Leppke graduates from Creighton

Brandon Leppke of Bonner Springs, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Arts and Sciences during Creighton University’s commencement ceremony on May 17, at the CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.

Creighton University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution located in Omaha, Neb., enrolls more than 4,100 undergraduate and 3,200 professional school and graduate students.

Spring tornadoes are an important reminder to prepare

The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department is offering suggestions for what to do before, during and after a tornado:

• Maintain an emergency kit or check list of emergency items to take with you.
• Develop a family communication plan in case your family is separated.
• Identify a safe shelter location. A basement is best, followed by interior rooms on the lowest level of the building away from windows. Mobile homes are often unsafe in a tornado – identify a neighbor’s house or public shelter where you can go if a tornado warning is issued.
• Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio to receive alerts about impending severe weather.
• Sign up for reverse telephone alerts for your county, and don’t forget to include your cell phone.
• Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage – including flood insurance, which is separate from your homeowner’s policy.
• Photograph or video the contents of your home in case you need to file a claim.
• Store copies of your important documents in another location, such as a bank safe deposit box.
• Consider building a safe room inside your home.
• Immediately go to your pre-identified safe shelter – there is no time to gather possessions.
• If possible, crouch under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a table. Cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
• If you are outside and no other shelter is available, get in a vehicle and drive to shelter if possible. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to outrun a tornado.
• If you must use a vehicle for shelter, keep your seatbelt on, cover your head and keep it below the window level.
• Do not use an overpass or bridge for shelter.
• If no other shelter is available, lie in a low spot and cover your head, but be alert for water filling the location.
• Avoid downed power lines and leaking gas lines – report them to your utility company.
• Watch for broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects.
• Avoid damaged buildings until they are declared safe by officials.
• Notify your family that you are safe – phone lines may be down, so be prepared to send text messages.
• Check property for damage and contact your insurance company to file a claim, if necessary.

Hall Family Foundation will provide $25 million for new health education building in KCK

A $25 million lead gift from the Hall Family Foundation is a catalyst for the University of Kansas Medical Center to move forward on plans to construct a $75 million health education building in Kansas City, Kan.

The building’s total construction costs will be made possible through a combination of state bonds, university funds and private philanthropy. Last month, the Kansas Legislature approved $25 million in bonds for construction. KU will provide $15 million, and the remaining $10 million will be raised by KU Endowment.

“We are pleased to partner with the state of Kansas and university to build a state-of-the-art health education building,’’ said Don Hall, chairman of the Hall Family Foundation. “We applaud the governor and Legislature for their support, and we particularly thank Fred Logan and the Board of Regents for their leadership.

“This building is key to realizing the vision of Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Executive Vice Chancellor Doug Girod, and hospital President and CEO Bob Page to create a leading educational, research and clinical health care enterprise.

“The University of Kansas Hospital is nationally recognized in numerous clinical areas, and National Cancer Institute designation confirms KUMC’s research strength. This new building will provide unparalleled interprofessional health education for the physicians, scientists and nurses who will build on this momentum.

“Congratulations to all those who are making this project a reality,” Hall said.

Fred Logan, chair of the Kansas Board of Regents, said, “The Regents’ number one priority this year was to obtain funding for construction of a new health education building at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The Hall Family Foundation’s extraordinary gift makes construction possible. It lifts the entire state.”

The chancellor expressed her appreciation.
“The generosity of the Hall Foundation is once more helping KU achieve its bold aspirations by elevating the quality and stature of our university,” she said.

The KU School of Medicine is the only medical school in Kansas and is nationally recognized for training primary care and rural physicians. The new building will facilitate the education of a greater number of physicians and other health care professionals to meet the state’s needs. Currently, 89 of the state’s 105 counties are medically underserved, and it is estimated that 30 percent of the current physician workforce will retire or otherwise leave their medical practices within the next decade.

“This new building will allow us to continue increasing our School of Medicine class size across all three campuses to address the state’s physician shortage,” said Dr. Girod, executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center.

KU trains 211 medical students annually across all of its campuses in Kansas City, Kan., Wichita and Salina. With the new health education building in Kansas City, Kan., the School of Medicine proposes increasing its class size across all campuses by 50 students.

“We will now be able to train future doctors, nurses and health care professionals in state-of-the-art facilities appropriate for the modern health care education curriculum,” said Dr. Robert Simari, executive dean of the School of Medicine.

Over the years, the Hall Family Foundation has provided generous support for several disciplines at KU, including the life sciences, humanities, business and biology. The foundation’s support was instrumental in KU’s achievement of National Cancer Institute designation, as well as the establishment of the Hall Center for the Humanities.

– Story from the University of Kansas