Wesley Medical Center Remaining Committed to Pediatric Surgery

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wesley Medical Center’s commitment to children includes ensuring that pediatric surgery continues to be available in Wichita 24/7. To this end, Wesley has contracted with experienced, board-certified pediatric surgeons on a locum tenens basis while the search is underway for permanent pediatric surgeons.

The same small group of surgeons is rotating at Wesley, becoming increasingly familiar with the hospital and its staff.

“We have a good support system for the physicians with the hospitalists and physician extenders,” says pediatric hospitalist Stephanie Kuhlmann, DO. “We have been seeing a lot of cases, keeping the surgeons very busy. The process is going well, and we really appreciate the care they are providing.”

Without this service, many children and their families would have to go to Kansas City or out of state for surgery.

“When time is critical, having this service at Wesley can be a lifesaver,” says Francie Ekengren, MD, Wesley’s Chief Medical Officer.

“There is no effective pediatric program without the continuous participation of pediatric surgeons,” adds Lindall Smith, MD, Medical Director of Wesley’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). “They provide essential services in every area of pediatric care, from acute care of the hospitalized patient to support of the general pediatrician’s outpatient practice. Their expertise provides a unique skill set that cannot be replaced.”

Pediatric Surgery Clinic

In addition to their work in the operating room, the pediatric surgeons are staffing an outpatient clinic. Located in the pediatric subspecialty clinic on Wesley’s main campus, the clinic is open two days a week for consultations and postsurgery checkups.

The clinic staff also includes a physician assistant, registered nurse and medical assistant.

To schedule a clinic visit, call 316-962-2085.

Dr Arnett
Jake Arnett, MD

Pediatric Anesthesiology

Wesley’s commitment to provide superior pediatric surgery also includes the addition of Jake Arnett, MD, the only pediatric anesthesiologist in the Wichita area.

The subspecialty is so new that the first board exam was held in January 2014 — an exam Dr. Arnett took and passed.

A member of Wichita Anesthesiology, Chartered, Dr. Arnett is comfortable working with children from neonates on up. He practices exclusively at Wesley.

“Surgery in kids can be tricky,” he says. “Their physiology and anatomy are different. Because they are so delicate, there is less margin for error in their care. Airway and blood volume can be trouble areas. Things can go bad, very fast. Problem recognition and response are crucial.”

Originally from Salina, Dr. Arnett completed his anesthesiology residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita and practiced in Wichita for four years before starting his fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2010.

“We use a team approach in the OR,” he says. “The pediatric team includes excellent pediatric surgeons, RNs, scrub techs — all gaining experience in working with children and with each other. The people we have doing this work want to care for kids.

He adds: “Caring for children requires a different mindset. When caring for a child, you care for an entire family.”

He also is impressed with Wesley’s neonatologists and the additional pediatric intensivists. In recent years, Wesley has raised the number of PICU specialists from one to three.

And Wesley will be adding a second pediatric anesthesiologist, Sara Powell, DO, this summer.

Here to Help

For inpatient consults and admissions, call Wesley’s One Call Center at 316-962-2485 or 800-362-3292.