Honored to be featured in St. Louis Magazine’s 2018 Best Doctors list!
by Maggie Rotermund
St. Louis Magazine has released its 2018 Best Doctors issue, revealing the area’s top physicians as selected by other doctors. The list includes physicians representing SLUCare Physician Group across more than 40 different specialties.
In addition to the SLUCare doctors who made the Best Doctors List, the magazine also featured a number of stories about the research coming out of Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
George Grossberg, M.D., director of geriatric psychiatry at SLU, was interviewed for a story on new therapies for Alzheimer’s patients. The article highlighted SLU’s participation in a multi-center Phase II/III clinical trial which will test the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug’s ability to slow the decline of brain function and possibly delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease in those at risk for Alzheimer’s disease who do not yet have symptoms of the illness.
A story on how St. Louis is a leading location for cancer research featured Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and physiology at SLU, and her team’s success in an animal model in turning off the excruciating pain that often accompanies a colorectal cancer drug. St. Louis Magazine also highlighted Salvemini’s work in finding relief for pain associated with bone cancer.
Terry Moore, M.D., director of the adult and pediatric Rheumatology divisions at SLU, was interviewed about his 30-year career researching arthritis.
Other SLU research highlighted in the Best Doctors issue of St. Louis Magazine included:
- Findings from Sergey Korolev, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and his team that they have determined the structure of a key protein that is involved in the body’s inflammatory response. This finding opens the door to developing new treatments for a wide range of illnesses, from heart disease, diabetes and cancer to neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.
- The creation of an Extended Stay Research Unit housed in Salus Center. The facility will allow SLU to take its vaccine research to the next level, said Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D., director of SLU’s Center for Vaccine Development.
- The SLU Memory Clinic, led by Max Zubatsky, Ph.D., provides support — including free screenings, counseling, and caregiver support groups— to Alzheimer’s patients and their families.
- Photos of SLUCare physicians and 2018 Best Doctors Ken Haller, M.D., professor of pediatrics, and Michael Lim, M.D., professor of cardiology, were also included. Lim’s photo was chosen for the cover of the magazine.
The list is based on the annual “Best Doctors in America” database, which considers more than one million peer evaluations to create a directory of approximately 40,000 doctors, from 40 medical specialties and 400 subspecialities.
Founded by Harvard Medical School physicians in 1989, Best Doctors, Inc., helps identify outstanding physicians across a range of medical specialties.
Selected SLU Care Physicians in Pediatrics:
SLUCare Pediatrics, based at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, is dedicated to partnering with patients, their families and the community to meet children’s physical, emotional and developmental needs.
- Matt A. Broom, M.D.
- Ken Haller, M.D.
- Donna R. Halloran, M.D.
- M. Susan Heaney, M.D.
- Gene LaBarge, M.D.
- Jay E. Noffsinger, M.D.
- Martin Schmidt, M.D.
- Aline Tanios, M.D.
“The Medicine Show”
July 20-21, 2018
In the Kranzberg Arts Center
Produced by The Presenters Dolan
Ken Haller’s The Medicine Show peddles miracle cures compounded by Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel, Stephen Sondheim and other noted practitioners of the healing arts. In song and story, Ken shows us how becoming a doctor is just the first step in becoming a healer.
“In this 65-minute show of stories and songs, I look at what captivated me about medicine and the realization that being a doctor is not the same thing as being a healer. I will be accompanied by my brilliant Music Director, Marty Fox, and I hope you will join us for this very personal show.” ~ Ken Haller
Here’s what the critics have to say about Ken Haller:
Cabaret Scenes critic Chuck Lavazzi calls “The Medicine Show,” “…fast and funny… truly moving” and adds “Haller delivered the goods with that combination of theatrical smarts and vocal authority that has made him one of our town’s principal cabaret exports.”
(Read the full review here: http://cabaretscenes.org/2017/05/03/ken-haller-the-medicine-show/ )
“Pediatricians have many talents—Ken is a dear friend and a wonderful pediatrician—and he does a moving and delightful cabaret show with songs and stories about families and growing up—and turning into yourself.” – Perri Klass, MD, New York Times columnist
BEST ST. LOUIS CABARET PERFORMER! The GO! List, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunday, April 26, 2015:
“Cabaret performers come and go, but Ken Haller, a pediatrician by day, is a St. Louis legend. If you’re interested in what makes the Great American Songbook great, you owe it to yourself to give this man a listen.” – Calvin Wilson
“Tender, loving…hilarious. A great show from a great guy.” – Katie Dunne McGrath, KDHX.org
“A stellar performance…an extraordinary cabaret performer.” – Lois Caplan Miller, The Jewish Light
SONG BY SONG BY SONDHEIM
“Haller’s show is a gem… His sincerity and authority carry the day in this very personal creation. This is a terrific show. It’s a model of what cabaret should be!” – Gerry Kowarsky, Two on the Aisle, HEC-TV
“Haller is a charming and talented performer with a voice as smooth as a brandy Alexander… A Classy Act. A Classy Guy.” – Robert Alan Mitchell, KDHX.org
THE TV SHOW!
“…a tremendously entertaining and often extremely funny romp through TV land… fun for the whole family!” – Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX.org
“…a sheer delight…a pleasant trip down memory lane…touching a nerve with all of us who experienced this golden age.” – Chris Gibson, BroadwayWorld.com
IMPACT ON INDIVIDUALS
by Emily Hellmuth
The doctor-patient relationship is one that we all face at some point in our lives. It is also one that can be challenging given the sensitive nature of the conversations, particularly if we do not understand each other. Ken Haller, professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University and A&E board member, is using theater with his medical students to improve that relationship.
“In addition to anatomy, physiology and biochemistry, we put a great deal of emphasis at SLU Medical School on nurturing mindfulness and empathy in our students as we prepare them to see patients in the real world,” Haller explained.
Part of that preparation is developing the softer skills required of being a doctor, something Haller aims to do in the Acting Like a Doctor elective he teaches with first-year medical students.
“While not that many medical students have been actors, every med student has seen actors at work and knows how powerful their work can be,” he added.
One recent class meeting began with students identifying their greatest fears in becoming doctors.
“I’m afraid of not having the answer, but that’s why my communications skills are so important,” one student explained. “I need to have the right words to comfort even if I don’t have the actions.”
This is the kernel of Haller’s class – using theatre and acting techniques like role play and improv to teach students how to empathize with their patients and their families and how to play the role of doctor even when they don’t feel like it.
“When you’re seeing patients, you have to act like a doctor even when you don’t feel like a doctor. This, of course, is what actors do: If we act like this person we are portraying, and the audience believes us in that role, we become that person,” Haller, an actor himself, explained.
The students in the elective are all in their first year of medical school, before they being patient interactions, but Cynthia Morris says the class still finds its way into her practice as a pediatric neurology resident.
“I am more comfortable standing and speaking in front of a group and I learned good ways to handle some more difficult patient scenarios, especially how to speak kindly and patiently with families who do not want things that I feel are very important for their child,” she explained.
Monica Goodland, a MD/PhD candidate at Saint Louis University, adds the elective gave her the tools she needs to understand her patients.
“If I can quickly assess that history from my patient – Do they seem guarded? Do they seem like they are not giving me the whole story? Is there someone else in the room who may be influencing the dynamic of the visit? – I can really be the physician my patient needs,” Goodland said.
As Haller explains during a recent session, the theatre elective is about more than silly role play scenarios. It is about how doctors relate to their patients and learn to trust themselves in the role of doctor so that they can think on their feet and better understand – and, ultimately, heal – their patients.
JULY 22, 2015, BY STAFF WRITER
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Every summer we hear tragedies of children dying in hot cars. The extreme heat, even with the windows cracked, makes locked cars dangerous places for young kids.
This summer is no different.
SLUcare pediatrician at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Dr. Ken Haller joins FOX 2 with some helpful reminders for parents.
Tips to remember:
- ‘Look Before You Lock’ – Get in the habit of always opening the back door to check the back seat before leaving your vehicle. Make sure no child has been left behind.
- Create a reminder to check the back seat.
- Make sure you have a strict policy in place with your childcare provider about daycare drop-off.
- Keep vehicles locked at all times, even in driveways or garages.
- Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
- If a child goes missing, immediately check the inside passenger compartments and trunks of all vehicles in the area very carefully, even if they are locked.
- If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 911 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.
- Use drive-thru services when available (restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc.) and pay for gas at the pump.
JANUARY 8, 2015, BY LISA HART
(KTVI) – Here comes the freezing temperatures… and the cold and flu symptoms? While it’s never been scientifically confirmed, Winter is typically known for being the season of sickness. According to SLUCARE Pediatrician Dr. Ken Haller, there seems to be good reason for that.
A recent study looked at how quickly viruses grow in different temperatures, particularly in the nose where body temperature tends to be lower since that’s where air comes in from outside.
Haller says the study showed that in lower temperatures, viruses tend to grow more so as people outside in the freezing temperatures, breathing in the cold air, their bodies are more susceptible, making it not just easier for viruses to grow there but also harder for your body fight off the virus.
Published: 5:19 PM CDT March 21, 2018
By LARA HAMDAN
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health reports 1,282 cases of influenza in the first week of January. The illness is also causing a low blood supply at local hospitals.
On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed why the flu is so prevalent in St. Louis. Joining him for the discussion was Ken Haller, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and professor at Saint Louis University.
Haller addressed how to navigate the flu including the symptoms, treatment and prevention, period of contagion and effectiveness of the flu vaccine.
Q: Why has it been a bad flu season?
A: Frankly, this is a particularly bad strain of flu. This strain is called H3N2 and it seems to be the bad one hitting us this year. Unfortunately, the vaccine that was created for the United States does not hit that one directly.
Q: Does that mean that this year’s vaccines are ineffective?
A: It’s not totally ineffective and we still recommend getting it. The thing is, even if you get the H3N2 strain, [the shot] will make your illness less severe. While the vaccines change from year to year because the strains change from year to year, the immunity you get each year does tend to have a shadow effect for a few years after that. Even though you’re getting vaccines against certain strains this year, that will still give you some protection if those strains show up again in the future.
Q: How to prevent catching the flu if it’s in the air?
A: Do things that will keep your body’s defenses up. Drinking lots of fluids, getting lots of sleep, using saline spray in the nose to keep things nice and moist, that’s the kind of stuff that will be really helpful.
Q: What about treatment?
A: In terms of just treatment, listen to what your body is telling you. Cytokines, chemical messengers [in the body,] will give you those feelings of feeling sick. One of those reasons that they do that is that they tell you to stop, just be quiet, don’t run around, don’t go shopping, don’t go to work, just stay home and drink lots of fluids and do the things your body is telling you to do. Once you have the flu, try to take care of yourself and get plenty of sleep. Chicken soup is good; people will often crave fruits that have a lot of fluid in them like citrus fruits, listen to what your body is telling you. It’s also not a good idea to lay down all the time; it’s still a good idea to get up and move around because what happens with the flu is your body is producing a lot more mucus. If you just lay in one position that mucus will settle in the lungs which can block up air passages and bacteria will not be able to work their way out and can fester up and cause pneumonia.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.
By ALEX HEUER
When should parents give children their first cellphone or smartphone? What factors should be considered? How do maturity, development and sleep considerations play into it all?
St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh talked about the issues with two doctors:
- Ken Haller, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
- Mini Tandon, Washington University child psychiatrist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Maturity matters, not a specific age: “The issue is not an age, it’s not a grade. It’s actually the maturity level and the responsibility level demonstrated by that child.” – Dr. Tandon
Start early and build trust: “It’s common practice in our practice to hear ‘everyone’s doing it, everyone has one, how come our family is different?’ But everybody’s family is different. Again, it depends on what the purpose of the cellphone is and the responsibility level of your child. I think contextually, it’s true, if you’re using it just for safety purposes, why not, there’s going to be some embarrassment but you could also use it as a way to build trust and say, ‘look, yes you have this very archaic flip phone and yes, it may be embarrassing but what were’ trying to do is build trust. Once you can show us the responsibly level of just this bare skeleton version, as you age and as we can trust that you’re using it appropriately, maybe we build in the extra products that are available.’” – Dr. Tandon
“We have to start much earlier in terms of parents looking at their interactions with their children and when they put them in front of screens, how much time they put them in front of screens versus how much time they sit down and read them a book, and point out things and talk to them and just interact in that way.” – Dr. Haller
Maintain control: “You have to think about how smart you want that phone to be: what it can do and what it will have access to. If you have that conversation with your children and you decide that they can handle a cellphone, it really is important for parents to have controls where they have full access to everything on the cellphone.” – Dr. Haller
Model appropriate behavior: “If you want to model good behavior, you’re going to not text when you drive as an adult, you’re going to have to set some standards. If you don’t want your kids at the table during dinner on their phones than you might have to actually show that you can do the same.” – Dr. Tandon
Parenting style: “What we really want is more of an authoritative parenting model where the parents say to the kids, ‘We’re in a partnership here but I am your parent and there are certain rules I’m going to make in your best interest. You can ask me about that and I’m going to explain it but still the rules will be my rules and you’re going to have to meet certain standards and certain benchmarks in order to move from the flip phone to a more advanced phone.’” – Dr. Haller
Limit screen time: “I am amazed sometimes when I get kids in my office and they’re in for a regular physical and one of the questions we ask is how much time do you spend in front of a screen for recreation – this isn’t homework – this is computers, video games, various things like this, tablets – and some kids will go, 7, 7 hours a day!”
“I don’t think that’s a good thing. While this is a lot of time to be doing this one thing, my bigger problem is that it is cutting into actual time spent with friends, time spent with family, time spent with physical recreation.”– Dr. Haller
Develop a Family Media Use Plan: Dr. Haller suggests a tool developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Among the suggestions are:
- Keep screens out of kids’ bedrooms.
- For children under 2, substitute unstructured play and human interaction for screen time.
- Take an active role in your children’s media education
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.
In the summer of 1981, a young pediatrics resident viewed an X-ray that shook him to his very core – one of the first glimmers of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, a disease that would kill many of his friends.
“Though I would be spared the virus, this day would be split between the before and after in my life and I would be one of the survivors to tell the story of my people in the time of plague,” said Ken Haller, M.D., a SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Haller was one of five storytellers chosen to share his deeply personal experience at Story Collider, a sciency version of the Moth Radio Hour that was presented by KWMU-FM 90.7 on May 2 and recently shared on St. Louis on the Air. He told the audience of 120 how it felt to be vulnerable as a gay man to a deadly disease that at the time didn’t yet have a name.
“This is a story I had to tell. A long time ago, I decided that my personal mission in life came down to healing. In telling a story about something I went through that required healing, I felt that I could pass on some truths about how we can find a way to take something that’s really awful and make it a moment of grace for ourselves and those whose lives touch ours,” said Haller, who is a professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University.
“That doesn’t necessarily make it easy, but it’s like exercise: Doing it may not be easy but having done it makes us healthier and even happier.”