2019 – Year in Review

2019 – Year in Review


A look back at the 2019 news and activities of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County and its programs under the leadership of President Michael Lievens, MD.

Physician Engagement

Physicians and their guests gathered at Brick + Mortar on Dec. 3 for the MSSC Annual Meeting, featuring new KMS director Rachelle Colombo.

CAPPING OFF A GREAT YEAR: clockwise from top left: Robert Bingaman, MD, with his daughter, Rachelle Colombo, new KMS executive director; Donna Sweet, MD, and Jennifer Jackson, MD; Shang-you Yang, MD, and Lei Liu, MD; 2020 MSSC board president Patricia Wyatt-Harris, MD, and Mr. Jim Harris, PhD; Mrs. Shannon Pierce and resident Bryan Pierce, MD; Paul Harrison, MD, and Lowell Ebersole, DO; and 2020 Meek Award winner Jennifer Thuener, MD, with outgoing president Michael Lievens, MD.

MSSC welcomes new board and officers for 2020

Stephen Grindel, DO – 2020 president-elect
Patricia Wyatt-Harris, MD – 2020 president
Michael Lievens, MD – 2019 president

The Medical Society of Sedgwick County thanks outgoing president Michael Lievens, MD, for his service in 2019 and welcomes Patricia Wyatt-Harris, MD, to the president’s chair for 2020. Members also elected

Stephen Grindel, DO, as the Medical Society’s president-elect for 2020 at the May 7 members meeting.

Others elected for 2020 include:

  • Secretary: Sheryl Beard, MD
  • Treasurer: Shadi Shahouri, MD
  • Board of directors (three-year terms):
    Phillip Hagan, MD
    Justin Moore, MD
    Chady Sarraf, MD

2019 Membership Meetings Recap

Feb. 19 – Cargill’s new protein headquarters

MSSC’s first membership meeting of the year was at Cargill’s new protein headquarters in Old Town. A Cargill manager explained some of the work that went into planning the $60 million, 188,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. Physicians were then able to tour the building, which included a cafe, conference center, wellness rooms and customer presentation kitchen.

Rick Kellerman, MD, and Samuel Ofei-Dodoo, PhD
May 7 – Study on physician burnout in Sedgwick County

MSSC member Rick Kellerman, MD, and Samuel Ofei-Dodoo, PhD, of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita presented research they completed on physician burnout in Wichita. A survey of MSSC members found that nearly half experienced signs of burnout, which is higher than the national average. “Job burnout is an experience, not a diagnosis, in response to chronic job stress,” Ofei-Dodoo said. “It is more of a red flag, a warning signal telling you there is this disconnect between the person and the job environment.”

Usha Challa, MD, and Estephan Zayat, MD
Claudia Wendell, MD, and Samuel Akidiva, MD
Oct. 1 – Celebrating international medical graduates

MSSC celebrated its physicians who are international medical graduates, or IMGs. Nearly 200 MSSC members graduated from medical schools in more than 40 countries. A panel of four MSSC physicians – Claudia Wendell, Samuel Akidiva, Usha Challa and Estephan Zayat – shared about their medical school and residency experiences and how they came to practice medicine in the U.S. “Our community has benefitted so much from the hard work, intelligence, compassion and good medical care IMGs bring,” said MSSC President Michael Lievens, MD.

Rachelle Colombo
Dec. 3 – Annual meeting features new KMS director

The MSSC annual meeting featured Rachelle Colombo, who becomes the Kansas Medical Society’s executive director on Jan. 1. Colombo discussed several issues that would likely be before the Kansas Legislature in 2020. The meeting also featured the passing of the gavel from 2019 board president Michael Lievens, MD, to 2020 president Patricia Wyatt-Harris, MD. “This year has reinforced my belief in the importance of organized medicine, especially at the local and state level,” Lievens said.

WD<40 helps young physicians stay connected

Brent Cameron, MD, Aaron Nilhas, MD, and Paul Cleland, MD
Tuan Nguyen, MD, and Melissa Nguyen
Karissa Gilchrist, MD, and Cecilia Hinton, MD

Wichita Docs Under 40, or WD<40, met twice in 2019. The first gathering on March 21 featured a presentation by MSSC member Austin George, MD, who shared tips for financial success. George looked at spending, saving and investment habits, retirement planning, and smart purchases such as disability and life insurance. He also underscored the importance of debt management.

Larry Mitnaul, MD

“There are no secrets to financial success – luck is rarely involved,” George said. “It takes a lot of planning, hard work, dedication and the support of your family.”

The second event was a social gathering at Chicken N Pickle on Aug. 20. “Sticking together is more important than ever,” MSSC President Michael Lievens, MD, said at that event. “The changes happening in medicine in general are not always good. It’s up to us to protect not only our patients but our practices as well, and we can do that together.”

LOOKING BACK – The Major Stories of 2019

Wichita physicians, residents experience high burnout rates

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita found that nearly half of Wichita-area physicians are experiencing signs of burnout, which is associated with symptoms of depression, fatigue, suicidal ideation, and intentions to leave the medical profession via early retirement or career change.

The study, published in May in the Kansas Journal of Medicine, was conducted among MSSC members, who represent more than 90% of practicing physicians in Sedgwick County. The survey found that 49.5% of respondents exhibited signs of burnout, which is a higher rate than physicians nationally.

According to a February study by the American Medical Association, the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University School of Medicine, the U.S. physician burnout rate was 43.9% in 2017 – down from 54.4% in 2014 and 45.5% in 2011.

Another study looked at burnout rates among medical residents and found that 51.1% residents in KUSM-W programs reported manifestations of burnout. The Wichita study found that nearly 85% of physicians felt their overall quality of life was good or very good, but that nearly half the respondents reported high emotional exhaustion and/or screened positive for depression.

The relatively high numbers nationally and in Wichita suggest there is work to be done to better understand the causes and solutions to burnout, not only to increase physician satisfaction and well-being, but also to increase safety for the patients they serve.

Wichita Quality Health Collaborative Committee reconvenes around safety

The Wichita Quality Health Collaborative (WQHC), a committee of Wichita health care providers who focus on safe surgical practices, met several times in 2019 to discuss safe surgical practices.

The last time the WQHC regularly met, in 2014, was to announce a citywide collaboration to use newly standardized surgical time-out protocols for use in operating rooms and ambulatory facilities across Wichita as part of an initiative to make Wichita the safest place in the country to undergo surgery.

Led by chairman Randall Morgan, MD, and facilitated by Brian Swallow, director of surgical services at Wesley Healthcare, the meeting was attended by physicians and clinical providers from Ascension Via Christi, Cypress Surgery Center, Associates in Women’s Health and Wesley.

The committee discussed several points about time-out procedures, including new additions to it, such as introductions and debriefings, which the group felt should be more formalized. Other points of discussion included training for residents on time-outs, procedures in place for documenting intentional placements of packs and sponges during surgery, emergency checklist protocols, and reviewing sharps reporting procedures.

The committee agreed to meet again after reviewing some of the action items discussed and decide whether any modifications would be appropriate to the established time-out protocol adopted citywide, and other relevant surgical safety issues.

EMS reorganizes its operations
Dr. Gallagher

Sedgwick County Emergency Medical Services has consolidated its financial, operational and clinical divisions under a single director, paving the way for more streamlined services, better efficiencies in management and training, and a stronger patient-centered focus.

MSSC member John Gallagher, MD, is now responsible for both Sedgwick County EMS and the Office of the Medical Director. This physician-led model aims to more strategically utilize system resources, reduce unnecessary ambulance transports and emergency department visits, and deliver better care that is more cost effective.

Gallagher said the reorganization eliminates duplication of services in areas such as quality assurance, program development, training and education while providing streamlined, physician-level support and single-voice communications.

Dr. Thuener
Dr. Rosell
Dr. Joe Meek Physician Leadership

The goal of the Dr. Joe Meek Physician Leadership Award is to foster leadership among practicing physicians aged 40 years or younger. Its namesake, the former KUSM-Wichita dean, died earlier this year.

Katie Rosell, MD, of Neurology Consultants of Kansas was the 2019 recipient. She served as a non-voting member of the MSSC Board of Directors, attended the AMA National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., and was part of WD40 (Wichita Docs Under 40).

In November, Jennifer Thuener, MD, was selected as the 2020 recipient. She is a KUSM-W faculty member and works at Wesley Family Medicine, where she served as medical director for two years. She went to medical school in Philadelphia and also did her residency in Pennsylvania. She hopes to develop and improve skills to effectively advocate for medicine with policymakers.

MSSC rolls out new group health plan

The ProviDRs Care-NexUS group health plan – created in partnership with the Medical Society of Sedgwick County and administered by Medova Healthcare – was designed by and for MSSC physician members and features a powerful benefit package and robust wellness program that offers access to corporate-level benefits with significant savings over small group plan options.

The new group health plan, which opened to MSSC members in July, is not a typical association health plan. Designed for employer groups from two to 500 employees, members are individually underwritten and rated, which means that physician groups earn their own rate plus the advantage of saving on administrative costs through membership in the Medical Society.

Members interested in learning more about the new product or getting a group quote can contact Bret Emberson at BretEmberson@ProviDRsCare.net or (316) 221-9106.

Awards, honors and other news of note
  • Health ICT, an affiliate of MSSC, was awarded two five-year federal grants totaling about $444,000. One grant will focus on diabetes management and prevention; the other will focus on collaboration and team-based care.
  • New data showed that the health sector is among the fastest growing in the Kansas economy, according to a study released last year by Kansas State University.
  • Medical Provider Resources was named a finalist for the 15th annual Small Business Awards program through the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.
  • Zachary Kuhlmann, DO, residency program director for the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, was one of eight Wichita leaders chosen for the Kansas Chamber’s 2019 Leadership Kansas class.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last March approved esketamine as a breakthrough treatment for people with major depressive disorder. Sheldon Preskorn, MD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, is one of three physicians with ties to KUMC in Wichita and Kansas City who played important roles in moving this drug toward FDA approval.
  • Ascension Via Christi named Kansas native and senior Ascension leader Don King to lead its hospital network in Kansas.
  • Tarah Remington Brown joined the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) in May as the incoming executive vice president, which she assumed Sept. 1. Remington Brown replaced Carolyn Gaughan, who retired Aug. 31.
  • Gretchen Irwin, MD, is the new associate dean for graduate medical education at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. Kimberly Krohn, MD, has been named the new program director of the Wichita Family Medicine Residency Program at Wesley Medical Center.
  • Lowell Ebersole, DO, was promoted to chief medical officer for Wesley Healthcare effective Aug. 1.
  • Kansas received a $1.8 million federal grant to help combat an upward trend of mental illness in children.
  • Medical Service Bureau – a nonprofit agency founded out of a joint effort by members of the MSSC and the Community Chest in 1937 – changed its name to Cairn Health.
ADVOCATING FOR DOCTORS: Patricia Wyatt-Harris, MD, with Rep. Roger Marshall. In February, MSSC President Michael Lievens, MD, President-elect Wyatt-Harris, Meek Physician Award recipient Katie Rosell, MD, and MSSC Executive Director Phillip Brownlee attended the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. They shared their views on health care reform and other issues with members of Congress from Kansas. In June, Drs. Lievens and Wyatt-Harris also attended the AMA annual meeting in Chicago.
2019 LEGISLATIVE DINNER: Jennifer Thuener, MD, and Sen. Susan Wagle
DOCTORS DAY: About a dozen MSSC members celebrated National Doctors’ Day by visiting area high schools and talking with students about what it takes to become a doctor. LEFT: Gretchen Irwin, MD, speaks with students at Heights High School.
Advocacy and community activities
  • The MSSC Legislative Committee worked closely with the Kansas Medical Society to monitor issues issues before the Kansas Legislature and advocate on behalf of physicians and patient care. The top issues impacting physicians this year included Medicaid expansion, the corporate practice of medicine, K-TRACS funding, scope of practice and e-prescription of opioids.
  • Nearly two dozen people representing various community initiatives and organizations attended a meeting of the Maternal Infant Health Coalition on March 25 at WSU Old Town. Attendees shared about the work they’ve been doing to decrease infant mortalities and improve health.
  • The annual Wichita Area Skin Cancer Screening Clinic held in April provided 330 skin examinations.
  • Kurt Scott, president and CEO of KAMMCO, reviewed the status of medical malpractice liability in Kansas at the Kansas Medical Society annual meeting Sept. 6-7.
  • The MSSC worked with the Kansas Medical Society to alter some questions on the Kansas license application that could discourage physicians from seeking help for depression, burnout or other mental health issues.
  • The MSSC hosted its annual dinner with state lawmakers on Nov. 21.
2018 Health Care Heroes

Fifteen MSSC members were among more than three dozen doctors, health care providers and organizations named Health Care Heroes by the Wichita Business Journal for 2019.

Elisha Brumfield, DO – Physician
Brent Duran, DO – Physician
Julie Elder, DO – Physician
Lisa Gilbert, MD – Physician
Christopher Halphen, DO – Physician
William Loewen, MD – Lifetime Achievement
Nassim Nabbout, MD – Physician
Philip Newlin, MD – Physician
Camilo Palacio, MD – Physician
James S. Pigg, MD – Physician
Alison Raymond, MD – Physician
Jackson Sobbing, DO – Physician
Donna Sweet, MD – Lifetime Achievement
Michael Varenhorst, MD – Physician
Camden Whitaker, MD – Physician

MSSC Affiliates and Initiatives

Health ICT

Health ICT has been busy over the past year since receiving funding through two new CDC grants, the 1815 and 1817 grants, which are focused on streamlining the delivery of clinical care as it relates to the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease – specifically diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

The objectives of the grants are to partner with health care providers in Wichita and across the state to develop and implement team-based care approaches to streamline the systematic identification and treatment of patients at risk for the cardiovascular diseases mentioned above. Strategies include engagement of non-physician team members; implementation of telehealth resources; implementing and sustaining Diabetes Prevention Programs and Diabetes Self-Management Education & Support programs.

The priority populations for these grants include African-American and Hispanic populations and individuals with low socioeconomic status. Health ICT staff, including Shelley Duncan, Matt Thibault, and medical director Justin Moore, MD, have been busy implementing activities to achieve grant objectives. Highlights in 2019 include:

  • In partnership with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita (KUMC-W), Health ICT:
    • assisted Guadalupe Clinic with refining its processes for identifying and proactively treating patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
    • assisted HealthCore Clinic with identifying barriers and offering recommendations for improving the rate of follow-up appointments for uncontrolled diabetic patients.
    • assisted the KU Center for Internal Medicine and Wichita Family Medicine Specialists with developing protocols to improve the rates of control for their hypertensive patients.
    • assisted Antioch Med with developing a protocol for reducing cardiovascular risk factors by assessing a patient’s ASCVD risk score and adjusting the patient’s medications and care plan as necessary.
  • Health ICT helped organize Open Streets ICT-NoMar, which was the first Open Streets ICT event off of the Douglas route. The event, held in the NoMar area of Wichita near 21st and Broadway, attracted more than 10,000 participants and will now be included annually in addition to the main Open Streets ICT event that happens each year on Douglas Avenue.
  • Health ICT developed a map and list of all available Diabetes Prevention Programs and Diabetes Self-Management & Education Support programs in the state of Kansas in an effort to more easily facilitate referrals by providers into these programs.
  • Health ICT partnered with a large local employer to offer a pilot of the Diabetes Prevention Program to a select group of its employees in an effort to demonstrate the return on investment from offering the program as a covered benefit.
  • In collaboration with the Kansas Community Health Worker Coalition, Health ICT has been working to develop criteria and processes for establishing a formal certification for Community Health Workers (CHW) in Kansas. Health ICT also assisted the Coalition with developing training opportunities for CHW on topics such as helping patients prevent and manage their hypertension.

Maternal Infant Health Coalition

  • Lifting Young Families Toward Excellence (LYFTE ) began providing case management services for pregnant and parenting teens in January 2019.Baby Talk Prenatal Education staff began providing car seat inspections in July.
  • Sedgwick County Health Department facilitated quarterly Fetal Infant Mortality Review meetings.
  • Sedgwick County Health Department was awarded a five-year, $3.9 million grant for home visitation services to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes.
  • Integrated Referral and Intake System pilot study launched on March 4, leading to 400+ referrals with over 50% of them leading to new services for Sedgwick County residents.
  • KDHE Department of Health Informatics presented Sedgwick County Infant Mortality data.
  • Wichita Black Nurses Association and Kansas Infant Death and SIDS (KIDS) Network hosted Safe Sleep Community Baby Showers on March 23 and Oct. 12.
  • MIHC relaunched quarterly meeting March 25.
  • Wichita Area Breastfeeding Coalition celebrated World Breastfeeding Week and Month in August, featuring the national screening of “Chocolate Milk: The Documentary,” an exploration of the racial divide in breastfeeding. The film was hosted by Wichita Area Breastfeeding Coalition at Wichita State University on Aug. 3. Other events included the 5th annual World Breastfeeding LATCH and photo event on Aug 3; Breastfeeding Basics on Aug. 8; and Breastfeeding Beyond the Basics on Aug. 9.
  • The Derby Recreation Center hosted a Safe Sleep Community Baby Shower to increase access to safe sleep education and practices to the Oaklawn area on June 1.
  • MIHC Quarterly Meeting – Lisa Williams from KDHE presented the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data on Sept. 12.
  • KIDS Network and Center for Research on Infant Birth and Survival (CRIBS) held the annual Safe Sleep Instructor Training Sept. 19-20.
  • Cafe con Leche held a Safe Sleep Community Baby Shower at North High School. Celebrate Day 366, a community birthday party celebrating baby’s first year, was held at Saint Mark United Methodist Church on Oct 19.

Kansas Sports Concussion Partnership

There continues to be growing concern regarding concussion/mild traumatic head injuries in sports at all levels of participation. Recognition of not only immediate concerns regarding the players’ health and safety at the time of an injury, but also related risks later in life, are quickly gaining traction. Multiple studies regarding acute treatment and the short- and long-term effects of concussion and sub-concussive hits/impacts are underway. The KSCP meets periodically and continues to monitor these events and will incorporate meaningful changes to the KSCP website as they arise. Members continue to speak publicly when requested, working to actively educate peers and the public to this growing concern. Physicians are challenged with the safety of all our patients even if it may differ from popular convention and entertainment.

Project Access

OVER THE EDGE: Jennifer Burgoyne, MD, was one of many MSSC physicians who went “over the edge” to raise money for Project AccessCentral Plains Health Care Partnership is one of MSSC’s nonprofit affiliates whose primary program is Project Access. Thomas Bloxham, MD, serves as the president of the board of directors. 2019 brought the resignation of two board members: Regan DeHart, MD, and George Lucas, MD, and the addition of two board members: Alex Ammar, MD, and Lowell Ebersole, DO.

  • Project Access is proud, honored and humbled to have reached the 20th year of operations in September, with $216 million in donated care to more than 14,100 patients. The generosity of the medical community in Sedgwick County remains strong, and the retention rate for physicians and dentists donating care was 99% in 2019. Recent reports indicate the number of uninsured adults in Kansas and Sedgwick County is increasing. This could lead to an increase in the number of those served. In 2019, 739 individuals were provided care that was often life-saving. Project Access is very thankful to Paul Uhlig, MD, Tom Bloxham, MD, Mrs. Betsy Bloxham, and many more who had a vision for Project Access over 20 years ago. Without their leadership and support, this program might have never materialized.
  • OVER THE EDGE: Jennifer Burgoyne, MD, was one of many MSSC physicians who went “over the edge” to raise money for Project Access

    Project Access’ 20th year fundraiser was called Access the Edge. This unique rappelling event had participants rappelling down the 14-story Ambassador hotel in late August. The event was sponsored by the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, along with several Project Access board members. KSN, The Times Sentinel News, and KMUW were media sponsors. A great deal of much-needed publicity was provided through the media sponsors as well as other outlets such as The Wichita Eagle and several television stations. Sixty-five brave souls took the challenge, and Project Access raised more than $33,000. Project Access hopes to do the event again next year. This will depend upon our success in securing a lead sponsor for the event before Dec. 31. The lead sponsor will have a VIP day, and can use it as they please as a celebration for staff or clients, along with 10 rappel spots.

  • The Medical Society again hosted Wine with a Purpose on Dec. 3 at the Brick + Mortar venue. This fundraiser helps support Project Access and its annual operating budget.
  • Project Access is again applying for 2020-21 funding through United Way. United Way has generously supported Project Access since 1999. This year, Project Access is requesting additional funding to hire a Community Health Worker in an effort to further support clients who have multiple chronic health conditions, and ideally improve their outcomes.
  • Sedgwick County generously provided $200,000 in funding to Project Access in 2019. This funding offsets medication costs for clients, as well as staffing costs. A similar request will be made for 2021. Sedgwick County has provided funding for Project Access since its inception.
  • The City of Wichita provided $175,000 in funding to Project Access for 2019-20. Project Access will make an additional request for 2020-21 in an effort to expand support for clients of Project Access. The City of Wichita has generously funded Project Access since its inception.
  • Project Access staff once again helped clients and non-clients enroll in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. Each year staff help more than 100 people complete the application, and enroll about 45 individuals in the ACA.
  • Project Access received $25,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation through a Capacity grant. This funding will be used to upgrade part of the existing software used in the program. Project Access created and owns its own software program called Charisma Salus. It was created in 2004 and is in need of significant upgrades.
  • Early in 2020, Project Access will begin offering blood pressure monitoring in the office to clients enrolled in Project Access. This will help clients better understand their blood pressure levels. In addition, staff will help educate clients about how to control their blood pressure, pre-diabetes, diabetes, and high cholesterol. This will be done through education about medication compliance, exercise, nutrition, and regular physician visits.
  • Once again, the Eastside Rotary Club of Wichita donated 21 turkey dinners to clients of Project Access. This is an annual project for this Rotary Club, and Project Access is very thankful to the club.
  • Project Access continues to look for ways to generate revenue in order to help supplement the budget and rely less on fundraising. There are over 1,300 nonprofit agencies in Sedgwick County, creating a very competitive environment for fundraising. Project Access maintains an active Development Committee that helps secure funding needs through philanthropic support.
  • Two Project Access staff were trained and certified to become educators for Chronic Disease Management and Diabetes Management. Classes are being offered for those who meet the criteria required for attendance at the classes. Family members also are invited in order to better understand issues related to a loved one’s chronic disease.
  • Project Access continues to partner with the local federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and other community clinics. These relationships are invaluable to all parties and help save many lives each year.
  • Project Access also continues to partner with the Department for Children and Families (DCF), which has placed eligible staff at each of the community clinics to help with the enrollment for the program. This has been a great partnership since inception.

Medical Provider Resources

  • As of October 7, 2019, Medical Provider Resources reported growth in a number of areas:

– Completed 947 initial appointment applications
– Completed 41 expedited/rapid track files.
– Completed 2,661 reappointment applications.
– Completed 6,759 provider enrollment activities.

  • MPR has expanded its custom credentialing database launched in 2017 to consolidate all service lines.
  • MPR has adopted a three-year strategic plan.
  • MPR has added four clients for Centralized Verification Services and 11 clients for Provider Enrollment Services.
  • Nathan Huerter attended the National Association of Medical Staff Services Conference in Philadelphia in October. He also served as a subject matter expert for the Certification Commission of NAMSS, participating in an item writing event for the CPCS and CPMSM examinations.
  • MPR hosted two credentialing workshops for hospital clients.
  • MPR hosted two education and communication forums for Wichita-area practices.
  • MPR was a Wichita Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards 2019 finalist.
  • MPR was a finalist for both Best in Business and Best Places to Work awards from the Wichita Business Journal.
  • MPR hired:

– Samantha Ramos – Provider Enrollment Specialist
– Sarah Rivera – Provider Enrollment Specialist
– Kimberly Hedrick – Provider Enrollment Specialist
– Sandra Toney – Provider Enrollment Specialist
– Shan Jabara – Initial Appointment Specialist
– Jesenia Benge – Final Quality Specialist
– Allie McDonald – Data Integrity Analyst
– Wendy Prue – Executive Assistant

  • Kayla Ragan has been promoted to Director of Final Quality
  • Members of the MPR Board of Directors are:

– Jennifer Jackson, MD – President
– Zachary Kuhlmann, DO – Vice President
– Rick Kellerman, MD – Treasurer
– J. Alex DeBaun, MD – Secretary
– John Peterson, DO
– Megan Dingwall, MD
– Paul Teran, MD
– Phillip Brownlee, Executive Director, MSSC
– Vicki Bond, Ex-Officio

Kansas Business Group on Health

The Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care moved to the Medical Society in 2018, and this year it was renamed the Kansas Business Group on Health.

  • Justin Moore, MD, was named medical director of KBGH and has brought a much-needed medical perspective to the group. He joined Matt Thibault, project director, and Shelley Duncan, executive director.
  • KBGH hosted two successful conferences since moving under the MSSC: the 2018 Innovation Summit and the 2019 Health Care Roundtable. Both conferences were well-attended with national speakers providing information on a variety of trending health care topics.
  • KBGH hosted four two-hour training sessions for members and non-members in 2019. One well-attended session was on mental health in the workplace. Employers are voicing more concern about mental health, and research shows the importance of mental health as it relates to health care costs, employee satisfaction, and productivity.
  • Staff attended the annual conference of the National Alliance of Health Care Purchaser Coalitions in Washington, DC. This conference offered an array of presentations from some of the country’s largest employers, along with speakers from the medical, pharmaceutical, and governmental entities. Matt Thibault attended “Hill Day” to speak to our elected officials about the increasing cost of health care to employers and its impact on businesses in our community.
  • KBGH added a number of new members in 2019 including Friends University, the City of Derby, Immediate Medical Care, Textron Aviation, and Fidelity Bank.
  • KBGH’s Advisory Council approved a charter that outlines the responsibilities of council members. The council this year voted to reduce membership rates for nonprofit members.
  • KBGH has begun offering four new resources to members: Quizzify, a program that provides health literacy to employees in a fun and creative way; Living Connected, a program focusing on improving health outcomes for employees with diabetes; RightRx, a pharmaceutical equivalent program that overlays on a pharmacy benefit management program; and STAR Captive, health care plan only offered through KBGH via the National Alliance of Health Care Purchasers.

TPOPP Wichita

TPOPP – Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences – is based on the belief that individuals have the right to make their own health care decisions.

TPOPP was initiated by the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2010. TPOPP is an endorsed National POLST Paradigm program for the states of Kansas and Missouri. Karin Porter-Williamson, MD, Palliative Care Specialist of the KUMC-KC, suggested the acronym of TPOPP.

TPOPP is designed to address the needs of patients with serious illness by translating patient goals and preferences into medical orders, whether people are living independently in their own community, in a hospital setting or skilled nursing facility.

  • Members of the TPOPP Wichita Steering Committee continue to review community organizing efforts in both Missouri and Kansas, and specifically Sedgwick County. The committee meets to educate health care teams, recognize concerns and questions about the use of the form and plan education about “serious illness conversations” and TPOPP. These conversations precede the completion of a TPOPP form.
  • TPOPP is recommended for persons who have chronic, advanced illness or terminal illness. If a physician would answer “NO” to the question, “Would you be surprised if this patient would die in the next year?” then it is time to have a Serious Illness Conversation with the patient about wishes for full code or DNR, medical interventions and medically administered nutrition for the patient.
  • Barbara Coats, MD, and Terry Merrifield, MD, active champions of the TPOPP Wichita committee, received recognition from Wichita Medical Research Education Foundation (WMREF) for their involvement in TPOPP. They received the WMREF Jiggs Nelson, MD, Quality of Life Award for their contribution to the health of our community.

WPPA ProviDRs Care Network

  • ProviDRs Care Network participated in the Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace as the network for Medica, an insurance company offering individual health insurance on and off the exchange for 2019.
  • ProviDRs Care welcomes the following employees who joined the company this past year:

– Brenna Maynard, Provider Relations Specialist
– Bret Emberson, Business Development
– Jordan Voss, Data Analyst

  • ProviDRs Care Network now includes over 14,800 practitioners and 169 hospitals in Kansas and across the border into Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma and Colorado.
  • ProviDRs Care Network is accessed by 29 payers including two insurance companies and 27 third party administrators.
  • ProviDRs Care provides network access to over 142 employer groups, of which 100% are self-funded. 86% of total covered lives are self-funded.
  • 28 Kansas hospitals have chosen ProviDRs Care network and partner TPAs to provide health insurance for their own employee groups.
  • ProviDRs Care maintains a total of 24 EDI connections with clearinghouses/gateways. More than 87% of ProviDRs Care claims are received electronically.
  • ProviDRs Care has repriced more than 350,000 claims during the first 11 months of 2019.
  • ProviDRs Care credentialed over 3,300 providers in 2019. ProviDRs Care performs all credentialing in-house in accordance with NCQA guidelines.
  • ProviDRs Care officially rolled out NexUS, its value-based health-care delivery model, to insurance companies and self-funded employers at the end of 2018.The plan now is available in Sedgwick, Harvey, Butler, Sumner, Cowley, Kingman, Reno and McPherson counties. There are nine employer groups with 1,300 employees and over 3,000 members enjoying the benefits of the ProviDRs Care NexUS value-based plan.
  • The ProviDRs Care NexUS Health Plan has been chosen by the following chambers and associations for their members: Medical Society of Sedgwick County, Nonprofit Chamber of Service, Derby Chamber of Commerce, Wichita Chamber, Southwest Kansas Chamber Alliance, Hesston Chamber of Commerce and the McPherson Chamber of Commerce.
  • Joe Davison, vice president of the ProviDRs Care board of directors, Justin Leitzen and Karen Cox spoke at the Wichita Area Benefit Professionals 9th Annual Healthcare Symposium in April.
  • ProviDRs Care supported the American Heart Association in the fight against heart disease by sponsoring a table at the 2019 American Heart Association Heart Ball in February and at the Go Red for Women’s Ladies Night Out in September.
  • ProviDRs Care serves in the following organizations: American Heart Association, Kansas Business Group on Health, Self-Insurance Institute of America, Wichita Chamber, Center for Economic Development and Business Research’s Wichita Area Outlook Team, Wichita Area Benefit Professionals and the National Association of Health Underwriters.