Posts tagged with Lawrence

2017 - Maybe Time For A New Approach to your Health Goals

Resolutions come and go, but changing up your health team may be a game changer. We've all heard about alternatives to Western medicine, but it's difficult to know exactly what route to explore. Integrative Medicine is "healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies" according to the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

TherapyWorks invites you to learn more about Integrative and Functional Medicine on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Neela Sandal and Dr. Stephen Stevenson of Atma Clinic will share information about their new practice in downtown Lawrence and how it may help you meet new health goals. Items discussed will include their specialized lab services, unique nutritional analysis, the importance of the gut biome, and genetic factors. TherapyWorks PTA, Lee Tucker, will share how a physical therapy prescribed exercise program compliments directives from your doctor or mid-level provider.

This is a free Helping You Help Yourself Seminar open to the public. Contact TherapyWorks at 785-749-1300 or for more information - RSVP is requested.


Physical Therapy Can Fix THAT?

I did not grow up wanting to be a physical therapist. When I was in kindergarten I wanted to be a doctor, nurse, dentist, or veterinarian, depending on which day you asked me. I only found and fell in love with physical therapy after tearing my ACL in high school soccer. Since my injury, and full recovery thanks to physical therapy, I have been deeply passionate about the field of physical therapy.

When I was going into physical therapy school I did not have a full understanding of what physical therapists could do. My limited understanding was that I would be able to help people walk, run, and return to their lives by becoming a physical therapist. The first revelation I had in physical therapy school was that PT’s treat wounds. While most of us do not treat wounds there are many PT’s who do. After getting out into more physical therapy clinics I was shocked to find PT’s effectively treating headaches, TMJ, vertigo, urinary leaks, fecal incontinence, plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel, along with all the “normal” things I knew PT’s could treat: knee pain, back pain, ankle sprain, etc.

Now that I am out in the clinic as a physical therapist I consider it my great privilege to help people meet their goals, and I consider it my mission to get the word out about how physical therapy can help give people their lives back. Whether you are having leaks when you laugh, your little one has torticollis, you or a loved one are having falls, or you have back, neck, shoulder, hip, headaches, ankle, or foot pain know that there are physical therapists out there who can help.

If you have ever wondered if physical therapy could specifically help you TherapyWorks is having a free seminar in honor of National Physical Therapy Month on Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00pm.

--Sarah White-Hamilton, DPT of TherapyWorks


Whooping cough suspected in employee at Lawrence dialysis clinic

A Lawrence dialysis clinic is providing vaccines and antibiotics to its staff and patients after an employee was suspected of contracting pertussis, or whooping cough.

Dr. Scott Solcher, the medical director of the DaVita Lawrence dialysis clinic, said a staff member had been sent home and immediately treated because of suspicions of whooping cough, though that person has not been formally diagnosed with pertussis at this point.

"We're treating everybody, anyway, just to be sure," Solcher said.

Solcher said it was unclear if any patients had been exposed to the potentially infected staff member, but the clinic is offering to reimburse patients for the cost of antibiotics and a pertussis vaccination. He noted that most people have already been vaccinated against whooping cough, as well. The clinic will pay for those people to re-vaccinate.

Until recently, the clinic at 330 Arkansas St. was known as Kansas Dialysis Services.


LMH receives sizable donation for birthing center, will rename unit to honor former nurse, birthing educator

By Chad Lawhorn

There was a time just a few decades ago when first-time mothers had nary a clue of what to expect when they entered the delivery room of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

And first-time fathers, well, all they knew were that the waiting room chairs weren’t too comfortable.

Today it is practically a given that first-time parents go through a series of classes to prepare them for the birthing process and all the swaddling, crying and diaper changing that is to come.

But the nurses at LMH’s birthing center know it didn’t always used to be that way, and many remember the name of their fellow nurse who began to change it. Soon the rest of the community will know it, too.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital officials announced they are preparing to rename the hospital’s birthing center the Cindy Murray Family Birthing Center, in honor of the trailblazing nurse who died from complications of lung cancer in August.

Cynthia A. Murray

Cynthia A. Murray

“It is fitting because her main goal was always to make sure everyone was comfortable and was taken care of,” said Patty Villanueva, a longtime friend who worked the night shift with Murray for more than five years at LMH.

The hospital is renaming the center after receiving a substantial donation from Murray’s husband, longtime Lawrence resident and attorney Tom Murray.

LMH officials did not release the dollar amount of the gift at the request of Murray, who said he wanted the recognition to be for his wife rather than a dollar amount. But LMH officials did confirm the gift is one of the largest ever given to the hospital by a living individual.

“Her dedication to her profession and to her patients were enormous,” Murray said. “She was very highly respected, and still is. To my way of thinking, this is very appropriate.”

Cindy Murray served as an obstetrical nurse at LMH from 1978 to 1986, and then started a career as a school nurse, working for Lawrence public schools at Central Junior High and Lawrence High until 2009.

It was early in her career that Murray — who was the daughter of a Parsons physician — started lobbying doctors in the community to advocate for classes and other information that would better prepare parents for the birthing process.

“I think she had to really convince some of the OB doctors in the community before she got it off the ground,” Villanueva said. “There was maybe some resistance, but with her enthusiasm, it was going to get done. And she had been through it, so she knew how important it was.”

Murray started teaching the birthing classes herself, said Sue Givens, a longtime friend who worked with Murray at LMH. Givens said she has heard from so many women who were appreciative that such information was being presented.

“Back then we had patients who were scared, who were really very frightened because they didn’t know what to expect,” said Givens. “But Cindy was the perfect person to tackle this because people just immediately felt at ease with her.”

Hospital officials plan to rename the birthing center at a ceremony from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 at LMH, 325 Maine.

Kathy Clausing-Willis, vice president and chief development officer for LMH, said the gift is designed to create an endowment that can be used for a variety of needs at the birthing center, which was renovated in 2006 and is where about 1,200 babies are delivered each year.

“This will allow the gift to be used in perpetuity,” Clausing-Willis said. “It is appropriate that she will have a presence here forever.”

Tom Murray said he’s confident many in the community long will remember his wife, who was 63 when she died in August.

“The number of people whose lives she touched as an obstetrical nurse is really amazing,” Tom Murray said. “Even up to the present time whenever we would walk down Massachusetts Street someone would always come up to us and say to Cindy, ‘Remember me? You were my nurse when my son or daughter was born.’”

Reply 1 comment from peony allen

The ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet’ will be in Lawrence Saturday

The color craze sweeping the nation is coming to Lawrence on Sat., Oct. 6. So far, 6,800 people have signed up for The Color Run, a 5K run that has participants venturing through clouds of yellow, orange, pink and blue powder.

Starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, the Color Run Race Village, which will be at the corner of 9th and New Hampshire in downtown Lawrence, will open to runners. The village includes the start and finish line, The Color Run store and post-race activities, including a DJ, beer tent and street performers. The venue opens at 3 p.m. and will close at 11 p.m.

The race begins at 4 p.m. Waves of a 1,000 runners will run, walk and dance through the East Lawrence neighborhood. At every kilometer, sponsors, staff and volunteers will blitz the runners with a designated color, which is made from a powder that is a 100 percent natural and safe. As runners cross the finish line (the 900 block of New Hampshire), there will be massive amounts of color powder thrown every 15 minutes in the Color Run Finish Festival area. The runner’s family and friends are free to join them there to celebrate the colorful finish.

An event that is focused more on having a blast than breaking a personal record, The Color Run welcomes all shapes, sizes and fitness levels. The only real requirement is for participants to wear a white T-shirt at the start of the race (trust us, it won’t stay that way). Registration is $50 per person or $45 per team member and can be done online at

In the past year, The Color Run has exploded in popularity with events selling out in major cities across the country. The Utah-based organizers selected the local Assist Foundation as the charity beneficiary of the Lawrence run. The Assist Foundation was founded in 2006 by KU Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self and his wife Cindy to help provide young people access to better lives.

Packet pickup for the race will be in the former Borders building at 700 New Hampshire St. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers are still needed to help with packet pickup.

Reply 1 comment from Jrpigman

Lawrence Memorial Hospital earns national recognition as ‘top performer’

Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital, 325 Maine.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital today was named one of the nation’s “Top Performers on Key Quality Measures” by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health organizations in America.

LMH was one of 620 hospitals that were recognized for using evidence-based care processes closely linked to positive patient outcomes. For example, giving aspirin before and after arrival for heart attack patients or giving antibiotics before surgery. LMH was recognized for its achievement in heart attack, pneumonia and surgical care.

The list of top performers represents 18 percent of more than 3,400 eligible accredited hospitals reporting core measure performance data in 2011. LMH was among eight Kansas hospitals to make the list.

Reply 3 comments from Kansasplaintalker Lawrence Morgan Budtugly

Healing vein strains: Variety of treatment options available at Lawrence center

Dr. Dale Denning, of the Lawrence Vein Center, examines his patient, Michele Reeves of Lawrence, during a follow-up visit on Friday, June 15, 2012. She noted that the bruises are not from treatment but from working in her yard.

Dr. Dale Denning, of the Lawrence Vein Center, examines his patient, Michele Reeves of Lawrence, during a follow-up visit on Friday, June 15, 2012. She noted that the bruises are not from treatment but from working in her yard. by Nick Krug

Lawrence resident Michele Reeves says her legs look and feel 15 years younger after having treatment done at the Lawrence Vein Center.

This summer, she's even wearing shorts again.

"It's like it gave me my legs back," she said. "It's just amazing."

Before treatment, Reeves said her legs would itch and swell, especially in warm weather.

"It had gotten to the point where it was uncomfortable for me. I had started to alter my lifestyle, trying to compensate for the discomfort," she said. "I don't think I even realized how many changes that I had made in my life to accommodate my leg problem until I went through the procedure and recovery."

Reeves said she would take frequent breaks to get off her feet and elevate them. Sometimes, she would use ice on her legs to alleviate the pain.

She decided to get a free vein screening during a health fair at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and then she scheduled a full evaluation. She decided to have her left leg treated one year ago and her right leg done in March.

Reeves described the treatments as virtually painless. She said Dr. Dale Denning, a general surgeon and medical director of the Lawrence Vein Center, was conversational during the procedures and answered all of her questions. Both of the procedures were done in the center on an outpatient basis. She was able to return to normal activities right way. The only requirement was she had to wear a compression stocking.

"I'm back on track," said Reeves, who is in her early 40s.


Denning said he decided to open the Lawrence Vein Center in 2005 after seeing so many patients who had developed ulcers and sores on their legs from venous disease while working at the Wound Healing Center. He knew there were minimally invasive ways of treating them, but none were available in Lawrence.

So Denning, who had been a general surgeon for 20 years, received additional training on treating vein disorders.

He said about 75 million people, or about 25 percent of the American population, has some form of venous disease. Women are at higher risk of getting varicose veins because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, pre-menstruation or menopause. Other risk factors include family history, occupations that require standing or sitting for long periods of time, obesity and age.

Denning said he's provided vein treatment for a variety of ages, from a 14-year-old boy to a 92-year-old woman.

He also does procedures for cosmetic reasons; for example, to remove spider veins, and he treats veins from head to toe.

"I don't just deal with legs, so if you've got veins on your hands, arms, chest, or face that you don't like, I do that as well," he said.

The Lawrence Vein Center is unique in that it's a one-stop shop for vein treatment because Denning is qualified to do everything from surgeries to minimally-invasive procedures with just an injection.

"What has really kind of revolutionized vein care is how we diagnose it and the test and studies that we do ahead of time," he said.

Before, if there was a bulging varicose vein, he would take the patient to the operating room with minimal testing in the office and do a relatively blind procedure called vein stripping, where he would make small incisions and pull the vein out. The procedure would cause a lot of pain and swelling and also interrupt the veins nearby.

"It was a lot more traumatic than what we do now," he said.

Now, he does a physical examination, takes photos and then maps out where the problem is starting and what's causing it. Patients also have an ultrasound done, which takes about 45 minutes for one leg.

"Everyone that comes in is a jigsaw puzzle, and I have to fit the pieces together," he said.

He said most insurance plans will cover the procedures unless they are cosmetic.

Denning said he does the procedures in the center and they are done with local anesthesia.

"They can listen to whatever music they want to," he said. "We try to make it as low key as we can for the patient."

Denning sees about 18 patients per day and does about 25 procedures per month.

Denning uses a vein light to locate the vein before injecting a scleroscient to close it off during a visit from his patient, Michele Reeves, Friday, June 15, 2012.

Denning uses a vein light to locate the vein before injecting a scleroscient to close it off during a visit from his patient, Michele Reeves, Friday, June 15, 2012. by Nick Krug

Dr. Dale Denning, founder of the Lawrence Vein Center, examines the results of a treatment performed on Lawrence resident Michele Reeves during a follow-up visit on Friday, June 15, 2012.

Dr. Dale Denning, founder of the Lawrence Vein Center, examines the results of a treatment performed on Lawrence resident Michele Reeves during a follow-up visit on Friday, June 15, 2012. by Nick Krug


Robert Zimmerer, 66, of rural Lawrence, recently had his varicose veins treated by Denning. He said he was reluctant to seek help because his mother had them and he watched her undergo the vein stripping procedure, which required a hospital stay.

"It was a big deal, so I just said, 'I'm not ready for this,'" he said.

He said the bulging veins bothered his four young grandchildren when he would see them. They would ask him if they hurt and if he was OK.

Finally, his wife nudged him into seeking treatment, and he was surprised by how painless it was. He had both legs treated in January on an outpatient basis, and he called the recovery uneventful.

Zimmerer said his legs don't itch and he can walk and not get tired. They also look better. He can't wait to see his grandchildren, who live out of state, this summer.

"I think they will be quite surprised, as will everybody in the family, because this has been obvious for many, many years."



Dr. Dale Denning, founder of Lawrence Vein Center, said people may not have symptoms with varicose veins. Most people identify varicose veins by the appearance of twisted, swollen, bluish veins just beneath the skin.

Mild symptoms may include:

• A dull ache, burning, or heaviness in the legs. These symptoms may be more noticeable late in the day or after you have been sitting or standing for a long time.

• Mild swelling, usually involving the feet and ankles only.

• Itching skin over the varicose vein.

More severe symptoms or complications include:

• A buildup of fluid and swelling in the leg.

• Significant swelling and calf pain after sitting or standing for a long time.

• Skin color changes around the ankles and lower legs.

• Dry, stretched, swollen, itching, or scaling skin.

• Superficial thrombophlebitis, which is when a blood clot and inflammation develop in a small vein near the surface of the skin.

• Open sores (ulcerations).

• Bleeding and/or bruising after a minor injury.


The goals of varicose vein treatment are to reduce symptoms and prevent complications. For some, the goal may be improved appearance.

Home treatment — such as exercising and wearing compression stockings — is the first approach. If home treatment does not help, there are procedures or a surgery that can treat varicose veins. These include:

• Sclerotherapy. A chemical is injected into a varicose vein to damage and scar the inside lining of the vein, causing the vein to close. This usually works best for small veins.

• Laser treatment. Laser energy is used to scar and destroy varicose veins.

• Radiofrequency, or closure, treatment. Radiofrequency energy is used inside a vein to scar and close it off. It can be used to close off a large varicose vein in the leg.

• Phlebectomy. Several tiny cuts are made in the skin through which the varicosed vein is removed.

• Ligation and stripping. Incisions are made over the varicose veins, and the vein is tied off and removed.


Lawrence Vein Center is located in the Fourth Street Health Plaza building, at the northwest corner of Maine and Fourth streets.

To make an appointment or for more information, contact 856-8346 or

Robert Zimmerer's legs before and after receiving treatment at the Lawrence Vein Center.

Robert Zimmerer's legs before and after receiving treatment at the Lawrence Vein Center.

Reply 1 comment from Frankie8

The right path: Choose trails for skill, activity, safety

Justin Henning, Lawrence, leads a group of Lawrence Trailhawks runners along the North River Trail on Monday, May 7, 2012.

Justin Henning, Lawrence, leads a group of Lawrence Trailhawks runners along the North River Trail on Monday, May 7, 2012. by Nick Krug

Leslie Swearingen, 66, once hiked regularly but hasn’t gotten out much in recent years. Now, the Lawrence resident says she has a number of health problems and doctor’s orders to start exercising again.

“I was thinking I could walk on a trail, and the scenery would be so nice,” Swearingen says. “It wouldn’t be the same as just plodding along the sidewalk.”

However, like many potential trail users tempted by spring weather and fresh air, Swearingen wonders, “How safe is it?”

Part of trail safety involves choosing the right path for your skill level and sureness of foot. Even though crimes are unusual — four have been reported in the past four years, police say — it’s important to follow personal safety guidelines, too.

Lawrence trail users range from strolling families to competitive athletes, and the city has routes to fit them all, says Mark Hecker, assistant director for Lawrence Parks and Recreation. He points out that in Lawrence, plenty of trails worth exploring are only minutes away.

“It’s not like you have to take a four-hour drive in the car to go walk around the woods,” he says. “You just pop over there in an evening and go take a walk.”


Here’s a look at some of the most popular trails for varying abilities.


The best easy trails — popular with senior citizens — are around Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St., Hecker says.

Paved trails weave through woods and around Mary’s Lake, with loops ranging in distance from about a quarter-mile to 3 miles. They are fairly flat and easy to access from parking lots.

Lawrence Transit buses even stop at the nature center.

Lawrence Rotary Arboretum, 5100 W. 27th St., is home to a number of other easy, paved trails, including loops around the pond and softball complex.

Moderate (Paved)

The South Lawrence Trafficway trail is paved but long, Hecker says, making it popular for bicyclists or runners looking to cover more than a mile or two.

The east access point is at Hollywood Southwind Cinema 12, 3433 Iowa. The trail extends all the way to Interstate 70 at the northwest corner of town, but Hecker says few people travel that far. Patrons also can access the South Lawrence Trafficway trail at the arboretum.

Moderate (Unpaved)

The best are the Thomas-Hunter Walking Trails at Lawrence Nature Park, Hecker said, referencing paths at the 100-acre park on Folks Road, about a mile north of Sixth Street.

It’s an unpaved, natural trail yet well-defined — with lots of ups and downs but nowhere you’d have to clamber over a boulder.

Scenery includes limestone outcroppings and a variety of trees and native grasses.

Other popular unpaved trails include the Riverfront Park trail east of the Kansas River and the half-mile urban trail that runs between Burcham Park, 200 Ind., and Constant Park, 230 W. Sixth St.


When it comes to more difficult trails, perhaps no one knows them better than members of the Lawrence Trail Hawks.

When he’s training for a 100-mile race, Gary Henry, 55, a founding member of the off-road running club, might spend up to 24 hours a week cruising the dirt paths around the Kansas River and Clinton Lake.

The Kansas River trails, with a trailhead at Eighth and Oak streets in North Lawrence, are relatively smooth and flat, Henry says. However, for that reason they also attract a number of inexperienced mountain bikers — who have, on occasion, collided with groups of runners.

“If you’re out there on foot … be careful of bicycle riders, because we share the trails,” Henry says.

The most technical trails are around Clinton Lake. The Trail Hawks use a trailhead near the Corps of Engineers building on North 1402 Road.

“They’re rocky and rooty, and you have to pay attention when you’re out on them,” Henry says, adding that despite trip hazards, “only the most experienced mountain bikers use them, and they know to watch out for walkers and runners.”

Lawrence residents Lori White, left, and Ricki Endsley take off around a turn as they run on the north river trails on Thursday, May 10, 2012.

Lawrence residents Lori White, left, and Ricki Endsley take off around a turn as they run on the north river trails on Thursday, May 10, 2012. by Nick Krug


Run, walk or bike with a buddy.

“That is the best, number-one thing you can do is have somebody with you,” says Lawrence Police Officer Rob Neff, the department’s Neighborhood Resource Officer. “You’re always safer in pairs or a group.”

Lawrence police do not actively patrol trails, Neff says, although officers on bicycles occasionally ride the paths.

Neff says he’s aware of four crimes on the trails in recent years.

In June 2010, a man brutally beat and stabbed a woman who was bicycling alone between the YSI fields and the Clinton Lake Dam. Two runners interrupted the attack and likely saved the woman’s life, Neff said. William E. Nichols later was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the crime, after pleading guilty to aggravated battery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual battery.

In August 2009, a naked man tried to pull a teenage girl off her bike near the Eighth Street boat ramp in North Lawrence. The suspect, Gregory Curtis Way, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual battery and was sentenced to probation. Neff says the same man was suspected in two other reports about a naked man on the trails.

Neff says the girl was probably able to pull away from her attacker because she spotted him in time to speed up.

In addition to the buddy system, Neff offered these safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Being “buried” in emails or text messaging takes your focus away from your surroundings, as do earphones. Take them out.
  • Make eye contact. People passing by will know you’re watching them.
  • In trailhead parking lots, lock your car and avoid leaving valuables in view. When leaving and approaching your car, keep your head and eyes up. Keep the car locked while you’re sitting in it.
  • Carry a cell phone. If a crime does occur on the trails, call 911 immediately to report it.
  • If you are attacked, and you choose to fight back, Neff suggests trying SSS — screaming, scratching and stomping. “These are three things you can do without training,” he says, adding that not only does scratching hurt, it can glean DNA evidence that would help charge a suspect.

One of the last threats on the trails — especially wooded ones favored by the Trail Hawks — is wildlife.

In summertime, bug spray will help repel ticks, Henry says.

Trail runners also have encountered copperhead snakes, which are poisonous but not known for being aggressive. Henry says your best bet is to carefully walk around them and continue enjoying your jaunt on the trails.


The buddy system is the best way to stay safe on Lawrence’s trails. Here are some of Lawrence’s organized trail-using groups:

Neither the city nor Douglas County Senior Services Inc. has organized walking groups. The Prairie Park Nature Center has occasional, all-ages outdoor activities. For more information, call 832-7980.


To find a map of routes mentioned in this story, click here.


Why not a cat cafe for Lawrence?

A Cat Cafe in Lawrence

I was struck by opening the computer this morning to the BBC... and finding that Cat Cafes were very important in Japan! This would be a great idea for Lawrence!

There are so many ways in which a cat cafe could contribute to Lawrence's health. There is something about a cat that calms nerves and relieves nervous pressure, creating a calmer and more relaxing atmosphere.

Persons would visit every day just to be with the cats. For example, people with rentals often can't have cats. People who are suffering from cancer, could, for example, come there often to feel much better about life. You might want to come before you go to an important exam. If you are working on a divorce, when there is a cat around, things might go much better.

New Friends

Most importantly, people could come to the cat cafe to make new friends. The list goes on and on!

There are some problems which would need to be solved, but a Lawrence entrepreneur could do it, especially one who also loves cats. You would have to select the right kinds of cats, who like to be cuddled. Cats would need to be kept in good health, and fed well.

But the real benefactors of all this would be PEOPLE!

Have any of our readers been to Japan and have they seen a Cat Cafe? If you have or if you would like to see one in Lawrence, please comment.