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So many decisions:

Thinking about having

a baby

Battling cancer as a team LMH, Health Department launch H1N1 campaign Leg pain may be a sign of blocked arteries Fall 2009


Thinking about having a


W H AT Y O U N E E D T O K N O W Is it time to add a new bouncing baby to your life? Along with preparing the baby room, buying clothes and picking names, prenatal checkups are important. But to ensure a healthy start, a preconception visit with your physician is a must. During this visit your physician can help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy prior to conception and assist you with any issues you may have with conceiving. Two of our community’s obstetrics experts recently shared ways to increase chances of conception and start a healthy pregnancy.

During your pre-pregnancy visit your health care provider can perform or recommend various tests and screenings before and during pregnancy as well as recommend lifestyle changes that will increase the chances of having a healthy baby. Some of the pre-pregnancy screening tests physicians often encourage are rubella, sickle-cell anemia and cystic fibrosis. Many physicians also recommend that all women who could become pregnant take a vitamin with 400 micrograms to 1 milligram of folic acid. “While we don’t know what causes most birth defects, we do know that many birth defects happen early in pregnancy when the organs of the baby are forming,” says Samantha Durland, MD, from Lawrence OB/GYN Specialists. “A woman could be pregnant several weeks before she realizes it. Taking the B-vitamin folic acid before and early in pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of birth defects affecting the brain and spine,” she adds.



Journey through parenthood with us! See

To better increase your chances of conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby, physicians recommend that you keep the following tips in mind. Timing is everything. A woman is most fertile when she is ovulating — usually around the fourteenth day of her menstrual cycle. The exact time of ovulation varies from woman to woman due to different lengths of menstrual cycles. Increasing the frequency of intercourse during ovulation increases the chances for conception. Your physician can help you determine your most fertile time and home ovulation test kits are also available to aid in detection. Age also affects a couple’s ability to conceive. Though most women have few pregnancy-related issues and give birth to healthy babies after the age of 35, it is important to note that a woman’s ability to release eggs ready for fertilization declines with age, Dr. Durland explains. The ability to conceive decreases after age 35 and makes a sharp drop after age 40. Women in this stage of life have an increased chance of giving birth to babies with genetic disorders. So physicians may also consider additional genetic testing for this group prior to conceiving.

Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight can interfere with the production of estrogen, a female hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Proper nutrition and a healthy weight also contribute to a healthy baby and pregnancy. Minivan or sports car? It’s just one of many things to consider. Pamela Huerter, MD, from Lawrence Family Medicine and Obstetrics reminds women to talk to a doctor about the prescription and over-thecounter medications they take regularly. “Even some routine medications, such as acne medications, can decrease the chances of getting pregnant, and some medications may also prove to be harmful to your fetus while in utero,” she says. Avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol and drug use. Dr. Huerter points out that these substances may not only be extremely unhealthy for an unborn child, but they can also increase the risk of infertility. Drs. Huerter and Durland offer this information as a general guideline for care. Please talk to your physician about the care that is most appropriate for you and your baby.

DocTalk Tiffinie R. Mercado, MD

Mickelle Hirschman, DO

Elizabeth Beal, MD

Dr. Mercado has joined Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists. She recently completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she was administrative resident chief. She received her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2005 and her bachelor of science degree in genetics from KU in 2000. She is board eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Hirschman has joined Family Medicine of Baldwin City. She recently completed a residency at Research Family Medicine in Kansas City. She received a doctor of osteopathy degree in 2006 from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. In 2002 she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Central Methodist University, Fayette, Mo.

Dr. Beal has joined Family Medicine of Tonganoxie. She recently completed a residency in family medicine at Research Medical Center in Kansas City and received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2006. She graduated from Wichita State University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and field majors in biology, physics and sociology. Dr. Beal also completed a minor in chemistry and is conversant in Spanish.

A native of Kansas, Dr. Mercado and her husband have a 4-year-old son. Her personal interests include spending time with her family, traveling, working out and running. In 2008 she was team physician for a Peru medical mission, Amazon Hope. She is conversant in Spanish. Dr. Mercado is happy to be joining the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Medical Staff. “There is no doubt in my mind that this is where I wanted to be,” she says.

Dr. Hirschman’s interests in addition to family medicine procedures are preventive care and women’s health. “I chose to do family medicine because I love to work with all sorts of different populations,” she says.Originally from the Kansas City area, Dr. Hirschman chose to practice in Baldwin City because of its small-town charm. “I wanted a smaller town close to a larger city, and here I get the small-town practice feel.” Her personal interests include boating, fishing, traveling, watching Chiefs football and spending time with her family.

To make an appointment with Dr. Mercado, call 785-832-1424.

To make an appointment with Dr. Hirschman, call 785-594-2512.

Becoming a doctor was an obvious career path for Dr. Beal, she says. “I love helping people, I love medicine and I love science.” She has a particular interest in women’s health. Dr. Beal and her husband have a 1-year-old daughter and have lived in Basehor for six years. Originally from Larned, she says she enjoys smalltown living. Her personal interests include SCUBA diving, biking, traveling and spending time with family. She especially enjoys water skiing at Clinton Lake. To make an appointment with Dr. Beal, call 913-845-8400.


Cardiologists to affiliate with Lawrence Memorial Hospital Lawrence Memorial Hospital officials announced recently that four cardiologists in practice at the Lawrence office of Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A. have agreed to an affiliation with the hospital. LMH will employ John Hiebert, MD; Michael Zabel, MD; Michael Hajdu, MD; and Roger Dreiling, MD, effective November 1, 2009. A fifth cardiologist, Tapas ‘Joey’ Ghose, MD, will join them in December. The group’s name will be Cardiovascular Specialists of Lawrence. Gene Meyer, LMH president and chief executive officer, says the affiliation supports the hospital’s strategic focus to work closely with physicians as partners to deliver the best health care to the community. “We are pleased to partner with these outstanding local physicians who are respected by their patients and their peers,” Meyer says. “LMH is committed to the expansion of cardiac services in Lawrence and surrounding communities, and this affiliation will allow the cardiologists to support this goal with a stronger local focus.”

Dr. Dreiling, who specializes in interventional cardiology, will serve as medical director for the new practice. Speaking on behalf of the group, he noted that the cardiologists have a longstanding commitment to the community. “A closer relationship with the hospital will enhance continuity of care for our patients and provide an opportunity for our practice to grow,” he says. “We are very satisfied that this will be a productive and positive long-term relationship that contributes to our mutual goal to deliver the best cardiac care to our patients.” Meyer says the cardiologists will continue to practice according to their professional judgment, and their affiliation with LMH will in no way interfere in their practice of medicine. Cardiovascular Specialists of Lawrence physicians will continue their longstanding collegial relationships with the cardiovascular physicians of Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A. Dr. Dreiling says he expects the transition to be a seamless process with no impact to patients.

Ken Huber, MD, president of Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A., says, “Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A., has been pleased to provide cardiovascular services in Lawrence for the past 15 years. We look forward to collaborating with LMH and Cardiovascular Specialists of Lawrence as they further develop the model for cardiovascular care for the Lawrence community.” Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A. of Kansas City opened its Lawrence office in 1994. Dr. Hiebert has been practicing in Lawrence since 1988. Dr. Zabel joined the office in 1995 and Dr. Hajdu joined in 2003. Services were expanded to include interventional cardiology at LMH in 2005, and Dr. Dreiling has provided interventional cardiology services in Lawrence since 2008. The practice is located in the Lawrence Health Plaza medical building, adjacent to the hospital. Their phone number will remain the same; patients should continue to call 785-841-3636.

READY...SET...GO! In an effort to encourage community wellness and promote the services of LMH, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association is hosting a “small town BIG CAUSE” series of 5K run/walk events. The first “small town BIG CAUSE” run/walk was held in Baldwin City on August 22. On a gorgeous Saturday morning, 65 runners and walkers moved through the course that was set up on the Baldwin City Golf Course. The Overall Top Male runner was Denny Gayton with a time of 19:38.77. The Overall Top Female runner was Jill Boyle with a finishing time of 22:52.56. A 5K run/ walk was also held in Tonganoxie on September 26 (race winners were not known at the time of publication). The next 5K run/walk will be in Eudora on Saturday, October 17. There is a $25 fee to register. For more event information and to register for the race, please contact Melissa Hess at 785-505-3317 or


Baldwin City runners Austin Braddock (left), Overall Winner in 18-Under category and his father, Scott Braddock (right), 2nd in the 40-49 group, enjoy the day with race steering committee member George McCrary (center).

Leg pain may be a sign of blocked arteries ©

If you have aches, cramps or pain in your legs when you walk or exercise, it may be a sign that the arteries in your legs are becoming narrowed or blocked. Pain, in this instance, occurs because of decreased blood flow to the legs. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the technical name for this blockage. According to Scott A. Gard, MD, a board-certified vascular surgeon who specializes in peripheral vascular surgery, PAD occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the arms or legs become clogged, partially or totally blocking the flow of blood to the extremities. This condition is caused by fatty plaque that builds up over time and clogs the arteries. Left untreated, PAD is quite dangerous. If blood circulation becomes severely restricted, gangrene (tissue death) can occur. Gangrene is a very serious condition that may require amputation of the foot or leg. Dr. Gard says, “People with PAD are also likely to have blocked arteries in other areas of the body. Thus, they are at increased risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.”

Peripheral artery disease is a serious condition that will not go away without treatment.

The most common symptom of PAD is pain or cramping in your hips, thighs or calves while walking or exercising. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include numbness, tingling or weakness in the leg; coldness of the leg or foot; paleness of the leg or foot when elevated; blue or red discoloration of the foot or toes; loss of hair on legs or feet; and sores that don’t heal. Symptoms of PAD should not be considered a normal part of aging.

S Y M P TO M S |

Tests used to check for signs of PAD include: • Ankle/brachial index or ABI (used to compare the blood pressure in your feet and arms) • Ultrasound exams of the extremity • An angiography of the arteries in the legs (x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries) • An MRI scan The new Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory at the Wound Healing Center of Lawrence offers a range of non-invasive diagnostic screenings performed by a registered vascular technologist. DIAGNOSIS |

Diet and exercise to lose weight, control high blood pressure and lower cholesterol may control PAD. The most important thing you can do to slow the progression of PAD is stop smoking. When lifestyle changes are ineffective in controlling PAD, medications may be prescribed. Other treatments may include balloon angio-

T R E AT M E N T O P T I O N S |

Are you at risk for peripheral artery disease? The following activities and conditions put you at greater risk of PAD: • smoking • diabetes • high blood pressure • high cholesterol • obesity • lack of exercise • heart disease • family history of heart disease • being over age 50

Did you know? A recent study by the American Vascular Association underscored the magnitude of undiagnosed vascular disease in the United States and in the Lawrence area. Based on the national prevalence rate, as many as 22,100 people in the LMH service area (excluding Topeka) could have some form of vascular disease. plasty (a non-surgical procedure used to widen narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries), sometimes followed by stent implantation, laser treatment, or other treatments. Surgery is performed when cases are severe. PAD will not go away without treatment. Early detection and treatment are important. If you experience symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Dr. Gard sees patients in his Lawrence Vascular Surgery office located at 6th and Maine, as well as at the Family Medicine of Baldwin City office. For more information, contact Lawrence Vascular Surgery at 785-841-9600. For more information about the Vascular Laboratory, call 785-840-9292.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital • 325 Maine Street • Lawrence, KS 66044 • 785-505-5000


LMH offers cancer patients the most clinical trials in northeast Kansas It may surprise you to learn that Lawrence Memorial Hospital offers more clinical trials for cancer patients than any hospital or medical center in northeast Kansas, including Kansas City and Topeka. “We had access to almost 200 trials last year,” reports Ronald Stephens, MD, medical director of the LMH Regional Oncology Center. “Every trial we conducted was approved by the National Cancer Institute, and received scientific scrutiny at the highest level across the country.” A key reason for the growth in cancer research at LMH is a program created by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Since 80 percent of patients stay close to home for cancer treatment, the NCI established Community Clinical Oncology Programs (CCOPs) that bring state-of-the-art cancer research to local communities. LMH has expanded its available trials through a new partnership with Wichita CCOP, one of the most respected CCOPs in the country.

O N C O L O GY T R I A L S C U R R E N T LY AVA I L A B L E AT L M H * Breast ......................18 Leukemia .................14 Lung.........................13 Cancer Control ......13 GI.............................11 GU............................. 8

GYN .......................... 6 Brain .......................... 5 Myeloma ................... 5 Lymphoma ................ 4 Melanoma ................. 3

* partial list

The clinical trials were a natural development in the history of the LMH Oncology Center, which began in May of 2000. Since then, the center has expanded to include 15 private outpatient treatment rooms. Dr. Stephens is joined by Matthew Stein, MD; Sharon Soule, MD; Raonak Ekram, MD; and Eston Schwartz, MD, in treating cancer patients at LMH. Darren Klish, MD, provides radiation therapy in a facility adjacent to the Oncology Center. The physicians, along with an oncology pharmacist and full-time social worker dedicated to the center, and a caring

staff of certified oncology nurses work together with patients, their families and their primary care physicians to customize treatment. “We are serving patients and physicians with a dedicated, highly capable staff in a safe and caring environment,” concludes Dr. Stephens. For more information about clinical trials at the Oncology Center, contact Jodi Carlson, clinical coordinator for research and education, at 785-505-2800.

What is a clinical trial? Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors and researchers find ways to improve health care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease. The purpose of a clinical trial is to find out whether a medicine or treatment regimen is safe and effective for the treatment of a specific condition or disease. Clinical trials compare the effectiveness of the study medicine or treatment against standard, accepted treatment.

Battling cancer as a team

Cancer can be all consuming. Many people who are diagnosed are scared and confused, and their lives quickly become absorbed with navigating the medical system. Waiting for test results, keeping track of multiple appointments and taking medications often leaves little time for family and work. But Sue Durand from Gardner, Kan., had a much different experience battling cancer with the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Oncology Center on her side. One year ago, Sue, a second-grade teacher, mother and wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer and began navigating the medical system in the Kansas City area for her treatment. “It just wasn’t working for me. It was difficult and I didn’t feel like I was getting the care, attention and information I needed,” she says. Sue asked a breast cancer survivor in Gardner for advice and her friend referred her to the LMH Oncology Center. The friend had a positive experience at LMH and asked Sue to give it a try. And on Sue’s first visit, the difference in care struck her. “I immediately felt at ease,” Sue notes. “They spent hours talking to me and answering questions. I knew I was in the right place.” Throughout Th chemotherapy, surgery and reconstruction Sue felt like she had the whole department behind her. She felt fortunate because the team at LMH helped her coordinate care and make appointments. They even kept in contact with her primary care physician in Gardner and her cardiologist in Kansas City. Though S! JOIN U she wouldn’t say it was easy, Sue does believe her experience at LMH was the best possible scenario. Out g in p p e r t Because of the extra level of support she was offered at LMH, she could concentrate on her work and B S ance Breast C t s family life. She was even able to keep teaching with minimal interruption. in a g A Dance t From the volunteers, nurses and coordinators to the physicians and surgeons, Sue is grateful for h midnig | 8 p.m.– 4 2 r e the excellent care they provided. As she begins this school year, she is still battling the disease, but now b , Octo ion Saturday own Toyota Pavil boasts a 90 percent cure rate. As she reflects on her experience she says, “They still make me feel like t Cr wa Stree 3400 S. Io $35 their only patient and a member of the family. The most important thing for people to know is this is a Tickets: wonderful place for anyone to receive cancer care.” : ts and info For ticke , y If you would like more information about the LMH Oncology Center, call 785-505-2800 or rl ther Acke Call Hea visit vis 15 5-505-33



A friend remembered

July 17, 1916–February 28, 2009

Lawrence (Larry) Holuba is remembered as a giving person, war hero, volunteer, dedicated husband, Christian and a loving uncle and friend. Larry’s life of giving began when, as a young man, he joined the Army. He served in WWII, participated in D-Day and was recognized for his dedication with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Soon after the war, Larry married Mabel Cobb and moved to Lawrence. Though they didn’t have children, the Holubas were dedicated to family. Their niece, Marsha Johnson, remembers huge family gatherings at Larry and Mabel’s house and enjoyed spending summers with the people she knew as her “second parents.” Marsha recalls how Larry’s service to others was even reflected in his professional life as a rural mail carrier where it wasn’t unusual for him to lend a helping hand to people on his route. Larry was also frequently found cutting the grass at church and assisting neighbors with handy work. In retirement Larry didn’t slow down. He worked as a funeral assistant for 11 years at Warren-McElwain Mortuary and during this time, Larry and Mabel had the opportunity to enjoy life. They

traveled, fished, explored many secluded beaches and simply enjoyed spending time together. Unfortunately the next few years weren’t as joyful. Larry spent nearly a decade dedicated to caring for Mabel who was ill. His family and friends were always Larry Holuba, in 1943 impressed with him during this time. They knew it was a difficult but no one ever heard him complain. After Mabel’s passing, Larry reinvented himself. He began golfing more and stayed active with his friends and family, his love of birds, reading, growing flowers and gardening. And in 1998, Larry started a relationship with Lawrence Memorial Hospital where he became a volunteer escort. What started out as volunteering one day a week to help transport patients around the hospital turned into a lasting relationship with the hospital’s patients, volunteers, students and staff. Each year Larry volunteered about 300 hours of his time, but that wasn’t all. While at LMH Larry began working with college-

Share your expertise: Volunteer!

Planned gifts are beneficial

LMH is home to more than 450 volunteers, ages 14 to 90+. You can share your expertise with the hospital in a variety of positions. LMH volunteers have a wonderful connection to the community, have the opportunity to work with a variety of people and are part of an outstanding organization. Every commitment level is welcome. Current Volunteer opportunities include: Information Desk • Gift Shop • Escort Patient Representative • Emergency Department Nurse Volunteers • 2nd Medical Unit Patient Safety Attendant • Anticoagulation Clinic Oncology • Central Supply And at LMH South: GI Lab • The Breast Center • Reception If you would like to be a volunteer, pick up an application in the Volunteer Services office at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine Street, or visit us online at

age volunteers. This opportunity aallowed Larry to share his wisdom with the students, but they also proved w tto be an inspiration to him. Because oof the relationship they formed, he was moved to make multiple donations to m hospital scholarship fund to benefit ah students in the medical field. stu “There is no doubt Larry made an impact on LMH. He was a giving imp individual who cared for our patients, ind employees and students. And he did emp so quietly without seeking attention,” comments Allyson Leland, director of volunteer services. His relationship with the hospital didn’t cease at the end of his life. In his trust, Larry left a donation to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association. His donation will be used to fund a nursing scholarship. The people who knew Larry best admired him for his giving spirit. Larry’s spirit will not only live on in the hearts of those who knew him best; his gifts of time and resources will forever live on at LMH in our patients, students, staff and volunteers. Thank you, Larry!

Planned gifts can benefit patients and staff in any way the donor chooses. Some donors specify where they would like their gift to be used, but many leave gifts to the general hospital fund. The following are just a few ways the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association general fund has benefited the hospital. • • • • • • • • •

Procedure lights in the Family Birthing Center A breast biopsy machine in Imaging Services Mammograms for the uninsured Help and Healing Fund Care carts for the friends and families of loved ones in Palliative Care Electric stimulation/ultrasound equipment for physical therapy Cataract instrument set for Surgical Services Nursing scholarships Newspapers for patients

Many people don’t have the resources to give during life, but would like to leave a gift to the hospital in their will or trust. If you would like to leave a donation to the hospital, please make sure you include the LMH Endowment Association and its tax ID number in your paperwork. Monetary gifts of all sizes are welcome and personal property is also appreciated. For more information, call 785-505-6134 or see

Become a member of the LMH community! Gifts of time and resources are welcome


325 Maine Street Lawrence, KS 66044

LMH, Health Department launch H1N1 campaign Lawrence Memorial Hospital and public health have always had a close partnership, but the emergence of the H1N1 virus this spring demonstrated another way the two could work together. The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and LMH are partnering in a marketing campaign with messages about prevention and reducing the spread of illness. This fall, you may be hearing and seeing a lot of messages about healthy habits — covering your cough, hand washing, staying home when sick and getting vaccinated. The seasonal flu vaccine is now available, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting immunized for that as well as the vaccine to fight off the H1N1 flu strain. The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available in October, and area physician practices, some local pharmacies and the Health Department will be offering the immunization. For more information, visit or or

Who should get the H1N1 flu vaccine? Eventually, everyone. Initially, however, the vaccine will be made available to individuals in the following federally-identified priority groups. These groups were identified based on who is most at risk for severe illness from the H1N1 virus: • Pregnant women • Household contacts and caregivers of infants younger than 6 months of age • All children and young adults aged 6 months through 24 years • Healthcare and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel • People aged 25-64 years with certain high-risk medical conditions

What can you do about the flu? • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get rid of most germs, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. • Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to coworkers and friends. • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, and properly disposed of used tissues. If you have no tissue, cover your face with your elbow when you sneeze. • Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting adequate rest and exercise.

Join us to learn “Understanding the H1N1 Virus” Wednesday, October 28, 6:30–7:30 p.m. | Friday, October 30, 9–10 a.m. at LMH Join representatives from LMH and the Lawrence-Douglas-County Health Department for an information session about the H1NI virus.Topics include transmission modes, self-care and prevention strategies, plus an opportunity to ask questions. Free but advance registration requested. To register: Call ConnectCare, 785-749-5800 or visit

connect is published by Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The information in this newsletter is intended to educate readers about subjects pertinent to their health and is not a substitute for consultation with a personal physician. To have your name added to or removed from this mailing list, please call 785-505-3315. Gene Meyer | President and CEO, Lawrence Memorial Hospital Editorial Board | Kathy Clausing Willis, Sherri Vaughn, MD, Janice Early-Weas, Heather Ackerly


Lawrence Memorial Hospital • 325 Maine Street • Lawrence, KS 66044 • 785-505-5000 •