KU School of Medicine–Wichita
1010 N. Kansas
Wichita, KS, 67214
January 23, 2020
Internal Medicine residents at KU School of Medicine-Wichita will benefit from a generous gift from Wichita Nephrology Group entailng a five-year, $25,000 pledge. (File photo)
By Brian Whepley
Nine of Wichita Nephrology Group's 11 doctors did internal medicine residencies through KU School of Medicine-Wichita, and five did advanced training in nephrology with KU as well.
Add in that everyone in the practice serves as volunteer clinical faculty in Wichita, and it's clear the crimson and the blue ties run deep among Wichita's largest group of kidney specialists.
Recently, the medical group made a five-year, $25,000 pledge to the KU School of Medicine-Wichita Internal Medicine residency program. Jany Moussa, M.D., said the gift was not only a way to support the program and its residents but also the leadership of William Salyers, M.D., who became chair of internal medicine last year and continues in his previous role of residency director as well.
"He cares about the program, and he's a very good fit for the position," Moussa said. "We're happy he's there."
"We wanted to do anything we could to help the residents with their education," said Moussa, noting the doctors know well "there are a lot of expenses the residents face."
Salyers said the pledge means the program now has a fully endowed fund to support residency graduation activities and enhance wellness activities. "It will also help residents travel to national conferences to present research and help resident preparation for sitting for their American Board of Internal Medicine boards," he said.
The residency program is a sizable one, 42 resident physicians, along with sharing training of 12 medicine/pediatrics residents whose program prepares them for certification in both internal medicine and pediatrics.
Since becoming chair, Salyers has reached out to volunteer faculty to "share my vision of where the department can grow, reaffirm our joint roles and how we really help support each other."
"We are very appreciative of all the hard work they put in to teaching our residents and medical students here. We also know they have a deep pride in seeing where the residency program can be in the future," he said.
"They see the value that the school - and the residency program in particular - being here brings to the community. It brings outstanding physicians who go out into fellowship training and then come back and join their practices," Salyers said.
Moussa said the pledge supports medical care and, for his group, their chosen hometown. Many of the group's physicians are from Lebanon and Syria and have followed in the footsteps of Wichita's deep-rooted community of immigrants from those countries.
"Wichita is home for us. Most of our physicians are foreign graduates, and they all wanted to come back to Wichita after doing their residency here. We feel completely at home here," said Moussa, a member of the practice's leadership team and older brother of fellow nephrologist Ronnie Moussa, M.D. "The medical level is far better than any similar-sized city. Medicine is very strong in Wichita."
The pledge comes on top of an earlier one in the same amount to the medical school at large to use to recruit and hire faculty. That gift supported the hiring of Salyers as chair of internal medicine and Rachel Brown, MBBS, as chair of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, said Brad Rukes, development director for KU Endowment at the Wichita campus.
With the second donation for the internal medicine residency, "Wichita Nephrology Group got to give to the program they are passionate about," Rukes said. "Donors sometimes don't realize they can give to a specific department or program."
The advantage of a multiyear pledge is twofold: The gift is spread out for the donor, while the medical school or targeted program can count on a consistent funding stream over a period of time.
Moussa said his group's pledge had across-the-board backing in the practice, with physicians contributing equally.
"I didn't even hear objections from the non-KU doctors in our group," Moussa said. "The students, the residents we teach, they go train and come back to Wichita. It's a no-brainer for the doctors in this town to support the medical school and the residency program."
Those interested in making gifts or pledges to support KU School of Medicine-Wichita or its specific programs or departments can contact Brad Rukes, KU Endowment development director for the Wichita campus, at 316-293-2641 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the options available.
Above, at right: Wichita Nephrology Group doctors have made a pledge supporting the KU School of Medicine-Wichita Internal Medicine residency program.KU School of Medicine-Wichita