News From Around The State

Friday, December 27, 2019

Manhattan Surgical Hospital and Stormont Vail Health Announce New Partnership

Manhattan Surgical Hospital and Stormont Vail Health finalized a partnership agreement. With the agreement, the Topeka-based Stormont Vail system has a 49% ownership in physician-owned Manhattan Surgical Hospital, and the Manhattan hospital can expand services it offers its patients. The Stormont Vail Health system has had a presence in the Manhattan area with its Cotton O’Neil primary care clinics in Manhattan and Wamego. The Manhattan Surgical Hospital acquired Central Kansas Cancer Center, a free-standing radiation oncology center located in the same building as Cotton O’Neil Manhattan, in June 2017 and opened the Blue River Family Medicine practice in July 2018.


Wichita Practice Gets More Than $3.5 Million in Lawsuit Against Former Presidents

Mid-Continent Anesthesiology in Wichita has been awarded more than $3.5 million in a lawsuit against two former presidents of the practice, Gerard Bassell, MD, and Robert McKay, MD, according to an article in The Wichita Eagle. The practice had sued the two, alleging they had misappropriated funds, not disclosed compensation and had breached their fiduciary duties. The jury awarded the practice the amount it was seeking in damages.



Khalil Abuamr, MD


Joseph Vaglio Jr., MD


Kristin Bosiljevac, MD

Physicians Hired at Stormont Vail Health

Two physicians have recently joined Stormont Vail Health, an integrated healthcare system comprising Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka and the Cotton O’Neil Clinic with locations in several Kansas communities. A third doctor has changed clinic locations.

Khalil Abuamr, MD, will practice as a gastroenterologist at Cotton O’Neil Digestive Health Center in Topeka. Dr. Abuamr completed a residency and fellowship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

After a six-year career as a cardiac electrophysiologist in Arizona, Joseph Vaglio Jr., MD, will practice at Cotton O’Neil Heart Center in Topeka. A University of Kansas School of Medicine graduate, Dr. Vaglio completed a residency at the Mayo Clinic and a fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

Kristin Bosiljevac, MD, a family medicine/sports medicine physician, has moved to Cotton O’Neil Emporia from Cotton O’Neil Lebo.


KHI Executive Starts Term on National Committee

Kari Bruffett, Vice President for Policy at the Kansas Health Institute, began a four-year term Sept. 1 on the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. The 21-member citizen panel is an independent advisory group that provides recommendations on rural healthcare issues to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.


Wichita-Area Pharmacist Gets 12.5 years for Unlawful Rx Drug Distribution

Ebube Otuonye, 47, of Bel Aire, Kansas, was sentenced to 12.5 years for unlawfully dispensing opioid prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister announced. Otuonye was convicted on charges of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs, unlawfully distributing prescription drugs and healthcare fraud. The crimes occurred while Otuonye owned and operated Neighborhood Pharmacy at 2810 E. 21st in Wichita, where he filled prescriptions for patients of Steven R. Henson, MD, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for his role in unlawfully distributing opioids.


Autism Therapy Provider Pays to Resolve Case

Autism Concepts Inc., an Overland Park-based provider of therapy services for children with autism, has agreed to pay $300,000 to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to the TRICARE program, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister announced. TRICARE is a federal health insurance program for active and retired military service members and their families. The U.S. had alleged the provider and its Director, Nancy Champlin, had billed for individual applied behavioral analysis services when they were provided in group settings not covered by the insurance program.


McPherson College, Hospital Partnership Benefits From Gift

A $1 million gift will help fund initiatives underway in a new community healthcare partnership between McPherson College and McPherson Hospital. The gift by an anonymous donor will provide 10 $25,000 scholarships to students participating in community health-related pathways under a new degree program. The program, which begins in fall 2020 and includes hands-on learning opportunities through the hospital and community outreach programs, is part of the partnership that was announced in late August.


Wichita Approves $35.5 Million in Incentives for New Med School

The Wichita City Council approved a multipart public financing package worth about $35.5 million in incentives to subsidize a new osteopathic medical school, according to The Wichita Eagle.

The subsidies are part of a larger $90 million development plan for four buildings in downtown Wichita being developed by pharmacist-turned-developer Sudha Tokala. In addition to the medical school, the development includes student housing, a dining hall, boutique hotel and culinary school. The financing package includes industrial revenue bond financing and creation of a special tax district.

The proposed Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has applied for accreditation from the accreditation arm of the American Osteopathic Association, is expected to enroll its first cohort class in August 2022, according to its Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer Robert Hasty, DO.


Governor Kelly Announces Appointment to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts

Governor Laura Kelly appointed Molly Black, MD, of Shawnee, to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts serves to regulate 11 healthcare professions and ensure that these healthcare professionals meet and maintain certain qualifications to protect the public from incompetent practice, unprofessional conduct and other proscribed behavior by individuals who have been credentialed to practice in Kansas.

“Dr. Black has a decade of experience under her belt, and she recognizes the significance of the board’s mission,” Gov. Kelly says. “I’m certain that she will work diligently to protect the safety of all Kansans and make sure they are in good hands.”

Dr. Black has over 10 years of experience practicing medicine. She is currently the Orthopedic Trauma Director at the Overland Park Medical Center. Dr. Black previously practiced orthopedic trauma and anterior hip arthroplasty at the Midwest Orthopedic Center.

She has served as an Assistant Professor of orthopedic trauma at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Dr. Black graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2001. She completed the Duke University Trauma Fellowship in 2007.

There are a total of 15 members on the board, all appointed by the Governor. The board is composed of five medical doctors with a degree from an accredited school who have actively engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Kansas for at least six consecutive years immediately preceding their appointment: three osteopathic doctors, three chiropractic doctors, one podiatric doctor and three members of the general public.


Abay Neuroscience Center’s Welcomes Ashley Barks, MD

Abay Neuroscience Center has added a new physician, bringing the number of neurosurgeons serving patients to seven. Ashley Barks, MD, a board-eligible neurosurgeon, launched her clinical practice at the Abay Neuroscience Center in August.

Raised in California, she obtained her medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York, and served her residency at the University of Illinois Health and Sciences System in Chicago. She has family in Missouri, a convenient drive from Wichita, so when the opportunity presented itself to practice in Kansas, she pursued it.

“When working with patients, I find that education is vital,” Dr. Barks says. “My goal is to always explore conservative methods before considering surgery, but when a patient truly understands all their options, we can come to a decision together. And my hope is to get them back to their best life as quickly as possible.”

Dr. Barks specializes in degenerative, traumatic and minimally invasive spine surgery, and neuro-oncology. She performs surgery at Kansas Spine & Specialty Hospital, Ascension Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and Wesley Medical Center.