Morning Medical Update Tuesday 9-20-22

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 57 COVID patients today, up from 53 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 35 with the active virus today, 36 yesterday
  • 4 in ICU, 6 yesterday
  • 3 on ventilators, 2 yesterday
  • 22 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 17 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:


Julie Ginter, director of rehabilitation, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Has treated a significant number of COVID patients in the rehab unit because of how debilitating the virus can be for so many patients.
  • The typical focus is on getting their mobility back – walking, getting in and out of a vehicle, bathing, cooking or even speech.
  • Technology is constantly improving to help assist patient with their rehab.
  • Patients need to “re-learn” some daily life skills such as using a washer and dryer.
  • Donations like a car are very important, because it is real-life experience versus a simulation in a rehab room.

Dr. Sarah Eickmeyer, rehab unit medical director and rehabilitative medicine physician, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Some patients in the rehab program need to travel home via airplane, so the health system has recreated an airplane setting with donated airline seats to help patients better navigate how to get in and out of airplane seats.
  • At the rehabilitation unit, they care for a wide variety patients including those who are recovering from pneumonia or COVID, those who are recovering from a transplant or those who have been in a car accident with multiple fractures.
  • It is fair to say that most major surgeries might require rehab.
  • Rehab is not one size fits all. There are different types of rehab specialties such as sports, orthopedic, neurologic and others.

Gretchen Schroeder, physical therapist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • A donated car from the Auto Donation Center has helped patients with rehab as they can practice getting in and out of the car in a real-life situation.
  • Everyone wants to just step into a car like they did before, but their balancing ability may not be there yet, so they need to sit down first – learning a new habit.
  • Patients work at their own pace and they can practice as much as they want to so they feel comfortable.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Rehab helps reduce your risk of coming back to the hospital and the rehab specialists do a great job of extending patient care.
  • We know that COVID cases are going down in circulation, but it is still high in some areas.
  • It is important to make sure you are updated on your vaccine boosters, following the CDC guidance.
  • We do expect there will be other surges in the winter, as we’ve been seeing in the past.

Wednesday, September 21 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Open Mics with Dr. Stites. He’s attending a medical conference that is really all about our viewers. Dr. Stites joins us live from  from Las Vegas to learn what the nation's premiere professional organization dedicated to improving patient outcomes wants to learn from us about this program.

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