February meeting features panel on vaping

The Medical Society of Sedgwick County’s first membership meeting of 2020 will feature a panel of four MSSC members who will discuss the health impacts of vaping.

Please join Ravi Bajaj, MD, Apeksha Sathyaprasad, MD, Amy Seery, MD, and Mohinder Vindhyal, MD, on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Dugan Library at Newman University.

Dr. Vindhyal

Dr. Bajaj

Dr. Seery

Dr. Sathyaprasad

According to the Sedgwick County Health Department, more than 2,000 cases and 40 deaths related to e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Kansas, more than 20 cases have been reported with two deaths.

February Membership Meeting

  • WHEN: 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4
  • WHERE: Dugan Library conference center, Newman University, 3100 W. McCormick
  • COST: $10 per person (includes meal and bar service)
  • INFO: 1 CME credit available
  • RSVP: By Thursday, Jan. 30. E-mail Denise Phillips at or call 316-683-7558.

Legislative session may be a volatile one this year


The start of the Kansas legislative session means the Kansas Medical Society and MSSC are hard a work monitoring bills and actions that could impact the practice of medicine and patient care.

“We expect a busy year,” KMS Executive Director Rachelle Colombo said. And because 2020 is an election year, the session will likely be more tense and volatile, she said.

The issue that could dominate the session is Medicaid expansion. Last year, the House approved a Medicaid expansion bill but no action was taken in the Senate. This year, there appears to be more openness to consider expansion, which KMS and MSSC support.

Gov. Laura Kelley and Sen. Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, recently announced a bipartisan expansion plan. It would extend health care coverage to Kansas families up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level and take effect no later than Jan. 1, 2021.

Another issue that could receive attention is the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling last year striking down the state’s liability cap on non-economic damages. However, KMS is recommending the Legislature not take any immediate action.

KMS’ concern is that it is unclear whether the Hilburn decision, which involved an automobile injury, applies to medical malpractice cases. KMS wants the Kansas Supreme Court to provide more clarity before lawmakers pursue a remedy.

However, KMS is proposing a possible change to the Health Care Stabilization Fund. If the Kansas Supreme Court rules that the lifting of the cap on non-economic damages also applies to medical malpractice, KMS is looking to commence an orderly phase-out of the stabilization fund, to begin one year later, and for physicians to no longer be required to carry malpractice insurance.

Another issue that likely will return is a bill to expand the scope of practice of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, which KMS and MSSC strongly oppose. Another possible issue is the licensing of anesthesiology assistants, which KMS and MSSC support. Such individuals would be licensed through the Kansas Board of Healing Arts and overseen by anesthesiologists.

KMS and MSSC both have physician committees that meet to hear a report on and discuss legislative issues. MSSC member Kevin Hoppock, MD, leads both committees.

The committee meets at the MSSC offices at noon every other Friday during most of the session. The first meeting is Jan. 24. If you are interested in participating, contact Denise Phillips at (316) 683-7558 or e-mail her at

January President’s Message: When we come together as a team, we really are superheroes

by Patricia Wyatt-Harris, MD —

It is now the middle of November. The weather is colder, and patients are racing to get things done before their deductibles start over again on Jan. 1. The holidays loom large on the calendar.

This time of year just feels busier and busier each year. But it is important to take a moment to be thankful. As I write this column, I am struck by the desire to express my gratitude for many things.

Thank you to all members of the MSSC for honoring me with the opportunity to be president of this unique group of physicians.

I have learned a great deal about organized medicine at the local and state level. I have learned it is important that we stay connected to each other. I have learned that our predecessors in this community were very smart, practical professionals with a strong sense of duty. We owe it to them, and to those who will follow us, to be good stewards of the Medical Society of Sedgewick County. I have been fortunate to meet many people this year and to get to know others better.

Thank you to Phillip Brownlee, our executive director. If you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know him, I hope you will soon. He is a uniquely talented individual. He has a strong background in accounting, which has benefitted our bottom line. He has a strong background in journalism and the news media, which has given him a broad understanding of people, our community and our culture. He is well-connected, which helps open doors that might not otherwise be opened.

He is intelligent, wise and compassionate. It is interesting to converse with him, and I always walk away from our conversations better informed, and with something to ponder.

He is a great steward of MSSC’s resources and its place in the community. Our general membership meetings have been held at interesting venues, with interesting topics, because of his work. Attendance is up at these meetings as well, which is important.

I am grateful to have been given the chance to work with him. I am also grateful for the staff at the MSSC. They work very diligently for all of us. They know all of us much better than you think, and they are good advocates for us as well. I am proud to be associated with them.

I am thankful for this community. It is nearly perfect in size. It’s big enough to be diverse and offer plenty of opportunity, yet small enough to make it easy to live here. It is home to many good people.

I moved here with my family over 21 years ago, and we still love it. I am grateful for the opportunities we have had here, and the life we have been blessed to experience here. I look forward to many more years here. I am thankful for this medical community. This is a hardworking, caring, diverse and intelligent collection of talented people. We are all lucky to have so many colleagues we can trust.

I am thankful for my partners in my own practice. They have graciously allowed me the freedom to serve in this office, and have this experience. I am confident they have had to cover for me a little bit more to allow me this honor.

Last, but by no means least, I am thankful to my lovely wife and our adult children. They put up with me and my long hours. They have been incredibly supportive of my career. They give me so much joy.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Speaking with young patients about e-cigarette, vaping use

The Sedgwick County Health Department recommends medical providers speak with all youth patients about e-cigarette or vaping use, not just the youth who providers think could be vaping. Additionally, providers should specifically ask about vaping or e-cigarettes, as many youth do not consider vaping to be smoking.

The Health Department recommends that when you talk to your young patients about e-cigarette use, focus on three main areas:

  • Vapes introduce poisons into your body. Vapes are not just water vapor. Vapes contain many different chemicals, including formaldehyde. Heavy metals, including nickel, tin and aluminum, are also found in vaping liquid.
  • JUUL and other e-cigarette brands have deceived you. E-cigarettes are not a safe alternative. The liquids in e-cigarettes can contain high enough levels of nicotine to cause nicotine poisoning. One JUUL pod contains enough nicotine to equal one pack of cigarettes.
  • Vapes are addictive. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical. It can change your brain development and affect your memory and concentration.

Medical providers who suspect a patient has a lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products should contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Epidemiology Hotline at (877) 427-7317.

More than 2,000 cases and 40 deaths related to e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Kansas, more than 20 cases have been reported with two deaths. Nationally, the median age for cases is 24 years old, with a majority of the cases less than 24 years old. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products continue to be the most commonly reported e-cigarettes, or vaping, products used by EVALI patients. Vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC-containing vaping products, is a chemical of concern among people diagnosed with EVALI.

In 2018, the CDC estimated that one in four high school students and one in 14 middle school students had used a tobacco product in the past month. The CDC also estimated there were 1.5 million more current youth e-cigarette users in 2018 than in 2017, reaching a total of 4.9 million youth users.

If you would like to receive weekly updates about EVALI, infectious diseases, and other health-related topics, e-mail to receive the Sedgwick County Health Department’s EpiLink publication for health professionals.

The Health Department is collecting and creating information about vaping for health professionals in Sedgwick County. If you are interested in receiving vaping resources, please respond to this quick survey by Jan. 31:

Physician Engagement

This month, we feature physicians and guests at the Nov. 21 MSSC legislative dinner at Cowtown.

The 2020 legislative session is gearing up to be an intense one, as lawmakers from Wichita look to tackle some long-debated and potentially divisive health care issues. The 125-member House of Representatives and a 40-member Senate convened on Jan. 13. Members of the MSSC kicked off the new session with a legislative dinner on Nov. 21, where Kevin Hoppock, MD, Sen. Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and Rachelle Colombo with KMS, addressed the audience. “Advocacy is our No. 1 job,” Hoppock said. “While it’s certainly not all we do, just know that we are about maintaing professional standards and making Wichita the best place to practice and receive care.”

In Remembrance

Dr. Cummings

MSSC extends its condolences to the family of Richard Cummings, MD.

Dr. Richard Cummings, MD, died Dec. 21, 2019.  He was 87. Cummings, an ENT specialist, was an honorary member of the MSSC. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1957 and completed his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Oklahoma in 1962. After extensive training in France and California, he decided to limit his practice to otology and became the first otologist in Kansas. He practiced at the Wichita Ear Clinic from 1963 until his retirement in 2002. He performed over 25,000 ontological surgeries, many of which were the first performed in Kansas, including cochlea implant surgery, his family said. Dr. Cummings authored numerous medical papers and made regular appearances on radio and television shows.

News In Brief

New and noteworthy …

> KBGH chosen to lead mental health initiative for Kansas region

The Kansas Business Group on Health, an affiliate of the MSSC, is one of eight regions and coalitions chosen by the national steering committee for The Path Forward for Mental Health and Substance Use to implement its multi-stakeholder transformative initiative.

The Path Forward comprises a five-year plan to execute a first-of-its-kind private sector approach to improve mental health and substance use care for Americans across the nation. As a key part of the initiative, the Regional Employer Stakeholder Engagement Team (RESET regions) will leverage the influence of business coalitions, and their employer and other purchaser members, to work with health plans, health systems, medical and behavioral health providers, consultants and brokers to combat this public health crisis.

The Path Forward initiative is made up of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) Center for Workplace Mental Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute.

“The efforts of the KBGH will be key to achieving and leveraging sustainable and measurable improvements to access, comprehensive care and parity for mental health and substance abuse issues,” said Shelley Duncan, executive director. “We hope to make significant inroads to improving mental health and substance use care for Kansans.”

> WD<40 schedules April ballpark event

SAVE THE DATE: Wichita Docs Under 40 will hold its first event of 2020 on Friday, April 17, at the new Wichita Wind Surge ballpark. It’s a family event, so kids are welcome. It’s opening week, so be among the first to see Wichita’s new stadium and team.

> Community works on health plan

Staff from MSSC and Health ICT were among 54 community partners who participated recently in a development meeting for the 2020-22 Community Health Improvement Plan. A follow-up meeting to work on an implementation plan is set for Jan. 29.

The Community Health Improvement Plan identifies health priorities for the community and focuses attention and resources on those priorities. The group chose health care access, mental health and substance misuse as top priorities.

Some of the overlapping goals across all health issues were: improve referral networks and service integration; increase use of evidence-based screening tools for substance misuse and mental health; increase community knowledge of services/resources; and reduce suicide deaths in high-priority populations.

Students in the Skills Lab. Source: KUMC-Wichita file photo

> Surgery residents and medical students benefit from new simulator

The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita is enjoying the use of its new simulator for its surgical skills lab at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis.

The surgical skills simulator was purchased for the lab by Ascension Via Christi and is used by surgery residents and medical students to enhance their technical skills. Labs involve suturing (both traditional and laparoscopic), knot tying, interpreting X-rays, emergent chest procedures, vascular anastomosis, breast procedures with sonographic and mammographic interpretation, colonoscopy, and bowel anastomosis, KUMC officials said.

The surgical simulator enhances aspects of suturing and surgical procedures, including hernia repair, cholecystectomy and colon resection.

MPR receives award.

> MPR finalist for Best Place to Work

Medical Provider Resources, a subsidiary of MSSC, was recognized last month for being a finalist for a Best Place to Work award through the Wichita Business Journal. MPR was also nominated last year for small business awards through the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Wichita Business Journal.



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


At the MSSC annual meeting in December, members approved several bylaw changes, including the elimination of probationary membership status. The following are MSSC members who previously were on probationary status but are now active members:

Madan M. Acharya, MD
Khalid F. Afaneh, MD
John F. Anderson, MD, PhD
Veerayyagari Annapurna, MD
Samuel L. Ashby, DO
Ashley L. Barks, MD
Kirsten A. Bjorkman, MD
Jamie L., Borick MD
Alaa Boulad, MD
Kelsey S. Bourm, MD
Rachel M. Brown, MD
Lindsay J. Byrnes, MD
Brent Cameron, MD
Jose R. Cepeda, MD
John A. Childs, DO
Susanna Ciccolari Micaldi, MD
Charles W. Coffey, MD
Patrick G. Craig, DO
Melissa V. Cummings, MD
Megan A. Dingwall, MD
Rhanda M. Eboh, MD
Ayah M. Elbermawy, MD
John F. Evans, MD
Ryan N. Farmer, MD
Saba Fatima, MD
Lynn R. Fisher, MD
Cole M. Gillenwater,  MD
Claire E. Groskurth, MD
Peeyush Grover, MD
Caleb H. Harris, MD
Paige A. Harwell, MD
Salman A. Hasan, DO
Cynthia A. Hayek, MD
Thomas J. Hendricks, MD
Jonathan A. Jensen, MD
Stefanie M. Kempke, MD
Gary J. King, MD
Kimberly T. Krohn, MD
Phong T. Le, MD
Ricky W. Lee, MD
Shuo Li, MD
Colleen V. Loo-Gross, MD
Mark R. Mankins, MD
Scott J. McIntyre, MD
Scott D. McLaren, MD
Holly E. Montgomery, MD
Philip R. Montgomery, MD
Phuong V. Nguyen, DO
Andrew J. Ormond, MD
Chan J. Park, MD
Lindsey C. Peller, DO
Jennifer L. Pharris, DO
George J. Philip, MD
Shilpi Relan, MD
Nichole M. Riddel, MD
Lina A.M. Saadeh, MD
Rajesh K. Sadasivuni, MD
Alisa J. Schmidt, MD
Levi C. Short, MD
Michael L. Su, MD
Patrick Ters, MD
Vismay J. Thakkar, MD
Robert L. Ullom, MD
Locke D. Uppendahl, MD
Jose C. Velasco Di Domenico, MD
Danielle M. Villalobos, MD
Shravani R. Vindhyal, MD
Debra L. Wade, MD
Jarvis W. Walters, DO
Brady J. Werth, MD
Thomas A. Woltjer, DO
Maggie L. Woods, MD
Benjamin D., Young MD
Sarah M. Zorko, MD


Douglas P. Lewis, MD
[BC] Family Medicine
Ascension Medical Group Via Christi- Spirit
OFF: 613-5800
FAX: 768-8000
990 S George Washington Blvd, 67211
NPI: 1558366641

Cynthia I. Nash, MD
[BC] Family Medicine
Ascension Medical Group Via Christi St Francis Family Medicine
OFF: 858-3460
707 N Emporia, 67214
NPI: 1124143409

Roster Updates

Keep your 2020 Roster current by adding the information listed below and in the Membership section of this issue of the MSSC News:


Brooke L.W. Nesmith, MD
[F*] Vitreous & Retina
[BC] Ophthalmology

Rebecca Sanders, MD
OFF: 462-5072


Whitney Reader, MD
Cypress Heart, PA
OFF: 858-9000
FAX: 858-9005
9300 E 29th St N S-310, 67226

Stephanie Shields, MD
Freestate Connect
OFF: 670-3800
FAX: 789-6210
4723 E Douglas, 67218
Effective: 1/6/2020

Thomas Tran, MD
Thomas Tran, MD, LLC
OFF: 686-5555
FAX: 686-3440
2620 E Central, 67214


Thomas J. Bloxham, MDDec. 31, 2019
Claudia Lawn, MDDec. 31, 2019
Richard Claiborne, MDJan. 13, 2020
Gerald J. Estep, MDJan. 1, 2020


James L. Walker, MDNov. 7, 2019
Vanessa Voge, MDJan. 25, 2020; moved out of state
Thomas Sanders, MDJan. 24, 2020; moved out of state
Vikrant Azad, MDSept. 1, 2019; moved out of state


Linda Goodson, DODeployment

Health ICT

HealthICT seeks to transform Wichita healthcare by communicating with, cooperating with, and innovating with the community!

ProviDRs Care

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

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.