Kansas University Medical Center professors and researchers weighed in on the proposed affiliation between KU and St. Luke's Hospital with two documents signed earlier this week.
l One, sent to members of the Kansas Legislature, urges lawmakers to be supportive of the plans.
"For our state's vibrant life sciences aspirations to be achieved, we believe that the KU Medical Center must seek out new partners and strong education and research affiliations," the letter says. "While we believe there are significant benefits to be achieved through broader affiliations, we also believe there is much to be lost if we choose not to pursue them."
The letter is signed by 18 people affiliated with KUMC, including Roy Jensen, director of the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute; Dale Abrahamson, chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology; Opendra Narayan, chairman of microbiology, molecular genetics and immunology; and Patricia Thomas, chairwoman of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine.
l The other, sent to leaders of both KU Hospital and KUMC, is from the 17 heads of the medical school's clinical departments - such as neurology, pediatrics and orthopedics.
It lists seven principles upon which the department heads agree, including that department representatives should be involved in any reorganization of graduate medical education.
It says the department heads should be a "full and equal partner" with KU Hospital in meeting the hospital's clinical staffing needs, and that physicians should be represented in "all strategic and operational planning committees," including the ongoing discussions regarding the St. Luke's affiliation.