Harry is out, St. Joseph is in at Via Christi

WICHITA — CEOs often have to be the bearer of bad news, but Jeff Korsmo had an especially good time announcing a change at Via Christi Health this week.

The president and CEO personally went to see the sisters at the Congregation of St. Joseph, one of Via Christi’s founding congregations, to announce a name change that is making a lot of people happy.

“It was time to do a relook at the brand,” Korsmo says.

Several years ago, each of Via Christi’s three hospitals were renamed for the streets they are on. The names for Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis and Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa didn’t change much, but the hospital that traditionally was known as St. Joseph became Via Christi Hospital on Harry.

It will now be known as Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph. The others will be Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and Via Christi Hospital St. Teresa.

“This change was really there to reflect the founding congregation’s name and heritage in the name of the hospital,” Korsmo says.

“It was a very joyful celebration,” he says of getting to share the news.

Korsmo says one sister said, “I didn’t know if I would live long enough to see this day.”

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Policy change leads to employee grumbling on Via Christi Health’s Facebook page before comments were removed

WICHITA — A policy change related to employee cafeteria discounts led to a minor Facebook dustup for Via Christi Health this week.

Employees no longer will receive discounts at any of Via Christi’s cafeterias.

“It’s a cost-savings measure,” says Judy Espinoza, chief human resource officer.

Also, she says there were a range of discounts depending on locations, and some sites didn’t have any.

“It was very inconsistent.”

After the change was announced, some employees took to Via Christi’s main Facebook page to complain.

“It was very obvious the employees did not know they were on the public page,” Espinoza says. “You could tell from the language.”

Also, she says some comments tagged employees who weren’t part of the conversation although they appeared to be.

“That kind of crosses the line,” Espinoza says.

“I’m not a Facebook savvy person,” she says, but if she were caught in a similar situation, “I’d just be mortified.”

She says Via Christi made the decision to remove the comments after one employee who was tagged expressed concern.

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Associated Integrated Marketing CEO Bill Fialka is out as agency eliminates position

WICHITA — Most people probably didn’t notice when Bill Fialka took over as CEO at Associated Integrated Marketing – and that’s how he liked it – but now he’s gone.

“The position was eliminated,” says Shawn Steward, vice president of client service and public relations.

He won’t say if Fialka was fired.

“I’ll let people draw their own conclusions on that.”

Fialka didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Steward says the agency is restructuring. He and three other vice presidents will manage the company. They include Dave Stewart, vice president and executive creative director, Luke Gutschenritter, vice president and group account director, and Kim Weprin, vice president  of finance and human resources.

“This is not a financial decision,” Steward says. “This was a proactive decision to better allow us to operate more efficiently.”

He says, “We essentially saw a lot of duplication of effort at the management level. We felt that by eliminating the CEO level of the agency … we’re just getting the management closer to the client level and just streamlining across the board.”

Steward says the agency’s board of directors made the decision.

Fialka has been CEO since January 2010. He followed much more high-profile CEOs, including Mike Snyder and Bruce Rowley most recently. Fialka, though, deliberately avoided media and other attention.

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Ryan Dugan Eye Care to open in Andale

WICHITA — As a new optometrist looking to open a practice in the Wichita area, Goddard native Ryan Dugan decided to take the advice of a dentist.

His brother’s father-in-law, dentist Randy Newby, explained how he started his practice in Mount Hope and that it might make sense for Dugan to go to a smaller community as well.

“That kind of influenced me,” says Dugan, who graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., in May. “I could really rely on him from personal experience.”

Also, he says the Wichita market is already “pretty saturated” with optometry clinics, and he thinks a smaller community might help him to “kind of to differentiate myself.”

So Dugan is opening Ryan Dugan Eye Care at 228 N. Andale Road in Andale where Via Christi Health used to have a medical building in 3,700 square feet.

“It’s a lot larger building than I actually need, but it’s great because I have room to expand in it,” Dugan says.

One day, he says, he’d like to have his own lens lab there.

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As’ad Ehtisham to open ENVI & Aesthetics within Abay Neuroscience Center

UPDATED — Kansas is a leading state for stroke sufferers, and physician As’ad Ehtisham would like to do something about that.

He’s opening ENVI & Aesthetics, which stands for Ehtisham Neuro Vascular Institute & Aesthetics, in 1,500 square feet at the Abay Neuroscience Center at 3223 N. Webb Road.

“What we are offering is something very, very unique,” Ehtisham says.

He’s board certified in neurology, vascular neurology and advanced neuro critical care. His practice will offer a variety of treatments but will have a neuro vascular focus for the treatment of strokes, blocked arteries, vascular malformations, migraines and traumatic brain and spine injuries.

Ehtisham also is going to offer cosmetic Botox and Botox and facial remodeling for people who have Bell’s palsy or who have suffered a stroke that results in facial issues.

“We can actually minimize those by different modalities,” he says. “I will be the only one injecting.”

Ehtisham was the medical director of the stroke and neuro critical care program at Via Christi Health from 2005 to 2009.

“I built the stroke program.”

Most recently he’s been an associate professor of neurology and neuro surgery at the University of Mississippi in Jackson, Miss.

Ehtisham still has family here and decided to return to Wichita for the opportunity to treat Kansans suffering from strokes.

“There is not a dedicated stroke neurologist taking care of those things,” he says.

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Via Christi Villages may add 80-bed skilled nursing unit at Cornerstone Ridge Plaza

WICHITA — Via Christi Villages is preparing to possibly add a skilled nursing unit to its existing Cornerstone Ridge Plaza assisted living center at 37th Street North and Ridge Road.

“We’re seeing strong demand for a skilled nursing presence on the west side of Wichita,” says Jerry Carley, president and CEO of Via Christi Villages.

Cornerstone, which was built in 2003, is one of 16 Via Christi Villages properties. It has 60 beds, and the new unit would have 80.

“We don’t have board approval on this,” Carley says.

Next month, the board for Via Christi Villages will vote on the addition. In May, the Via Christi Health board will vote on it.

If approved, construction is likely to start in June and take about 18 months to complete.

Via Christi has 15 acres of undeveloped land on the southwest corner where Cornerstone is.

“We’ve actually had plans in place for a number of years – at least have talked about it,” Carley says.

“The environment’s right if you look at just the demographics of the baby boomers that are coming in,” he says. “It just makes a lot of sense.”

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Massalogy to open in former Massage Junkie space on East Central

WICHITA — A new massage business is going in the former Massage Junkie space.

Donna Chickadonz is opening her second Massalogy — which means the study of massage — site at 9390 E. Central.

She’s also keeping her first location in a Via Christi Health building at 1035 N. Emporia, where she has 850 square feet.

“Over here, I do a lot of medical massages,” Chickadonz says.

“Business has been good.”

Her new space is 1,700 square feet.

“I am going to put a spa in there,” Chickadonz says.

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Hospice Care of Kansas signs lease

WICHITA — Hospice Care of Kansas has found a new home.

Last month, Have You Heard? reported that Broadway Home Medical would move into Hospice Care’s 9,000 square feet at 808 S. Hillside as soon as the group found new space.

That new space is 13,000 square feet at West River Plaza at Central and McLean.

Via Christi Health is the landlord. Nathan Farha of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the lease for Via Christi.

Dallas-based broker Dan Woldert represented Hospice Care in the deal.

Top Rocker, TCB Garage and American Veterans Hope Foundation open in Delano space

WICHITA — Motorcycle enthusiasts Jerry and Pam Jackson have opened Top Rocker in Delano to cater to other cyclists and the gear they might need.

“Just been trying to put things together,” Jerry Jackson says. “We’re not in a real big hurry because it’s not riding season.”

The Jacksons have 4,000 square feet at 1607 W. Douglas next to Wichita Fish Co.

Top Rocker sells apparel, accessories and gifts.

“Anything related to the needs of motorcycles or the riders,” Jerry Jackson says.

He also works for a business that is a maintenance subcontractor for Cessna Aircraft Co. Pam Jackson works for Via Christi Health.

“Eventually, one of us is going to give up our jobs and run the shop full time,” he says.

Jackson, who rides with the American Legion and is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, also will use the shop as a base for his new American Veterans’ Hope Foundation, a nonprofit that will help veterans and their families with “whatever the VA or the government is unable to . . . help them with.”

“We’ve started the foundation to be there for them.”

Shawn and Kathy Willson also have businesses within the Top Rocker building.

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Preferred Health Systems sale is what led to Kevin Conlin’s new job

Conlin (Medium)UPDATED — There was one obvious question when news broke Thursday that Kevin Conlin, the chief executive of Via Christi Health for almost seven years, would be leaving to become executive vice president of Coventry Health Care in Bethesda, Md.

Did Via Christi’s sale of Preferred Health Systems to Coventry early this year have anything to do with Conlin’s job change?

Yes, says Conlin, who wasn’t available to talk Thursday but is today.

Conlin met Coventry CEO Allen Wise during the sale, and the two later entered into some partnerships related to Medicare products.

“We got to know one another and figured out we kind of viewed the future of health care in similar fashions,” Conlin says.

Their vision is to create seamless relationships with insurance companies that pay for health care and the physicians and hospitals that provide it.

“There needs to be really a working partnership among those three in order to improve quality and reduce costs,” Conlin says.

“I’m being asked to provide some leadership to Coventry as it continues to implement this vision that they have for that.”

During his time at Via Christi, Conlin is most proud of creating a centralized operating structure out of previously separated divisions.

“I believe we’ve been able to unlock a lot of the potential that was within Via Christi,” he says. “It was getting those pieces working together with a common plan and a common direction.”

Conlin says he’ll miss the people he’s worked with here most of all, not to mention Chester’s Chophouse, too.

He says Coventry still has business here, though, so he’ll be back.

“I will be around. It’s not like I’m going forever.”