How LMH Health and KU Health System are collaborating

photo by: LMH Health

LMH Health, 325 Maine St., is pictured in May 2021.

In 2023, the communities served by LMH Health gained access to expanded services and programs. One of the most notable is our strategic clinical relationship with The University of Kansas Health System to provide patients in and around Douglas County with access to specialized care. Our health systems are collaborating in three main areas: maternal fetal medicine, vascular surgery and sports medicine.

Maternal fetal medicine

For women who are pregnant and need a higher level of care, the new relationship means there’s no need to travel to Kansas City for monthly visits. Instead, The University of Kansas Health System’s Advanced Maternal and Fetal Care clinic is available at the LMH Health West Campus in Lawrence. The clinic provides specialized care to both mother and baby prior to, during and shortly after pregnancy.

“Offering this service to our community and patients not only allows us to provide better care close to home, but allows our patients time back in their day to avoid traveling into the KC area for care,” said Jared Abel, LMH Health vice president of strategy and clinic operations.

Women may be referred to the clinic for a number of reasons, including high-risk pregnancy care and referrals for second opinions on ultrasounds. Each week, a rotation of physicians and specialists come to the clinic to help detect, monitor and treat high-risk pregnancy conditions.

“Some of our patients require an ultrasound each week and that can be time-consuming,” said Dr. Marc Parrish, a perinatologist with The University of Kansas Health System. “It also causes less juggling for those patients with work and child obligations. The convenience factor and having a reliable access point for advanced care are huge advantages.”

Just ask Amy Elzea about the benefits of having a clinic close to home. When a routine scan detected an anomaly in her son’s foot, the recommended treatment was for her to see a maternal fetal medicine specialist every four weeks to check on how the baby’s bones were aligning as he continued to grow.

“The team in Lawrence provided top-level care with advanced ultrasound and sonographers available to read them. It’s amazing that there’s such talent here,” she said. “I encourage women who need a higher level of care to speak with their doctors to see if the advanced maternal fetal medicine clinic is right for them. It’s been amazing to be able to get this care right in my own backyard.”

Vascular surgery

Patients in and around Lawrence can access specialized cardiovascular care through Lawrence Vascular Surgery, located at the LMH Health Main Campus. This collaboration allows patients to receive minimally invasive procedures close to home.

“Extensive feedback from our providers has helped determine that developing a clinical relationship with The University of Kansas Health System specifically can help us improve highly specialized patient care and create an exceptionally positive experience,” said Dr. Michael Zabel, chair of Lawrence Physicians LLC and a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Specialists of Lawrence. “We appreciate this collaborative approach because it’s better for you as the patient.”

Patients are able to receive pre- and post-operation vascular care from specialists without leaving Lawrence. As of November 2023, the vascular surgery team has performed 201 surgical cases in either the LMH Health cath lab or operating room.

Mark Algren is one LMH Health patient who has benefited from the relationship. After an ultrasound raised concerns, a CT scan revealed that he had a splenic artery aneurysm, resulting from the artery wall weakening and losing its shape. Although the likelihood of having a splenic artery aneurysm is rare, a rupture can be life-threatening.

“We knew that LMH Health had people coming to Lawrence to provide specialty care, so there was no reason to go to a different hospital,” Algren said. “I wanted to stay with LMH Health because it is in Lawrence and Lawrence is home.”

Kansas Sports Medicine

Kansas Sports Medicine is a unique health care program providing outstanding sports medicine care to athletes of all ages and skill levels in Lawrence and surrounding communities. This collaboration between LMH Health OrthoKansas and The University of Kansas Health System Orthopedics and Sports Medicine provides comprehensive, sport-specific treatments and therapies. Physicians, surgeons, therapists and other clinicians focus on helping every athlete return to pre-injury performance levels as safely and quickly as possible.

“Our team and The University of Kansas Health System share the highest standards for performance, quality and safety, and we are passionate about delivering excellence in sports medicine and overall health,” said Dr. Douglass Stull, an orthopedic surgeon with LMH Health OrthoKansas. “Like many of my physician colleagues who are lifelong athletes who trained and competed at a high level, we are committed to maximizing high-quality outcomes in a regional center devoted to sports medicine health.”

Most appointments with Kansas Sports Medicine staff occur at the LMH Health West Campus. However, KU students, staff and faculty can obtain musculoskeletal evaluations and treatments at Watkins Memorial Health Center.

“The journey that LMH Health and OrthoKansas have undertaken to be a regional presence for high-quality, outcomes-based sports medicine care has led us to this enhanced relationship with The University of Kansas Health System,” said Russ Johnson, president and CEO of LMH Health. “This collaboration allows us to continue delivering expert orthopedic care that focuses on the special needs and training requirements of competitive athletes of all ages and experience levels.”

— Kade Han is the social media and digital communications specialist at LMH Health.


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