APRIL 27, 2017 – The Medical Society of Sedgwick County has chosen Phillip Brownlee, editorial page editor of The Wichita Eagle since 2001, as its new executive director.
The MSSC Board of Directors selected Brownlee from a field of more than a dozen candidates during a three-month search. Brownlee succeeds Jon Rosell, who became the Kansas Medical Society’s executive director in January, and is just the third MSSC director in a half century. Brownlee is expected to start with the MSSC in mid-May.
“Phillip will do a great job for the MSSC,” said Dr. Denis Knight, MSSC president. “He can readily learn a good deal about a topic and be well prepared to discuss it. He knows how to weigh different perspectives and come up with solutions that meet the needs of the organization as a whole. His critical thinking and candor will be assets to the MSSC and its members.”
“One of the things that drew me to this position was the mission focus of the medical society and its members,” Brownlee said. “The physicians care deeply about their patients and the community. It is a great organization filled with great people.”
Brownlee has been with the Eagle since 1996, first as editorial writer and then as editorial page editor. He wrote often about local, state and national health care topics. Brownlee and the newspaper’s editorial board earned a Kansas Public Health Association service award, one of a number of service and journalism awards received during his tenure.
Brownlee brings a business background to the MSSC, having worked as a certified public accountant for five years in Dallas before coming home to Kansas in 1990. He was public information director at Sterling College before joining the Eagle. He earned a bachelors in accounting and business administration from Sterling and a masters in journalism from the University of Kansas.
As executive director, Brownlee will be responsible for operations of the physician-led members organization and work with its affiliates: ProviDRs Care, a physician-owned PPO; Medical Provider Resources, a credentialing service; the Central Plains Health Care Partnership and its Project Access program that coordinates donated care for uninsured residents; and Health ICT, a CDC-funded program to reduce heart attack, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
MSSC member physicians put themselves on the firing line to mark National Doctors’ Day, speaking at a half-dozen Wichita schools and taking question after question from students.
Students asked about biggest babies delivered, youngest and oldest mothers, diabetes, genetic testing, low testosterone, salaries, cost of medical school, the MCAT and how physicians cope with sadness, among other topics.
Some physicians brought Powerpoints; others opened with, “so, tell me what you want to know.” All shared their expertise in and passion for medicine and a bit about themselves. That was the purpose of the program, which MSSC began last year as a pay-it-forward twist on Doctors’ Day. The hope is that students – including some who might have thought it out of reach – might consider a career in the “noble profession.”
All together from March 28 to 31, physicians spoke to over 400 students at North, West and East Highs, Collegiate School, Trinity Academy, and Independent School. Taking part were Drs. Patty Bledsoe, Anita Campbell, Valerie Creswell, Jed Delmore, John Gallagher, Linda Goodson, Ramaiah Indudhara, Michelle Klaumann, Denis Knight, Lan Ly, Emily Manlove, Justin Moore, Thomas Moore, Barry Murphy, Ragnar Peterson, D. Brendan Rice, Thomas Rosenberg, Patricia Wyatt-Harris and Estephan Zayat.
Their chosen field
At Independent, Dr. Wyatt-Harris told students the first delivery she did “was the coolest thing in the world.” She’s since brought 7,000 to 8,000 more into the world, from mothers ranging in age from 11 to 49.
Dr. Wyatt-Harris told how robotic surgery was a “huge, huge improvement over what we used to do” and that she chose a surgical path because “I want to get in and fix it.”
OB/GYN brings a mix of procedures and people: “I see these ladies through their whole lives, which is a bit like a family practice doctor.” At North, Dr. Delmore shared why he focused on oncology gynecology. “I liked working with sicker people,” he said. “I could deliver a baby but you wouldn’t want me to.”
Dr. Delmore and Drs. Rice and Justin Moore spoke to classes in North’s Bio-Med program, which like the Health Science program at West prepares students for college and certification as EMTs, CNAs, phlebotomists and other fields.
Is “everybody doing OK?” Dr. Delmore asked after one bloody slide, and the students nodded yes. He brought a video of surgery using the da Vinci system to remove lymph nodes and told how hospital infection rates dropped because of the technique and how, despite working from a console, “nothing moves without the doctor moving.” Working with patients is “gratifying. You’ve helped them during a hard time.”
Dr. Moore said he chose endocrinology partly because he dislikes delayed gratification. Run labs, get a level, prescribe a medication and “you get a pretty quick response most of the time.” He described his shift to consulting with Health ICT and others, to satisfy his interests and have a better work-life balance. He explained the work he does now, including on environmental factors contributing to disease.
Drawing a traditional street grid and a neighborhood of cul-de-sacs, he asked which promoted physical activity. The grid, a student replied, and Dr. Moore said, “correct,” and told how he tried to persuade city leaders to develop accordingly.
Medical school and training
At West High, many of the Health Science students wanted to be doctors – surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician, anesthesiologist – as well as firefighters, nurses, EMTs and PAs.
Dr. Peterson, a general surgeon, answered a pressing question early, explaining he’d always used his middle name of Ragnar – “I couldn’t get my brain around Eugene” – and had changed it once learning it cost only $50. He focused on his path to medical school and that “medicine is a noble calling,” echoing the message of Dr. Delmore that “it’s a calling; it’s not a job.”
What students should learn now, Dr. Peterson said, is how to study and take tests, particularly multiple-choice ones. Set aside time to study and use all the resources available. Avoid distractions – shut off Facebook and close email, Dr. Moore said, and “make studying sacrosanct.”
Dr. Moore said some students’ biggest mistake was having good grades and MCAT scores “but no idea what they’re getting into. So go out and seek experiences” like shadowing.Read More
by Denis Knight, DO
One recent weekend I spent time with my wife, Ginna, at one of our excellent community hospitals as she recovered from major surgery. It gave me time to reflect on the hours I have spent at this institution through the years treating patients.
I found that I was lingering at the photos on the wall explaining the history of this distinguished institution and the progress made in delivering care to the citizens of Sedgwick County. I no longer admit to hospitals as a family physician, having turned over the responsibility to hospitalists far more skillful than I in treating acutely ill patients, but I wholeheartedly support their valuable role in serving our patients and the community.
When I began practicing medicine in 1988, many retired doctors told me I had missed the “golden age of medicine” in America and reminisced about how we had a county hospital for the poor and private hospitals for those who could pay for services. They also exclaimed that the 1965 creation of Medicare and Medicaid during the Johnson Administration clearly improved hospitals’ breadth and scope of services for treating the elderly and the poor, as well as improving the training of young resident physicians. Predating this, the Hill-Burton Act of 1946 provided capital to hospitals in exchange for them making care available to low income and uninsured patients, sometimes for 25 years and sometimes in perpetuity.
This history lesson brings me to the pragmatism and leadership of a conservative president by the name of Ronald Reagan, who in 1986 signed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. COBRA came as some hospitals were aging out of their Hill-Burton obligations and care for uninsured patients was becoming more uncertain. The budget package included the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, a law preventing one hospital emergency department from dumping undesirable patients on another because of their condition or inability to pay. Since I trained during the years predating EMTALA and worked in an ER, I saw this dumping firsthand. The law is considered the largest unfunded mandate in the history of the federal government but leads to my point: Even a conservative president of the United States who had been a conservative governor of California recognized that our society had an obligation to help treat the working poor and disadvantaged. He would not have signed this bill into law unless he felt that these citizens were entitled to the same quality of health care as those with the ability to pay.Read More
When trying to ward off the onset of Type 2 diabetes, nothing is more effective for a patient than entering and actively participating in a diabetes prevention program.
That was one message of Diabetes Done Differently, a CME program for MSSC members and others presented April 4 by Dr. Justin Moore and Becky Tuttle of Health ICT, whose mission includes diabetes prevention.
The program, attended by about four dozen at the Hyatt Wichita, was the first time CME credit was granted directly by the MSSC under certification approved last year.
The diabetes program kicked off with quick run-through on the mission of Health ICT, the CDC-funded and MSSC-sponsored program to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Dr. Moore, an endocrinologist and Health ICT’s medical consultant, then set out the stakes involved with diabetes:
- 1 million Americans have diabetes, about 11 percent of adults.
- 86 million Americans are prediabetic, and only 11 percent – 1 in 9 – with prediabetes know they have it.
- One-sixth of all medical expenses can be traced to diabetes.
“Type 2 diabetes is an acknowledgment of retinopathy risk,” Dr. Moore said. “As blood sugars start to rise, you see that the future holds for these people, and you have a sense of impending doom.”
Research shows that diabetes screening alone will not save lives, but it can trigger interventions. The good news, Dr. Moore said, is that “if patients know they could have diabetes, they’re twice as likely to take action” to improve their lifestyle by increasing physical activity, losing weight and eating better. Sharing a personal story, he told how five years ago he was classified prediabetic – oh, “the irony” – and lost 25 pounds and the designation.
Studies have found that prevention programs are cost effective, with the savings in health care costs over time offsetting that of screening and the programs. In Wichita, the YMCA operates the only CDC-certified program, although two other groups are working to add programs, said Tuttle, Health ICT program manager. The goal of the programs is for participants to lose 7 percent of their weight and obtain 150 minutes or more of physical activity weekly.Read More
Dr. George Lucas, a longtime MSSC member and retired hand surgeon, has written and published Appalachia Boy, a memoir of his youth in southeast Ohio. Dr. Lucas’ father died when he was 10, leaving his mother with three kids and another on the way. Dr. Lucas shares many of the often-amusing boyhood tales that helped shape him. The book is available at www.createspace.com/6973625 and at Amazon.com (search for Dr. George Lucas).
Area dermatologists will conduct a free Wichita Area Skin Cancer Screening Clinic on Saturday, May 6 at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, 1010 N. Kansas.
The clinic will be from 8 a.m. to noon at the east entrance. Dermatologists and staff will screen for signs of skin cancer and if a suspicious lesion is found, the patient will be referred to their primary care doctor to get a referral for treatment. The clinic is sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology, the MSSC and KUSM-Wichita. For info, call 316-777-6104.
Members of the Society who know a good and sufficient reason why any of the following applicants are not eligible for membership are requested to communicate with the Medical Society of Sedgwick County office.
[BC] Board Certified [R] Residency [F] Accredited Fellowship [F*] Unaccredited Fellowship [AT] Additional Training
Erika Burke, MD
[BC] Family Medicine
KUSM-Wichita Family Medicine
OFF: 293-2607 / FAX: 293-2696
1010 N Kansas, 67214
Christi L. Leach, MD
[BC] Geriatric Psychiatry
Via Christi Psychiatry Clinic
8901 E Orme St., 67207
Melissa L. Penny, DO
[BC] Family Medicine
Via Christi Family Medicine
OFF: 268-5000 / FAX: 858-3458
707 N Emporia, 67214
Daniel Rivera, MD
Kansas Professional Anesthesia & Pain
OFF: 618-1515 / FAX: 618-8635
1515 S Clifton S-200, 67218
Mohinder Vindhyal, MD
[BC] Internal Medicine
OFF: 293-2650 / FAX: 293-1878
1010 N Kansas, 67214
Heather Roe, DO
[BC] Family Medicine
OFF: 854-1045 / FAX: 854-5262
2290 N Tyler Rd. S-300 67205
Keep your 2017 Roster current by adding the information listed below and in the Membership section of this issue of the MSSC News:
Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine at Cypress has changed name and location to:
Kansas Joint & Spine Specialists
OFF: 219-8299 / FAX: 219-5899
10100 E Shannon Woods Circle S-100, 67226
Bruner, Bradley W., MD
Hagan, Phillip F., MD
Joseph, James, Jr., MD
Stuckey, Ryan M., MD
Walker, Damion Y., DO
Whitaker, M. Camden, MD
Michael Treweeke, MD
Ruth Weber, MD – moved out of state
Wichita Health Information Exchange – Creating a secure electronic exchange of health data across the local medical trade region, in collaboration with the provider-led Kansas Health Information Network. WHIE non-profit, provider-led organization to improve patient care in Wichita-Sedgwick County through the prompt, secure electronic exchange of clinical information within the medical trade region.
ProviDRs Care is the only physician owned and managed Preferred Provider Organization network in Kansas. By leasing its provider network to insurance companies, third party administrators and self-funded plans, ProviDRs Care maintains choice and competition among health insurance plans in Kansas.
Medical Provider Resources is the only physician owned and managed provider credentialing verification service in Kansas. MPR delivers “best practice” support in response to the growing demands for credentialing information and other practice management requirements.