Morning Medical Update Tuesday 9-12-23

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


     Key points from today’s guests:

Tim Grimes, melanoma survivor

  • At 28, Tim had a mole on his back, had it checked, and was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2014 and given a prognosis of only nine months to live.
  • Nine years later, he is healthy and thriving thanks to a lifesaving treatment.
  • It felt real to him when the cancer first spread to his brain. It changed his outlook and it gave him more strength to fight.
  • He said it is a good feeling to help inspire other people to fight back. He wasn’t just fighting for himself, he was fighting for other cancer patients as well.

Dr. Gary Doolittle, medical oncologist, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • Melanoma is a disease that can pop up anywhere and in Tim’s case, it did. It was everywhere.
  • He was able to get Tim into a clinical trial and eventually find the right treatment for him.
  • Every drug we use in the hospital today comes to us because of patients like Tim who are brave enough to go into clinical trials.
  • He was impressed with the way Tim made cancer work around his schedule and not the other way around.
  • Over nine years the patient-doctor relationship has evolved into a friendship.
  • Be sure to get frequent skin checks by your doctor.

Kristen Burkett, ARNP, oncology nurse practitioner, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • Tim really had a lot of faith in the process.
  • Having great support is really important for cancer patients.
  • No matter the setbacks, we always believed that Tim was going to prevail.
  • We have patients that still today bring up Tim’s name because he was so inspirational.

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

  • FDA approved the COVID boosters yesterday and the CDC is set to approve it next.
  • Based on data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the percentage of patients in emergency departments in Kansas hospitals with respiratory illnesses has spiked during the fall months in 2021 and 2022.
  • Current numbers are showing a gradual increase in those visits vs. a couple of months ago.
  • There is not a high circulation of RSV at this time.

Wednesday, September 13 at 8 a.m. CT is the next Open Mics with Dr. Stites. Most patients walking into an Emergency Department get treated and go home. We meet one man who ended up needing to be rushed to the operating room, as well as the emergency surgeons standing by for cases like his.

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