Stewart Babbott, MD

General and Geriatric Medicine

General and Geriatric Medicine

The organizational chart of the sprawling General and Geriatric Medicine Division is described as a matrix by Division Director Stewart Babbott, MD, who encourages faculty members to have responsibilities in administrative and educational roles in addition to their clinical activities. A faculty of 47 staffs the division, including four chief residents and 4 faculty with dual appointments. All faculty have teaching roles with medical students and medical residents. Several faculty also hold leadership positions in undergraduate or graduate medical education programs. Faculty in Palliative Medicine and Geriatric Medicine teach Fellows in their respective sub-specialty fellowship programs.

Dr. Babbott takes pride in encouraging staff to pursue special interests. A large number of faculty have successful scholarships around each of their individual areas of clinical, educational or administrative interest and expertise. A number of collaborations have resulted in poster presentations on such topics as deep vein prophylaxis, blood transfusions, pneumonia, clinical nutrition, palliative medicine and transition of care.

In 2012, the Division’s office-based practice was awarded Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition given by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The mission of the Division is carried out through four areas of clinical focus: Ambulatory Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospital Medicine and Palliative Medicine.

Ambulatory Medicine, Section Leader Courtney Rhudy, MD: One of the fastest-growing areas in medicine is outpatient care. In 2012 a Vice-Chairman was appointed to lead the Department’s ambulatory services. Faculty provide care and teaching in the Internal Medicine office or Faculty and Resident Clinic on site at the University of Kansas Medical Center. They work with medical students in various programs from the first three years of medical school, and work with residents for their ambulatory continuity care experience. Faculty are involved in clinical, educational and administrative leadership roles.

Geriatric Medicine, Section Leader Deon Hayley, DO: The Division is expanding its Geriatrics outreach through clinical care, teaching and research. Faculty care for patients in 4 settings: 1) Geriatrics Clinic in the Medical Office Building for consultative and longitudinal care; 2) in 3 regional nursing homes for patients discharged from The University of Kansas Hospital; 3) in patient’s homes with a home visit program; and 4) in the Memory Disorder Conic for consultative care. They have extensive teaching leadership supported through the required Internal Medicine residency rotation, third year Medical Student Geriatrics Clerkship, Geriatrics Fellowship and innovative programs supported by internal and National Foundation grants. They have been successful in publishing and widespread dissemination of their clinical and educational research.

Hospital Medicine, Section Leader Melissa Parkhurst, MD:
The Division’s Hospitalists staff 4 academic inpatient ward teams, 6 private Hospital service, a Medicine Consultation Service and a Triage service at The University of Kansas Hospital. This growing group is committed to the practice and teaching of high-quality patient care. The group has cared for nearly 5,000 medically complex patients over the last year and provides 24/7 in-house coverage by faculty for quality and safe patient care. Hospitalist faculty are involved in medical directorships, medical student clerkships as well as key clinical faculty positions for the residency program. Faculty have been integral for the development and maintenance of quality improvement projects in the hospital.

Palliative Medicine, Section Leader Karin Porter-Williamson, MD: Palliative Medicine Physicians and the interdisciplinary Palliative Care Team of nurses, social workers, and chaplains strive to achieve the highest quality in patient and family-centered care for those dealing with progressive illness and life change. The team operates 2 full consultation services across every unit of the hospital and will expect to serve greater than 1,000 patients and families this year. Faculty in the Palliative Medicine section, in partnership with Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, operate the region’s first Palliative Medicine fellowship training program, and as well work with residents, fellows, medical students, chaplaincy residents, nursing students, and social work students to teach the principles of Palliative Medicine. The physicians, in partnership with their team, are working to offer and to instill the principles of Palliative Medicine to nurses and social workers across the hospital system, working through the internationally known ELNEC (End of Life Nursing Education Curriculum).

The division has expanded palliative care outreach through office-based visits for patients in oncology both at the Westwood campus and community practice sites, through a generous donation to the Cancer Center from the Allen J. Block family. Future expansion this year is expected with our Cardiology partners working in the congestive heart failure program. 

Community Outreach: Under the supervision of Stewart Babbott, MD, Lisa Vansaghi, MD, and other Internal Medicine physicians, residents continue to provide care to the underserved at the Swope Wyandotte Internal Medicine clinic. Not only does the outreach provide care to patients with limited access, but it is enhancing the educational experience of KU residents. 

Medical Directorships: Faculty members in the General and Geriatric Medicine Division serve in medical directorships, which are partnerships between The University of Kansas Hospital and the departments. Four faculty are involved in specific clinical foci: inpatient nutrition, palliative medicine, specific medical unit quality, blood product usage, and venous thromboembolism prophylaxis. An additional 4 faculty are part of the Advanced Clinical Information System medical directorships, with one of our faculty, Aroop Pal, MD, named the Associate Chief Medical Information Officer.