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KU School of Medicine-Wichita opens its doors to special guests from afar

Local connections enabled the medical school to host a delegation from Ukraine as part of the Rotary Club's Open World Leadership Center exchange program

Group of Ukrainian visitors with KU staff and board members

Thanks to Wichita Rotary clubs and support from local community leaders, KU School of Medicine-Wichita recently had the opportunity to host medical professionals from Ukraine as they toured several organizations in the area.

Joyce Heismeyer, a Guadalupe Clinic board member, had previously been on a tour of KU School of Medicine-Wichita hosted by Douglas Milfeld, M.D., a member of the medical school’s 4-Wichita Advancement Board. So when she heard Wichita Rotary clubs were participating in an Open World Leadership Center exchange program, she immediately thought the visitors should experience the medical school as she had.

The Open World program allows current and future leaders from various countries to interact with organizations in the United States. Wichita Rotary clubs were the host organization for medical professionals from Ukraine to visit and tour about 17 different community and health care organizations during their weeklong stay.

Touring the school were Oleksandr Fizer, director of the Svaliava City Hospital; Oksana Lutska, director of Velikohayiv Outpatient Clinic of General Family Medicine; Lurii Ordynskyi, medical director of surgery at Rivne Regional Clinical Hospital; Maria Moskovki, Open World facilitator; Svitlana Mefford, translator from Chicago who speaks 10 languages; and Heismeyer, DeAnn Sullivan and Brian Goudie from Wichita Rotary clubs.

“Thanks to KU School of Medicine-Wichita for a wonderful experience,” Heismeyer said. “The Ukrainian delegates were extremely impressed with all aspects of the presentation, tour and Simulation Center.”

Ukrainian visitors practice medical techniques on a high-tech manikinOne of the highlights of the tour featured the Simulation Center at KU School of Medicine-Wichita. Erin Doyle, Simulation Center program director, demonstrated on a couple of the high-tech manikins what can be learned by medical students, as well as students from Wichita State University, KU School of Pharmacy and community groups. Doyle emphasized the center was a safe place to practice the most stressful procedures and collaborate with other health professions.

Josh Davis, M.D., one of nearly 1,000 volunteer faculty physicians at KU School of Medicine-Wichita, recently traveled to Ukraine to provide services after the war began. He shared his experiences with the visitors.

Fourth-year medical student Trevor Elwell-Cuddy provided a student’s insight to medical school at KU as he led the group through different areas including Academic & Student Affairs, one of the student lounges, study rooms, the George J. Farha Medical Library and Standardized Patient. Elwell-Cuddy spent his first two years in Kansas City and his second two years in Wichita, and described his experiences to the group. The guests also viewed artwork in the William J. Reals Gallery of Art from the recent First Friday exhibit by Kimberly Fox.

“Our tour of KU School of Medicine exceeded my expectations,” Fizer said.

KU School of Medicine-Wichita