School of Medicine - Wichita

Area leaders join forces to support expansion

A cross-section of leaders has joined together to promote the expansion of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita to a full, four-year campus. Civic leaders, business executives, university officials and medical professionals are working together to promote the expansion of the Wichita campus by forming a new board, named 4-Wichita.

Wichita attorney and KU alumnus Jeff Kennedy, who is the board’s chair, said the dual purpose of the name, 4-Wichita, reflects the board’s focus on expanding from a two-year to a four-year campus in Wichita as well as promoting the benefits of educating more medical doctors.

The school expansion represents KU School of Medicine’s plan to address the state’s shortage of physicians. As a result of the expansion, more physicians will be educated, many of whom will practice medicine in Kansas and improve healthcare access for Kansans.

“Of the more than 1,600 medical students who have graduated from the Wichita school, almost half have gone on to practice in Kansas compared to a national average of 29 percent of doctors who graduate from medical school and remain in that state to practice,” said H. David Wilson, M.D., dean, KU School of Medicine-Wichita. “Also, having a full, four-year school here in Wichita will improve the quality of all practicing doctors,” Wilson said, “Students’ questions keep us sharp.”

The expansion will add the first and second years of coursework to the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, which was established in 1974 to provide hands-on, clinical training for third and fourth-year medical students.

With patient-centered care as their guiding principle, the first class of Wichita’s four-year medical students will begin their studies in fall 2011. During the succeeding four years, the school’s number of medical students will gradually increase to as many as 250 — up from the current 110.

“The economic impact of essentially doubling the size of KU School of Medicine-Wichita will be felt in all areas of Wichita,” said Kennedy, noting that, in 2009, the KU School of Medicine-Wichita’s economic impact on the metropolitan area reached $49.7 million. A recent study revealed the medical school expansion and the addition of the KU School of Pharmacy-Wichita may have an economic impact as high as $80 million.

The expansion of the school will provide additional careers for faculty and staff, as will the new school of pharmacy, said Kennedy. The KU School of Pharmacy will open its Wichita campus in fall 2011, with a new class of eight students and plans to have up to 80 pharmacy students by 2015.

Private philanthropy is critical to expanding the program. Already, area supporters have contributed more than $2.7 million toward the $5 million fundraising goal.

“This is an exciting time in the history of the medical school in Wichita,” said Kennedy.

Members of 4-Wichita include: 

  • Alex Ammar, M.D., vascular surgeon and CEO, Wichita Surgical Specialists; chair, department of surgery, KU School of Medicine-Wichita; 
  • Don Beggs, Ph.D., president, Wichita State University;
  • Kay Brada, civic leader;
  • Carl Brewer, mayor, Wichita;
  • Nicholas Brown, M.D., surgical resident, Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education;
  • Noreen Carrocci, Ph.D., president, Newman University;
  • Frederic Chang, M.D., professor emeritus of surgery, KU School of Medicine-Wichita;
  • H. W. (Bill) Collier, M.D., anesthesiologist, clinical associate professor, KU School of Medicine-Wichita;
  • Kathie Dakhil, civic leader;
  • William Docking, CEO and chairman, Union State Bank, Arkansas City; chair, Kansas Health Foundation
  • Jill Docking, community activist; former chair, Kansas Board of Regents;
  • Jeff Kennedy, managing partner, Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace and Bauer, LLP, and member of KU Alumni Association national board of directors; 
  • Diane Klingman, M.D., Via Christi Medical Associates-Cypress;
  • Ric Knorr, owner, ETK Investment Properties, LLC;
  • Darlene Knorr, owner, DK Consulting;
  • Annie Koch, R.N., Wesley Medical Center;
  • Carol Linnens, executive director, Financial Fitness Foundation;
  • Steven J. Martens, president, The Martens Companies;
  • Russell Meyer, Jr., chairman emeritus, Cessna Aircraft Company;
  • M. D. Michaelis, chairman, Emprise Bank;
  • Carol Nazar, director of donor and grant making services, Wichita Community Foundation;
  • Randy Peterson, interim president and CEO, Via Christi Health;
  • Scott Ritchie, chairman, Ritchie Exploration, Inc.; 
  • Carol Ritchie, civic leader;
  • Jon Rosell, Ph.D., executive director, Medical Society of Sedgwick County;
  • Ann Ross, civic leader; 
  • Dennis Ross, M.D., Kansas Nephrology Physicians, PA; 
  • Richard Shaw, M.D.;
  • Hugh Tappan, President and CEO, Wesley Medical Center;
  • Jeffrey Van Sickle, AIA, chief executive officer, GLMV Architecture, Inc.;
  • Sue Watson, civic leader, member of KU Alumni Association board of directors and immediate past chair of KU Alumni Association national board of directors;
  • Lyndon Wells, executive vice president, INTRUST Bank;
  • H. David Wilson, M.D., dean, KU School of Medicine-Wichita.

Institutional leadership for 4-Wichita will be provided by H. David Wilson, M.D., dean, KU School of Medicine-Wichita; Bernadette Gray-Little, chancellor, KU; Barbara Atkinson, M.D., executive vice chancellor, KU Medical Center and executive dean, KU School of Medicine; and Dale Seuferling, president, KU Endowment.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Rosita McCoy

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Michelle Tevis

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