is placed in a patient’s diseased valve, the new valve starts working immediately.

We together,
Dr. Kenagy

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