December 2019

Our Vision: Strive to improve the health and quality of life for all Kansans
Our Mission: To promote research, education and community efforts designed to improve the health of Kansans.

True change takes place in the imagination. Unknown

Every new year provides opportunities and challenges, 2019 has been no different.  We must understand the way we face each will affect our future.  WMREF is no different with opportunities and changes. 

Early in 2019 we faced an incident in our computer system.  We hear of intrusions  at large corporations and city governments but over 500 happen to small businesses, banks and non-profits every day.  On the advice of our IT company, Choose Networks, we had been proactive and installed a 24-hour monitoring system. Choose Network, found the intrusion within 15 minutes of the occurrence and shut it down without loss.  As a precaution we changed all bank accounts and other systems to protect our data.  What a start to the year. 

In June we were notified by Wesley Medical Center they were ending our contract to provide Institutional Review Board services.  The WMREF IRB had been the IRB of record for Wesley for 40 years, the last 20 paid under contract.  Over the next 4 months our IRB staff worked to transfer all files to the HealthOne IRB in Denver.  This has been a significant change for WMREF and the Wichita research community, the most painful, losing two valued WMREF staff members, Terri Jones and Joy Miller, because of the loss of contract revenue.   

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. -Benjamin Disraeli

Still we celebrate our many successes. 


We released our updated Collaborative Investigator Initiated Research (CIIR) Request For Application (RFA) for funding.  This $15,000 funding opportunity requires cooperative research between local academic institutions and/or community organizations.  The resulting presentations and publications are impressive, and we are proud of the successes.  We are anxious to release the next RFA in early 2020 and begin reviewing the submitted proposals.  Research is still a cornerstone of our mission and our goals to ‘Encourage research as a scholarly activity.’


The WMREF sponsored Healthcare Ethics Conference has become an important opportunity to provide medical ethics training in Wichita and Kansas.   The evaluations indicate those attending are anxious to hear, learn and discuss the ethics around healthcare.  The 2019 conference had an attendance of over 180 attendees, including 30 WSU and Newman students who attended at no cost.  March 11, 2020 will be the seventh Ethics Conference.  Find Conference information on our website –  

WMREF is an active member of the Health Alliance of Sedgwick County; the Coalitions of Coalitions – Building the Case for Public Health; the South-Central Regional Cancer Coalition; the Kansas Cancer Partnership and others. These community opportunities continue to fulfill our mission ‘to promote research, education and community efforts designed to improve the health of Kansans’.  Early in August WMREF again sponsored the Health Alliance city mayoral public forum.  Candidates for City Mayor were invited to share their vision for healthcare and how to improve the health of our City.  In person attendance was nearly 150 and 150 more watched by Facebook Live.  The health of our community continues to be a cornerstone of our vision, ‘Supporting community health efforts.’

This year 774 physicians, a 10% increase,  nearly 1200 nurses, and other health care professionals attended a WMREF sponsored event or received scholarship funds.  Financial assistance requests for conference scholarships and conference support continue to rise.  This financial assistance supports our mission to ‘promote continuing education to enhance all aspects of healthcare.’

Advance Directives for End of Life Care
WMREF provides legally correct advance care documents to the public at no cost and located on the WMREF website available by downloading the document.  The WMREF staff and WMREF Board member, Carolyn Harrison, MSN, answer questions and mail documents to anyone needing help.  Our advance care documents have been downloaded over 50,000 times from the WMREF website.  Soon all documents will also be available in Spanish.  This continues to be an important element of our community outreach. 

Our thanks to our Board of Directors, staff and volunteers as we worked through our changes and challenges this year.  All deserve thanks.  We have had more than 60 IRB members, all volunteer, over the 40 years, with Dr. Jed Delmore serving as our last IRB Chair for more than 22 years.  We thank them for their service and dedication to protecting participants in healthcare research.

Your financial support is more important to us than ever before.  Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to WMREF to keep these traditions flourishing in our community. If you wish to contribute to a specific area of our vision, we welcome your support. All contributions are tax deductible and you may decide how you want your money is used – CIIR grants; Community Grants; Educational Scholarships; Research support; or where most needed.  New this year is the ability to donate online directly to WMREF.  It is easy and just a click away. 

WMREF thanks you in advance for your support and generosity and we wish you a healthy and happy New Year. 

Alan Fearey, MD
President, Board of Directors 
Wichita Medical Research and Education Foundation


General Questions

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File iconWMREF Budget Change Request.doc
Size: 34 KB
Use this form to request a change in a project budget.
File iconHistory of Award.pdf
Size: 263 KB
A description of the Jiggs Nelson Quality of Life Award.
File iconqol form - text formated.docx
Size: 98 KB
Use this form to submit a Quality of Life Nomination.
File iconEthics conference 2017 handout. MANH.pdf
Size: 400 KB
Deanna Speer, MSN, RN, CHPN Ethics Conference Speaker
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