Dedicated to the health of children and adolescents.
May 2018
In this issue

PresidentPresident's Perspective

By Jennifer Mellick, MD, FAAP

"Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending." -  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
At the beginning of May, I attended the Kansas AAP Chapter's Strategic Planning Meeting. Almost the entire board met in Wichita and spent two days discussing the focus of the KAAP for the next three to five years. We began the meeting with several very seasoned board members and many new members. Unfortunately, several of our wisest, longest standing members had to leave early due to other commitments. And yet, we carried on. On the last day, I was asked by one of the newer board members if I was nervous when our wise leaders weren't there as we were tasked for setting the tone of the future of the KAAP. I answered her honestly, NO. We got the job done. Maybe it wasn't as pretty or efficient had the wise leaders been there, but we still did it. I told her that we are all capable of carrying on, because old or new - we had the interest of the children in the forefront of our minds.
This is my last article as President. Lisa Gilmer will take over in July and I know she is poised to not only carry on, but push forward and present new solutions to issues we may not even know will exist. She may not have 20 plus years on the board, but she is wise and strong and dedicated. She will do an excellent job. I feel that I have accomplished some of what I hoped to as KAAP President. I hoped to move us into the future while keeping our history intact. We have added new members. We have a new Executive Director. We have started new programs and continued ones that have worked. I don't yet know what my future looks like after my two years as Immediate Past President but I hope to stay involved in some way.
I am so excited for the KAAP's future. I am proud of how eagerly and honestly the board members assess what works and doesn't. I am excited to hear new voices emerge from our ranks. We will all learn from their perspectives. I am grateful to each of them for challenging me and for supporting me. I would like to encourage our members to get involved. There are new ways for involvement and we are seeing more pediatricians finding a way to help us. I would like to leave our board members with a challenge... keep questioning and keep working for Kansas kids and pediatricians alike. They need you.
"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." -  St. Teresa of Calcutta
Issues and Commentary

The Future of Pediatric Residency Training in Kansas City

Lisa Gilmer MD, FAAP

In December 2012, KU pediatric faculty and residents were informed that "the University of Kansas Hospital, the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Kansas Physicians (KU) and Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (CMH) had signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a single, integrated pediatric program. The goals of this program were to enhance clinical care for children, advance pediatric academic development, expand pediatric research initiatives and coordinate advocacy activities for children's health."

Simplified...KU and CMH were going to merge. The idea of merging the residency programs wasn't new; that had been tried unsuccessfully in the past. This time however it wouldn't just be residency integration but a more ambitious coming together for all three missions- clinical care, research and education. With a focus on providing the best possible care for children, the difficult task of figuring out exactly how to combine an academic medical center in Kansas with a children's hospital in Missouri began.

The last six years has seen many starts and pauses in this complex endeavor. Key steps in the collaboration have included shared leadership with a joint chairman since 2014 as well as joint divisional leadership for both General Academic Pediatrics and Neonatology, shared clinical services starting with pediatric infectious diseases in 2013 as well as shared education through alignment of resident didactics and clinical rotations for both resident and medical students.
ExecDirectorExecutive Director Update

It was great to see so many members at the Progress in Pediatrics - Spring 2018 meeting in Lawrence April 27th! We could not have had better weather for the cocktail reception on the Ninth Floor Terrace at the Oread Hotel overlooking campus, and I hear that lots of fun was had on Mass Street afterwards. As a staff, we really look forward to the meetings as a time to meet face to face with members.

Thank you to the Spring Meeting Planning Committee for the time you put into creating the meeting agenda and inviting expert speakers. If you haven't attended a meeting yet, I hope you will consider joining us in Wichita on October 4th and 5th with topics including gun safety and suicide prevention.

I would like to introduce our new staff accountant, Martha Atkinson who joined the KAAP staff on May 2nd. Martha has a wealth of experience in non-profit accounting and I am excited to have her on staff. She works out of her home office in Shawnee where she has two daughters that love to play soccer! You can reach Martha at

The KAAP staff is here to support you in your practice, so don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns that I can help with. I can be reached at
 officersNew KAAP Officers!

Kristie Clark, MD, FAAP  has been elected to the position of KAAP Presid ent-Elect. Dr. Clark is a private practice pediatrician in Jetmore.
Jonathan Jantz, MD, FAAP  has been elected to the position of Treasurer. Dr. Jantz is a private practice pediatrician in Newton.

Dr. Clark and Dr. Jantz have both been actively involved in Kansas Ch
apter initiatives and have served on the KAAP Board of Directors. They will bring a wealth of knowledge and unique perspectives to their positions.
Here are your KAAP officers for July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020:
Lisa Gilmer, MD, FAAP
Kristie Clark, MD, FAAP
Jonathan Jantz, MD, FAAP
Immediate Past-President: 
Jennifer Mellick, MD, FAAP

KAAP Legislative Update

By Dennis Cooley MD, FAAP
Legislative Coordinator

The 2018 Kansas Legislative session finished May 4th with minimal health care  legislation being passed. Again as has been the case for the last few years budget  concerns - in this case school funding - have dominated the session. For the second straight year Stuart Little has served as the Chapter's part time lobbyist at the Capitol. We should all thank him for his excellent work in seeing that the interest of children and pediatricians are voiced to legislators.
The state seems to have finally received some good news with revenues projected higher than anticipated. The recent budget the Legislature passed did include some relief to many programs that suffered during the last few years of financial crisis. Stuart Little provided the following list of programs that received additional funding this budget cycle
Children and youth issues
  • Add $4.2 million Children's Initiative Funds for Pre-K Pilots.
  • Add $1.0 million Children's Initiative Funds for full funding of Parents as Teachers.
  • $300,000 for juvenile crisis center pilot at Beloit Special Ed coop.
  • Add three-year old to at-risk pre-school.
paymentPediatric Payment Corner

The value of taking call for a hospital
The point of coding is getting paid for your work,  but what if there is no code, or a code doesn't pay?

By Jonathan Jantz, MD, FAAP

Codes are useful things, but remember: Just because there is a code does not mean it is PAID. Example? Taking call.

Over the course of my career, medicine has evolved from a system where everyone took call for their own patients at one or more hospitals and shared call for unassigned patients.

That's not the case anymore. Now, community physicians find themselves covering patients they have never seen before, and will probably never see again.

Many physicians are turning that responsibility over to ER doctors and hospitalists if they can, and sometimes even when they shouldn't but have to stop taking call.  But pediatricians in communities that are too small for hospitalists are either still taking call on the old system or just telling the local hospital that they are giving up their hospital privileges.

Each time someone or a group drops out of the hospital call rotation, it is typically assumed that their patients are now unassigned and should be covered by the remaining pediatricians in the community.  Pediatricians also end up expected to cover these unassigned patients if family practice or general practice providers stop covering their patients at the hospital.
Addressing Infant Mortality in Kansas

By Stephanie Kuhlmann, DO, FAAP and Kelly Kreisler, MD, MPH, FAAP

In January 2018, the Kansas Chapter of the AAP responded to a member concern by creating an Infant Mortality Task Force to examine the appropriate role for the chapter to play in this important public health issue. The first decision for the task force was whether to create a new program or partner with other existing programs and initiatives addressing infant mortality. For more than a decade, Kansas Chapter members have been engaged with organizations throughout the state that address infant mortality. These initiatives include but are not limited to Safe Sleep Kansas, The Kansas Blue Ribbon Panel on Infant Mortality, Center for Research for Infant Birth and Survival (CRIBS), Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) Wyandotte and Sedgwick counties, KIDS Network, and Every Baby to 1. As there are many existing organizations working on infant mortality and many of our current board members and KAAP staff playing leading and/or supporting roles in these organizations, the Task Force decided to continue work with existing collaborative efforts. This spring has already been busy for us with the statewide CRIBS symposium and the launch of EveryBabyto1.

The Center for Research for Infant Birth and Survival (CRIBS) was established by the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita on July 1, 2017. ( ) CRIBS seeks to bring together organizations through collaborative capacity building to improve outcomes related to maternal and infant health. CRIBS was created to eradicate preventable infant deaths, to conduct innovative research, and to join as a community to implement best practices throughout Kansas. Priority focus areas of the group are 1) Access, 2) Excess, and 3) Safe Sleep. "Access" represents access to care for preconception care and counseling and maternal and infant healthcare, including mental health care. Lack of healthcare access has been identified as a barrier to healthy birth outcomes. "Excess" focuses on tobacco and opioid use and exposure. Safe sleep is important because SIDS and sleep related deaths are the largest contributor to sudden unexpected infant death. CRIBS partners to promote evidence-based strategies for dissemination to professionals, parents, and caregivers.

There has been progress made in the infant mortality rate in Kansas over the past decade. In fact, the Kansas overall infant mortality of 5.9 per 1000 live births is below the healthy People 2020 goal of 6.0 per 1000 live births; however, there is a large racial disparity in infant mortality. In fact, in 2016, the infant mortality rate for Black, non-Hispanic infants (15.2) was nearly three times the rate for non-Hispanic White infants (5.2). (KDHE press release 12/22/2017) This racial disparity led to the creation of the Every Baby to 1 Pilot Project in Wyandotte County, Kansas.   The goal of the project, which launched in March 2018, is to ensure every baby survives and thrives during their first year of life. The EveryBabyto1 health care team partnered with the faith based community at New Bethel Church in Kansas City, KS to create a toolkit and educational program. The project is being led by the NBC Community Development Corporation ,the Community Service arm of New Bethel Church, with grant funding from Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Children's Mercy Hospital.  It promotes: 1) Safe Sleep, 2) Safe Environments, and 3) Social Support to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. ( )

The Kansas Chapter board and staff member collaboration with the community and researchers to reduce infant mortality and address health disparities is consistent with our mission of "the attainment by all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults of their full potential for physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Together with those who share this purpose, the Kansas Chapter pledges its efforts and expertise to a fundamental goal-that all children and youth have the opportunity to grow up safe and strong, with faith in the future and in themselves." At this time, we will continue to collaborate with experts dedicated to reducing infant mortality in Kansas and educate members on the topic and opportunities for involvement. Please contact us if you are interested in participating in the Infant Mortality Task Force.
2018 AAP Annual Legislative Conference   

By Dena Hubbard, MD, FAAP

The 2018 AAP Annual Legislative Conference was held in D.C. April 8-10. LegCon, as it is affectionately known, is a unique meeting organized by the highly skilled staffers and lobbyists of the Academy's Federal and State Advocacy Offices, along with the MD members of the Committee on Federal/State and Governmental Affairs (COFGA and COSGA, chaired by Dr. Lynda Young and Dr. J. Gary Wheeler respectively). The conference chooses one topic (this year, Gun Violence Prevention and last year, Medicaid and CHIP Protection) and builds a series of sessions to build knowledge on the subject as well as skills in advocacy. The conference culminates in a half-day fan-out of attendees to appointments with their own House Representatives and Senators to deliver the message. This year, Leg Con was combined with a Leadership Fly-In, during which Presidents of State Chapters and Chairs of Sections and Committees also arrived for the last day. Your Kansas AAP was represented well by the following attendees at the legislative conference: Kathy Ellerbach, Dena Hubbard, Dennis Cooley (also esteemed COFGA member) and were joined by AAP leaders Pam Shaw (District VI AAP chair), Jennifer Mellick (Kansas AAP chapter president), and KU Pediatrics resident Jacob Hessman.

Keynote Speakers at this year's legislative conference included Admiral Brett P. Giroir, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (and more importantly, a Pediatrician!); Mark Del Monte, Chief Deputy and Senior Vice President AAP Advocacy and External Affairs; Dr. Karen Remley AAP CEO and Executive Vice President; Marlelena Hincapie', Executive Director National Immigration Law Center; Alison Betty and David Smith, Founding Partners Betty & Smith; Dr. Joseph Wright, Chair AAP Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Katherine Phillips, Federal Affairs Manager, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence; Peter Hyun, Chief Counsel, US. Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA); Debbie Weir, Senior Managing Director for Organizing and Engagement Everytown for Gun Safety. Our day on the Hill began with a charge from Congressional Members Senator Tim Kaine (Virginia), Senator Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire), and Representative Jim McGovern (Massachusetts).
KPF Update

In 2017, Turn a Page. Touch a Mind.® (TAP-TAM) gave out 118,200 books at well-check appointments to children aged 6 months to 5 years of age at 109 sites throughout the state of Kansas. The books were given out by 545 participating TAP-TAM medical providers to assess the development of the patient and allow the providers to discuss age appropriate behavior. The books also allow providers to encourage parent-child interaction and discuss the importance of reading books together at an early age.The Kansas Pediatric Foundation is proud of the accomplishments of the TAP-TAM program through the Literacy Endowment, and we are now working to grow the Kansas Kids Fund so that we can make an impact with even more important child health initiatives in Kansas.

For more information on supporting the Kansas Kids Fund, contact Shanna Peters at .
Spring PIP Meeting

The Kansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (KAAP) held its 2018 KAAP Spring Progress in Pediatrics (PIP) CME meeting on Friday, April 27 at the Oread Hotel in Lawrence, KS. A reception, supported by Children's Mercy Hospital, was held the evening prior on the Oread's rooftop terrace which provided stunning views.

KAAP President, Dr. Jennifer Mellick said, " I really enjoyed the topics this Spring but for me the best part of the meeting is seeing other people who care for kids and catching up on what they are doing across the state." 

Eighteen exhibitors gave attendees the opportunity to speak with industry supporters throughout the meeting. The Plenary session provided an array of topics and speakers that provide attendees with up to date best practices education on current children's issues.  

"It was great to see so many KAAP members at Progress in Pediatrics - Spring 2018 learning about important topics like pain management and mental health. The weather was perfect and it was fun socializing at the reception on the Ninth Floor Terrace at the beautiful Oread Hotel. Thank you to everyone who attended!," said Melissa Hudelson, Executive Director.
KAAP Member Receives Award at  AAP Annual Leadership Forum

KAAP member,  Dr Robert Holcomb (pictured) along with Dr Thomas Lancaster led 300 members of the Section on Transport Medicine to win the prestigious "Outstanding Service in Communication and Collaboration" at this year's AAP Annual Leadership Forum (ALF). They were awarded for the duo's very popular procedure lab that took place at the 2016 Course on Neonatal and Pediatric Critical Care Transport Medicine. 
The Heartland Childhood Obesity Summit: Factors of Health: Addressing the Systems Influencing Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity carries serious health and social consequences and continues to be a concerning and costly issue for families, communities, schools, as well as health care and social services providers. Over the last 30 years, obesity rates for preschool children have doubled, while tripling among school-aged children and adolescents. Overweight children are likely to become overweight adults that suffer serious health consequences.
Goals of the Summit
  • Bring together regional stakeholders from diverse sectors to share knowledge and discuss the "Factors of Health" (i.e., socioeconomic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, and health care) that influence childhood obesity.
  • Amplify regional evidenced-based practices, community-based efforts, and policy strategies that address the "Factors of Health" in an effort to promote and sustain healthy lifestyles of the region's children.
  • Recognize opportunities to leverage systems of obesity to further programs and policies that aim to address the "Factors of Health" (i.e., socioeconomic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, and health care).
For more information, click the orange button below. 

The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition 
2018 Breastfeeding Conference

November 1-2, 2018
Wichita, KS

Click the button below for more information.
Quick_LinksQuick Links
About Us

Jennifer Mellick, MD, FAAP
Mel Hudelson
Executive Director 

Lisa Gilmer, MD, FAAP

Shanna Peters
Associate Director

Dennis Cooley, MD, FAAP

Martha Atkinson
Staff Accountant

Robert Wittler, MD, FAAP
Past President
Amy Trollinger
Marketing Communications Manager

Board of Directors
Chris Steege
Special Project Manager

KAAP Committees