The next MSSC membership meeting is Feb. 19 at Cargill’s new protein headquarters in Old Town. Physicians will be able to connect with each other, tour the state-of-the-art facility and learn more about Cargill, the largest privately held company in the United States.
The $60 million, 188,000-square-foot facility is home to more than 750 employees. It features numerous collaboration spaces, including a café, conference center, wellness rooms and customer presentation kitchen.
The event is free to MSSC members and spouses. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks are provided. Parking is available in the Cargill garage using the entrance off Washington.
February Membership Meeting
WHEN: 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19
WHERE: Cargill Protein Headquarters, 825. E. Douglas
Health ICT, an affiliate of MSSC, starts 2019 strong after landing two five-year federal grants totaling about $444,000.
One grant will focus on diabetes management and Type 2 diabetes prevention. Health ICT will be working collaboratively with a number of rural and local clinics on work flows, team-based care models of treatment, bi-directional referrals, and other innovative models of care, said Shelley Duncan, executive director.
She also hopes to engage the Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care and Project Access, two other MSSC-affiliated programs, in specific strategies connected to the grants.
The second grant will involve working with the University of Kansas School of Medicine physician and pharmacy schools to engage providers in new and innovative models of care that focus on collaboration and team-based care, Duncan said.
Both grants, funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aim to facilitate engagement with payers, public and private sectors, physicians and other clinical care providers.
The 2019 legislative session is gearing up to be an interesting one, as lawmakers from Wichita are the new chairs of both health committees, and a new, Democratic administration brings fresh eyes to old issues.
The new session began Jan. 14 and features local leaders Sen. Gene Suellentrop, R-Wichita, chairing the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, and Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, chairing the House Health and Human Services Committee. Also of note, health committee vice chairman Rep. John Eplee, R-Atchison, is a longtime family medicine physician.
The MSSC Legislative Committee also convenes for its first meeting of the year on Jan. 25. The committee, which works closely with the Kansas Medical Society, monitors health-related legislative activities and advocates on behalf of patients, physicians, and the practice of medicine in Kansas.
Legislative analysts predict Medicaid expansion, scope-of-practice legislation and ñ new this year ñ the corporate practice of medicine will surface as the major health-care issues during this year’s session.
Newly elected Gov. Laura Kelly, who campaigned on the promise of making Medicaid expansion a top priority, brings hope for supporters who want to expand the state-run federal program, which provides health care to low-income and disabled people. Under former Gov. Sam Brownback, Kansas has refused to expand the program and take advantage of federal dollars that would pay for 90 percent of the cost of expansion.
“Now there may be some possibility to move forward with Medicaid expansion, which we have supported for a long time,” said Kevin Hoppock, MD, chairman of the MSSC Legislative Committee.
Rachelle Colombo, KMS director of government affairs, agrees that Kansas may see some movement this year on the politically divisive issue. “I think we can expect to see continued efforts on behalf of Medicaid expansion prove more successful than in years past,” she said.
KMS does not support Kelly’s expected push to legalize medical marijuana, Colombo said. Kelly told the Kansas City Star in November that she senses momentum among Kansas legislators to legalize medical marijuana with strict regulations.
Scope-of-practice issues come up every session, and 2019 will be no different. APRNs will push for independent practice; pharmacists are looking for more freedom to practice collaboratively – such as administering injections and providing broader drug therapy management without a physician component; and podiatrists are looking to be allowed to call themselves “podiatric physicians.”
Some KMS leaders already met with the APRNs – whose group is presenting legislation again this year proposing independent practice without medical board oversight – and found very little common ground upon which they could agree. “There is only one way to become a physician, and that is through medical school,” Hoppock said.
Also on the radar is the issue of the corporate practice of medicine. Colombo said, by case law, it is prohibited in Kansas, but two large health insurance providers ñ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and Cerner – and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce are looking to pass bills that would allow companies to directly employ physicians.
Physician groups do not typically support this practice because they believe “it undermines the independent and soundness of physician judgment if an employer can direct medical practice,” Colombo said.
She said the issue had not come up in any meaningful way over the past few years, but a renewed push for legislation promises to bring it back into the spotlight this year.
“It undermines the primacy of the physician-patient relationship,” Colombo said. “Physicians work for patients. If theyíre directly employed by a corporation, that could be a very serious conflict of interest. We have questions about protection and liability.”
Happy New Year, and thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as president of the MSSC for 2019.
The Medical Society has a long history of serving Sedgwick County in general and the physician community in particular. It has initiated programs such as Project Access, the Kansas Sports Concussion Partnership, Health ICT, and ProviDRs Care ñ just a few examples of the leadership this organization has demonstrated.
The MSSC is important to every one of us. It advocates for all of us in Topeka, and continuously strives to improve the practice of medicine in our community.
Our profession is changing rapidly. Many of these changes are, unfortunately, pushing us away from one another. Many of us donít even know or recognize other physicians in town.
I feel strongly that physicians must be the stalwarts in the health system, insisting on keeping the patient at the center. To do that, we must have some unity, organization and commitment. I believe the MSSC can, and should, be an important way for us to become (and stay) connected to one another.
I urge you to make attending the MSSC membership meetings a priority. I urge you to come and make an effort to get to know your fellow physicians. See their faces, learn their names, and listen to each other’s points of view.
You will be amazed at the talent and intelligence of our members. You will come away pleased that you showed up.
Some of us are stressed. Some of us are lonely and depressed. Others of us are energetic and thriving, full of ideas and optimism. Most of us are some combination of all the above.
We can and should learn from each other, and support each other. To do this, we must at least know each other. To this mission, our Feb. 19 meeting will be primarily social. It will be held in the gleaming new Cargill building in Old Town. Please come and sit with people you donít already know well. Chat with other physicians outside your age group, outside your specialty, outside your own group.
This year, MSSC also is initiating some small group dinner meetings, comprising six to 10 members. This is a good way to connect with people by sharing a meal with them. Please let us know if this interests you, so we can include you.
I urge you to make the MSSC a priority this year. Put events on your calendar now. Be more engaged. Be present. We all will benefit, both professionally and personally.
This month, we capture physicians and guests at the Dec. 4 MSSC annual meeting at Exploration Place
There was a large crowd as the MSSC annual meeting on Dec. 4 at Exploration Place. The event featured KU Chancellor Dr. Douglas Girod, MD, who outlined growth and development at the University of Kansas during his tenure there so far, and guest speaker Dr. Rob Gibbs, MD, KMS president, who spoke about wins and challenges for physicians in 2018 and what to expect in 2019. The ceremonial passing of the gavel took place from outgoing MSSC president Dr. Jed Delmore, MD, to 2019 president Dr. Michael Lievens, MD. MSSC also honored Wichita family physician Dr. Terry Poling, MD, for his years of service to the AMA, from which he retired at the end of 2018. The evening also featured the annual Wine with a Purpose silent auction, which raised money to support Project Accessí mission of coordinating care for uninsured Sedgwick County residents.
SAVE THE DATE: Now in its sophomore year, Wichita Docs under 40 will hold its first event of 2019 on Thursday, March 21, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Crestview Country Club. Dr. Austin George, MD, will be giving a presentation on investing and financial planning.
The JayDoc Awards Banquet is a fundraiser to help the JayDoc Community Clinic continue to provide health services to the community.
The JayDoc Community Clinic, in partnership with Guadalupe Clinic, is a student-run clinic that provides affordable health care to medically underserved patients while also offering an opportunity for medical and pharmacy students at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita to gain hands-on clinical experience.
The banquet will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Wichita Botanica, 701 Amidon St. Tickets are $100 each, or $50 for residents, $25 for students, or $800 for a table. To make reservations, visit kuendowment.org/jaydocbanquet.
WMREF is continuing its Collaborative Investigator Initiative Research grant opportunity. The organization will fund two $15,000 grants – one proposal in community health and one in basic science research.
WMREF officials said this funding opportunity is unique in the requirement that each proposal must include two primary investigators from different institutions or organizations in order to encourage cooperative research among universities and community organizations in Wichita or the surrounding area.
Both investigators must equally participate in the research and address an emerging health care issue. WMREF hopes to continue to encourage local researchers to work together in order to solve an area of health care need in the community. The one-year funding is intended to fund a pilot study in order to apply for larger funding opportunities such as the National Institutes of Health and other state and national organizations.
A presentation to learn about The Village, a nonprofit perinatal support network, will take place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10, at Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwood. The Village was developed to serve the needs of individuals suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Wichita and surrounding areas. For more information, visit www.thevillageict.org.
Project Access, which coordinates access to donated medical care for uninsured, low-income residents of Sedgwick County, exceeded its fundraising goal of $215,000 in 2018.
The program recorded 245 separate gifts and brought in $224,787 in total donations, according to development director Mick Cayless.
“Many kudos to Mick, our board and our donors for helping make this happen,” executive director Shelley Duncan said.
This year, Project Access celebrates its 20th anniversary and is gearing up for its year-long fundraising campaign, Access the Edge. The campaign will culminate in a big event in August called Over the Edge, which features participants rappelling down 19 stories of the 125 N. Market building.
“We already are planning for a two-day exciting and ‘edgy’ event to engage the community in an effort to help Project Access continue providing services well into the future,” Duncan said. “I hope MSSC members will consider being part of this event.”
Project Access is looking for volunteers, sponsors and, ultimately, people to go “over the edge.”
“I am terrified of heights, but I have agreed to be the first one over,” Duncan said.
Physicians and other professionals involved in the management of disasters involving pediatric patients are invited to attend one of seven free programs taking place around Kansas beginning Feb. 6 focused on disaster medical preparedness for children.
The day-long conference, hosted by the KU Area Health Education Center and sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and the Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, will provide five CME credits.
Featured speaker Dr. Dennis Cooley, MD, is a general pediatrician on staff at Stormont Vail Hospital and is a volunteer clinical instructor with the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He has been the AAP disaster preparedness contact for Kansas since 2007. For more information or to register, contact KU AHEC at (620) 235-4040.
MSSC extends its condolences to the family of Dr. James A. Loeffler, MD.
Dr. James Loeffler, MD, died Nov. 16, 2018. He was 82. Loeffler graduated from the University of Cincinnati Medical School in 1963. An allergy and immunology specialist, he served others as a physician for 50 years, including 30 years with the Guadalupe Clinic, where he served on the board of directors.
Loeffler especially enjoyed selling tickets for the Guadalupe Clinic’s annual baseball fundraiser, which he founded in 1989, his family said. He became an avid follower of Fighting Irish football while a student at Notre Dame, which is where he also cemented his purpose in life: service to others.
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.