Wesley Healthcare
August 27, 2015

Pediatricians Dr. Ralph Martello and Dr. Todd Brubaker

Join KU School of Medicine-Wichita’s Pediatrics Hospitalist Group

WICHITA – The recent announcement of plans to build Wesley Children’s Hospital – the region’s first and only dedicated children’s hospital – continues to attract new pediatric specialist physicians to the area. And the hospital’s partnership with KU Wichita Pediatrics provides many of them with a place to practice.


KU Wichita Pediatrics Hospitalists, the physician group that takes care of Wesley Children’s inpatient pediatric patients, has recruited four new physicians since the children’s hospital announcement. Ralph Martello, M.D., and Todd Brubaker, D.O., hired this month, join hospitalists Lisa Unruh, M.D., and Brent Duran, D.O., who were recruited earlier this spring.


Wesley Children’s medical director of pediatric services and KU School of Medicine-Wichita pediatrics division director of hospital medicine, Stephanie Kuhlmann, D.O., said it has been it’s been exciting to be part of the new children’s hospital planning and growth.


“Wesley Children’s and KU have had a long partnership in caring for the children of this community,” Dr. Kuhlmann said. “And with more pediatric physicians than ever before expressing interest in living and working in Wichita, we have an opportunity to grow that partnership by helping recruit and sign new doctors.”


Wesley Children’s chief operating officer Tripp Owings said the partnership with KU provides several employment options for new physicians.


“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to recruiting new physicians,” Owings said. “Some want to join an existing practice, some want to practice independently and some are looking for that collegial, academic environment provided by KU. The Wichita community is fortunate to have this partnership in place that allows us such great flexibility to accommodate so many different scenarios.”


Since announcing the children’s hospital project, Wesley Children’s has successfully recruited eight new physicians, representing specialties including pediatric surgery, pediatric cardiology and pediatric critical care.


After completing residency at UF Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, Dr. Martello was working at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando when he received the news that KU School of Medicine-Wichita accepted his application. He knew after working at Arnold Palmer that he wanted to continue working in a children’s hospital and thought joining KU Wichita Pediatrics would be a great opportunity for him.


“Children’s hospitals provide the tailored environments that children need in order to cope and feel comfortable while they heal,” Dr. Martello said. “I have seen first-hand how children can heal quicker in these environments, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a sick child get better.”


A KU pediatric resident, Dr. Brubaker agrees that building an environment that makes children feel welcome and happy can help with the treatment and healing process. He has witnessed this as a resident working on the pediatrics floor at Wesley.


“There are currently several areas of Wesley that are already painted and designed to be kid-friendly, including Wesley’s pediatric ER, and children respond to that,” Dr. Brubaker said. “I’m looking forward to seeing an entire building, designed and built around the care of a child.”


Construction of the new $28 million hospital is expected to be complete in the fall of 2016 and includes a new façade on the hospital’s Hillside exterior, with a renovated entrance, lobby and elevators. Additionally, it will include a complete renovation of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, creating a new, all-private 15-bed PICU. In addition, Wesley’s 30-bed pediatric unit will receive aesthetic and heating and cooling system upgrades.


Dr. Kuhlmann said KU Wichita Pediatrics will continue to hire hospitalists, working with Wesley Children’s to outline staffing needs and recruiting physicians who meet the high level of pediatric care Wesley expects for its patients.


“KU’s pediatricians and pediatric hospitalists have always provided the very best care for Wesley patients,” Dr. Kuhlmann said. “We know how important this hospital is for the community, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”


KU Wichita Pediatrics Hospitalists are just one of the ways the department provides care to Wesley patients. The group provides general pediatric care at Wesley’s Carriage Parkway clinic location and subspecialty pediatric care on Wesley’s main campus at the Medical Arts Tower. The physicians are all faculty members of the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.


More about KU Wichita Pediatrics>>


For more information about Wesley Medical Center and its pediatric services, please visit www.wesleymc.com. And for updates about progress on the Wesley Children’s Hospital project, please visit www.facebook.com/wesleychildrenshospital.


Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912.  As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region.  Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Galichia ER, the region’s only pediatric ER and soon, Wesley Derby ER.  Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital, multiple WesleyCare clinics and is currently building the region’s only dedicated children’s hospital – Wesley Children’s Hospital. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit www.wesleymc.com.


The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita educates doctors for Kansas while improving the health of Kansans through research and innovation. To learn more about the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, please visit wichita.kumc.edu.