5 questions with Kevin Hoppock

08/15/2013 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:18 AM

Family physician Kevin Hoppock was born and raised in Wichita, and he chose to make it his home when he began practicing medicine about 20 years ago.

Hoppock attended Wichita Heights High School, Wichita State and the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita.

He is past president of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County and past president of the Kansas Medical Society, where he currently serves as the legislative committee chairman. He practices at Via Christi Clinic on East 21st Street.

“It’s a great community in which to practice medicine,” Hoppock said. “The philosophy of family medicine had some of its birth here with one of the very first family practice residency programs in the country here. So this community has been very supportive of the holistic care we aspire to in family medicine.”

Though Wichita is home, he still travels. As part of the Evangelical Friends denomination, Hoppock has made mission work a focus.

Q. 1 You’ve done some mission work in Rwanda and Haiti, correct?

A. Opthamologist Andrew Moyes in Kansas City had a passion, heart just broken for the orphans of Haiti, and rather than simply wish them well or send 20 bucks a month, he bought a piece of ground in conjunction with the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, (and) he set about building an orphanage complex made up of several homes where there would be 12 to 15 orphans cared for by house parents, fed, clothed, trained in school and taught job skills. He gave me the privilege of building one of those orphanage homes, so it was very important for me to go to Haiti to actually introduce my mother to the orphanage that bears her name, and that is the Grandma Wanda House of Hope.

Q. 2 What was that experience like for you to take her there?

A. My mother is an absolutely gifted mother. She had child care in her own home for 30 years and not only raised two kids of her own but scores of kids from birth through school age, where she showed them love and discipline. She’s just a gifted woman, so it was perhaps the most satisfying thing we could have done together to memorialize her amazing gift, to show these orphans the capacity of being loved, nurtured and to have the hope and kindness my mother instilled in the kids that came through her house.

Q. 3 What is one of the biggest challenges faced by practicing physicians?

A. One of my greatest goals is to help remind physicians they are not just the deliverers of some health care product, but that when we do medicine the way it should be done, we’re no less than physician healers. To forget that healing component that happens in the doctor/patient relationship is to lose something very special. In the midst of all the change and health care system reforms, that’s the piece that has to preserved above all.

Q. 4 What are some of the overarching areas that the legislative committee of the Kansas Medical Society looks at?

A. For the last seven to 10 years, we’ve seen health care reform coming, and it was very important before even President Obama was elected that we define as an organization what we see as the ultimate vision for health care in Kansas. There are some principles of health care reform that we developed some years ago that emphasized things like patient autonomy, patient responsibility, broad access to high-quality health care and affordability. We specifically review reform requests in light of those guiding principles.

The encouraging part is that we see increasing access to health care and we’re working closely with the governor and his staff to try to make the new KanCare program as hospitable to patients and physicians as possible, minimizing the disruption and expanding access.

Q. 5 Any issue in particular the committee has focused on?

A. Last year, nurses were seeking unfettered, independent practice, and as we’ve looked at the health care principles and desire for the best possible health care for Kansas, we recognize that the team approach is critical to our future as well as the quality of care being delivered. What that means is you have highly trained professionals that have the ability to direct these teams that provide care to larger numbers of Kansans without sacrificing the quality of that. …

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants have the capacity to go ahead and increase access, especially in the harder to get to parts of Kansas, but by having them as part of the health care team directed by physicians then we have the capacity to increase access without sacrificing quality.

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