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By SMH Webmaster on 12/5/2016 11:08 AM
As a clinical psychologist at Shawnee Mission Health (SMH), I feel deeply embedded within our hospital community. For 15 years, I have had the privilege of knowing many wonderful people on our Medical Staff, which offers me a front row seat to the career pressures physicians face on a daily basis. 

Many people are aware of the personal rewards doctors experience, but it may be surprising to know that some physicians experience more overall risk than reward, and actually have a greater chance of burnout, divorce, depression and even suicide than the general population. 
By SMH Webmaster on 12/5/2016 9:15 AM
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”  Luke 2:10 

The first people to hear the news of the birth of Jesus was a group of shepherds who were spending the night in the Judean hills watching their sheep. In the early days of the nation of Israel shepherding was the primary occupation for most families but as the nation matured so did the variety of occupations in which people became engaged.  They became farmers, merchants, manufacturers of textiles and household items, etc.  Over time, the work of shepherding fell into disfavor and became the chore of the youngest son or the job of a servant or a slave.  It was not long before they developed a reputation for dishonesty, laziness and irresponsibility, add to that the fact that they smelled like sheep and you realize very quickly that they were not the kind of company people liked to keep.  Despite this, shepherds were an essential part of the Jewish economy as animals were always needed for sacrifices in the temple services. 
By SMH Webmaster on 11/30/2016 11:24 AM
“Come, see a man, who told me everything I ever did: is not this the Christ,” John 4:29 NKJV

Some people disconnect themselves from their community because they’re made to feel unworthy.  This sense of unworthiness can stem from a lack of education, a feeling of inferiority, some may feel limited because of cultural or gender biases (real or imagined). There are still others who feel disqualified because of fear or embarrassment and still others who feel that their reputation might cause their contribution to lack credibility.  The main character in the narrative referenced above might be numbered among those who self-disconnect.
By SMH Webmaster on 11/21/2016 11:12 AM
Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  Luke 17:18 NLT

As Jesus was about to enter a village on the border between Samaria and Galilee, his attention was arrested by the cries of ten lepers pleading with him to have mercy on them.  Jesus, moved with compassion for them, told them to go show themselves to the Priest and on their way they found themselves cured of their disease.  One of them, a Samaritan, turned around and went back to give glory to God and thanks to the one through whom his healing came.

Jesus had given them their lives back.  The Priest would declare them clean. They could now rejoin their community and be reconnected with families.  They were no longer outcasts living on the edge of town eking out a miserable existence while waiting for the comfort of death.  No longer would they have the spiritual angst of wondering, for what sin were they being punished.  No longer would they have to deal with the soul destroying announcement, “unclean”, that they would have to make in order to warn people to keep away.
By SMH Webmaster on 11/7/2016 10:15 PM
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 

Do you know Frank? A lot of people seem to know him.  Apparently, he’s quite influential, many people emulate him.  Some people even want to be him.  They start sentences with phrases like, “Let me be Frank,” or “Speaking Frankly,” and then they proceed to say something, inappropriate, unkind or downright rude.  According to the, being frank is defined as, revealing or disposed to reveal one's thoughts freely and honestly.  Frank implies directness, sometimes that freedom is abused to the point of bluntness.  Isaac Newton said, “Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.”  

Judy Nelson, a career and executive coach, uses the Workplace Big 5 Profile 4.0 to assess her clients “Tact-o-meter” score, 0-25 is tactless, 75-100 is very tactful and 40-55 is a sort of middle ground.  She says, “A TACT-o-meter is a gauge for your mouth. It serves a significant role for your team’s morale maintenance. It helps the speaker select appropriate words for working conditions. It denotes the maximum safe range for lack of tact, which when exceeded leaves the speaker’s recipient red with embarrassment (or rage). When a speaker regularly operates in the red zone, I call it redlining the team. Prolonged extreme tactlessness or extreme tact may cause less than optimum communication and conflict that could cause excessive wear or permanent damage to relationships.”
By SMH Webmaster on 10/31/2016 11:57 AM
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  We love Him because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:18-19 NKJV.

Halloween has become a huge annual event.  According to a September 22, 2016, USA Today report, “The new poll from the National Retail Federation projects that Halloween revelers will spend $8.4 billion preparing for and celebrating the fall holiday. That breaks down to an average of $82.93 per shopper, vs. the $74.34 spent last Halloween.”  Between 1995 and 2016 horror movies grossed $8,934,057,867 at the box office,  “Nationwide, more than 300 amusement parks operate Halloween attractions, generating at least $500 million in revenue annually, according to Hauntworld, a website based in St. Louis that promotes businesses with "haunted" or Halloween themes.”  
By SMH Webmaster on 10/18/2016 4:33 PM
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.  And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.”  Matthew 25:14-15

Patricia Bays Haroski celebrated the first Boss’s Day on October 16, 1958 in honor of her father.  It was his birthday and she also worked for him and wanted to let him know what a great boss he was.  She registered the day with the United States Chamber of Commerce and it has been celebrated since then.  On this day employees recognize their bosses by giving cards, lunches and other gifts.
By SMH Webmaster on 10/18/2016 4:30 PM
With the change in weather, there are fewer mosquitos flying around, but here in Kansas City, many people are still finding big, itchy bug bites. The culprit? The oak leaf itch mite. My colleague Anthony Healy, MD, was recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying that about one-fifth of his patients have come in with bites, and my husband and I have seen similar numbers in our patients. 
By SMH Webmaster on 10/10/2016 8:47 AM
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Christopher Columbus made four trans-Atlantic crossings from Spain in the years 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502.  He was determined to find a direct route to Asia by going west but he never did.  We celebrate Columbus Day in the US, Spain and Italy because in his quest to find that route, he stumbled upon the Americas.  He was not the first to set foot on what was then known as the new world but his discovery opened the way for Europeans to settle this new found land.
By SMH Webmaster on 10/4/2016 11:04 AM
“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  Matthew 1:22-23 NKJV

The Hebrew name Immanuel is mentioned twice in the writings of the Prophet Isaiah and again in the announcement of the birth of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, referenced above.  It means, God with us.  There is much debate as to what the references in Isaiah might mean but Matthew is clear that it means that God did something very special in sending Jesus into the world.  John, another Gospel writer says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16 NKJV
By SMH Webmaster on 9/26/2016 2:07 PM
“In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

As our boat speeds along the Amazon River, I am somewhat melancholic.  We are going home after spending a week providing surgical and medical care to almost 1700 patients.  They came to us from the villages along the Amazon River and from in and around the cities of Iquitos and Pucallpa in Peru.  It was a privilege to be here and to provide some help and relief to those who do not have access to healthcare, mostly because they simply cannot afford it.  But as we head home, I wrestle with the thought that there is still so much to do. 
By SMH Webmaster on 9/19/2016 8:24 AM
“When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.”  Luke 1:12 defines fear as: “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.”  The Greek word in the Bible verse above, phobus, from which we get our English, phobia, is derived from a root word which means, to be put in fear, suggesting that Zechariah was made fearful by something external.  
By SMH Webmaster on 9/12/2016 11:02 AM
“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,” 1 Chronicles 16:12 NIV

This Psalm (or song) of David encourages us to remember some specific things about our relationship with God.  The word remember, occurs 166 times in the New International Version of the Bible and many of those instances instruct us to be intentional about remembering.  E. G. White counsels, “We have nothing to fear for the future except we should forget how God has led us in the past.”  People tend to forget as time passes unless they are deliberate about remembering.  This counsel, like David’s call to remember, not only encourages us to recall past events but to also and even more importantly, to recall the presence and power of a miracle working God during those events. 

By SMH Webmaster on 9/6/2016 10:20 AM
“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” Luke 1:13 KJV 

Have you ever felt forgotten or overlooked?  I imagine that this elderly couple experienced these feeling, among many others.  It hadn’t always been this way.  They were young and hopeful once.  They were newlyweds with hopes of making a home together and starting a family.  They were optimistic about seeing the promises of the prophets fulfilled in their lifetime, like the promise of Jeremiah about prosperity and hope and a future and the promise of the coming Messiah.  They had prayed and believed for these things.  But they were old now and there were no children and Messiah had not come.
By SMH Webmaster on 8/29/2016 9:11 PM
“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 NKJV When I looked at the calendar hanging on my kitchen wall, I noticed that today was not designated any special significance.  It was just another Monday.  Wanting to be sure I wasn’t missing anything important, I referred to my friends at Google.  Today has been set aside for a couple of important awareness foci, such as, National Sarcoidosis Day and International Day Against Nuclear Tests.  In addition, there are some trivial observances such as, Lemon Juice Day, National Swiss Winegrowers Day and Motorist Consideration Monday (this one should be an everyday observance).  I’m sure that today is someone’s birthday or anniversary, but no national holidays. Mondays are not popular days.  It’s the end of the weekend.  It’s the start of the work week.  Songs have been written about Monday.  In 1966, The Mamas & the Pappas sang, “Every other day of the week is fine, but whenever Monday comes you’ll find me crying all of the...
By SMH Webmaster on 8/22/2016 11:48 AM
“And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews' children.” Exodus 2:6 NKJV The story of Moses begins with an act of compassion from one least expected to be compassionate. Pharaoh had ordered the slaughter of every male infant in Egypt and when Moses’ mother could no longer hide him, she entrusted him into God’s care through, what might appear to some, a reckless, desperate act.  She set him adrift in a basket on the Nile River. It happened that the daughter of the Pharaoh came upon the basket while she was bathing in the river and reacted to the child’s cry with an act of compassion that would change the course of history.  While her father’s fear of the numerical strength of the enslaved Hebrews led him to resort to infanticide as a population management initiative, her compassion for one of those helpless innocents led her to save him from certain death on the river.  While the hardness of his heart led him to murder, the softness of her heart led her to show mercy....
By SMH Webmaster on 8/19/2016 4:03 PM
Each month I teach a class at Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) called “Babies Don’t Bark.” The name might make you laugh, but this class is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your baby if you or another caregiver have a dog at home. Dogs and children can have wonderful relationships, but there are also many examples of things that can go terribly wrong when babies are brought into a home with a dog. By taking this class and doing some basic prep work, you’ll ensure your real baby and your fur baby will get along seamlessly. 
By SMH Webmaster on 8/16/2016 1:48 PM
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the son of God,” Daniel 3:25 NKJV. It is one of the most well-known and frequently told Bible stories.  It ranks right up there with David and Goliath and is found in the third chapter of Daniel.  It’s the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, sometimes called, “the three Hebrew boys.”  The nation of Judah had been conquered by the Babylonians and among the first wave of those taken captive were these three young men.  God had shown them favor and they had been privileged to work in the service of the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.  A typical practice of that time and culture was that the religion of the king was the religion of the people and in some cases, it was enforced under penalty of death.  This king decided he would test the loyalty of his people by demanding that all subjects pay homage to a ninety-foot-tall golden image.  Anyone who failed to do so would...
By SMH Webmaster on 8/8/2016 9:13 AM
“When Jesus heard of it he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities,” Matthew 14:13 KJV. Herod, the Roman governor of Judea, had earlier arrested John the Baptist in an attempt to silence his criticism of him.  It would seem that Herod just wanted get him off the streets and out of the way for a while, but through the duplicity of his wife and step daughter and while under the influence of alcohol, he had been manipulated into putting John to death, a decision that caused him much emotional turmoil.  Guilt and fear can do strange things to the mind.  Paranoia has a way of distorting the facts and in Herod’s case, when he heard of the miracles and teachings of Jesus, he imagined that John the Baptist had returned from the dead and he became fearful of what consequences he might have to face.  When word of Herod’s mental state reached Jesus, he decided to take some time to think and pray so he departed by boat to a remote...
By SMH Webmaster on 8/5/2016 11:37 AM
“Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.” Nehemiah 1:6 KJV Nehemiah was among the Jews who had remained in Persia after many of his kinsmen had returned to Jerusalem when the Babylonian captivity had ended.  He was now in service to the King of Persia as his cupbearer.  In this role, not only was he constantly in the presence of the king, but it was his responsibility to taste the king’s food and drink to ensure that it was not poisoned.  Nehemiah put his life on the line every single day to preserve the life of the king.  At first I thought this was a position of forced servitude but further reading suggests that Nehemiah counted this position an honor. When Nehemiah learned of the living conditions of his people in Jerusalem, his ancestral...
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204
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23401 Prairie Star Parkway
Lenexa, Kansas 66227
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