Morning Medical Update Thursday 3-16-23

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


    The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 52 COVID patients today, 53 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 32 with the active virus today, 32 yesterday
  • 7 in ICU, 6 yesterday
  • 2 on a ventilator, 4 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. Lisa Vopat, founder, Female Athlete Program, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Built the area’s first – and only – female athlete program at The University of Kansas Health System based on the needs for holistically treating female athletes (
  • When it comes to sports medicine, the science is predominantly based on males – females were only represented in studies 39 percent of the time.
  • We need to look at nutrition needs of athletes much differently than the general population.
  • In terms of fueling the body, the female athlete in particular needs to run off of carbohydrates and needs a certain amount of essential fats.
  • Some of our cultural dietary pushes such as low carb diets or eating to clean and healthy or low fat diets really have no place in the diet for female athletes.
  • One thing we focus on is that nutrition is used as a performance advantage in sports.

Sara Kostelnick, sports dietician, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Female athletes especially are prone inappropriate false messages -- smaller is faster, thin is more feminine, bulkiness or having muscle is masculine, or they should weigh less.
  • Sara works with patients to help change their internal narrative by providing a truth rebuttal to that negative self-talk.
  • It's very important to have awareness of eating behaviors. And the program provides education to coaches, parents, and families to understand what things may be problematic because they can be precursors to actual eating disorders
  • Dispelling diet myths – especially from social media – is a big part of her job, especially when it comes to carbs and sugars.
  • Suggests a “performance plate” which adjusts serving sizes based on essentially their training load for that day.
  • For example, if an athlete is on a light training day or a rest day, they might be directed to fill their plate at mealtime with half of it fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with protein and then the last quarter filled with carbohydrates. The meal plans are customized to individual needs.

Dr. Jacob Brubacher, assistant team physician, Kansas City Royals

  • We care about diet and nutrition because it's the fuel that allows us to have excellent performance and support our immune system and our overall health.
  • It also allows us to recover from our daily activities and prepare for the next set of day to day activities.
  • If someone wants to build muscle, it's important that they have a balanced diet.
  • It's also critical to eat a balanced diet that allow them to be at their best both mentally and physically.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • FDA advisors are voting on Paxlovid recommendations for COVID today.
  • Overall, it is a very effective drug at reducing severe disease and hospitalizations.
  • We know that rebound of COVID symptoms can happen even if you don't take Paxlovid.
  • There haven't been any severe cases of those rebounded patients, so it should not be a concern.

Friday, March 17 is the next Morning Medical Update. Kansas City Royals head team physician, Dr. Vincent Key, is live from Spring Training in Arizona to talk about how new rules are speeding up the game and what effects those may have on player health.

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