Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates
Greatly Improving the Lives of People Affected by Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious and often underestimated health care threat. At Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates we are dedicated to helping people deal with the challenges of diabetes and protecting them from harm.
Photos by Matthew Anderson
Even though the statistics indicate that diabetes is a leading cause of premature death and disability, there is a highly-acclaimed medical team in Kansas City that has diligently rolled up its sleeves and taken to the task of providing the best in patient care, safety and outcomes, not only in the treatment of but also the prevention of complications of this debilitating disease.
The expert medical team at Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates has been providing patient-centered comprehensive diabetes care and endocrine services for over thirty-five years. In addition to the practice’s highly-acclaimed consultative services, often working closely with primary care providers, patients with diabetes and other endocrine disorders can also receive long-term continuing care. Leading this first class team of medical experts are: Richard Hellman, MD, FACP, FACE; Howard Rosen, MD, FACE, ECNU; and Avin Pothuloori, MD. The combined experience of these three endocrinologists is what continually draws patients to their door in search of improved health and improved quality of life.
Richard Hellman, MD, FACP, FACE
Upon encountering Dr. Richard Hellman, you sense a dedicated, genuine, thorough, skilled, and above all, compassionate physician. Throughout his career, Dr. Hellman has contributed to the improvement of medical care on local, national and international levels. His key to success is the understanding that the care of the patient is the top priority. His team is known for its patient-centered integrative approach, which is critical for those with diabetes. Not only do they offer expert medical care with the latest in technologies, products and services, they also align their practice with education to help each patient maintain a healthy lifestyle. They are respected experts in attending to patients who are extremely ill – as these clinicians have significant experience with complex disorders – and they are also focused on the prevention of complications, which is truly what sets this group apart from the rest. Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates has received countless accolades across the country for their work in not only improving diabetes outcomes but also improving patient safety. The practice’s unparalleled Diabetes Education Program has been spotlighted by the American Diabetes Association since 1996 and has been approved by Medicare for reimbursement.
A full-service endocrinology practice, Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates offers complete care of endocrine and metabolic disorders, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, bone disease, endocrine disorders during pregnancy, polycystic ovary disease, disorders of androgen production, obesity, and other endocrine issues. Their skill and expertise in each of these matters is virtually unmatched, but it is their work in the realm of diabetic care and treatment that has led them to the top of the class.
Both Dr. Hellman and Dr. Rosen have been recognized as outstanding leaders by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Diabetes Recognition Program, which recognizes clinicians who have met certain standards demonstrating delivery of high-quality care to patients with diabetes. The practice has programs in place to not only prevent diabetes, but also to identify those at high-risk. In 2015 Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates was the recipient of the Kansas City Medical Society’s Innovation Award, given for the innovative way they have provided medical care for diabetes and endocrine disorders.
Dr. Hellman has been an integral part of diabetic care and prevention for decades. In 1981, he established the first comprehensive diabetes program for adults in Kansas City, and over the next decade was the Medical Director of two diabetes programs in Kansas City. When he initially started private practice, he had offices in Overland Park, Kansas City, and in midtown. In 1993, he moved to his current location in North Kansas City. Because of the first-class reputation of the practice, patients come from all points around the region, including not only from all over Missouri and Kansas, but also Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois.
Dr. Hellman pursued his undergraduate education at New York University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He went on to achieve his Doctor of Medicine from the Chicago Medical School at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He completed his internship at the University of Kansas, followed by a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism by the American Board of Internal Medicine. His post-graduate training was interrupted by almost two and a half years of active duty in the United States Air Force. He was on the full-time faculty at the UMKC School of Medicine for almost nine years until 1981, when he left to design and direct the first comprehensive adult diabetes program in Kansas City. He has maintained his private practice since that time. Dr. Hellman is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a Fellow of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. In 2017, Dr. Hellman was honored with the Kansas City Medical Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, its highest award. Dr. Hellman has also been honored by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, with their Outstanding Endocrinologist Award, and by the Chicago Medical School, who bestowed upon him their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. From 2015-2017 he received the Distinguished Reviewer Award from the editors of Diabetes Care, published by the American Diabetes Association, and considered by many to be the leading clinical diabetes journal in the world. Dr. Hellman was named a Kansas City Top Doctor in 2000, a Best Doctor in America in 2010, and a Top Doctor by 435 Magazine in 2016. In 2017, Dr. Hellman was also recognized by Marquis Who’s Who in America for Excellence in Endocrinology, for his expertise in treating endocrine system disorders over the span of 40+ years.
Howard Rosen, MD, FACE, ECNU
Dr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, subsequently completing his residency training at the University of Maryland Hospital and his fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Michigan Hospital before joining this practice in 1989. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism, and is also a Fellow of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Dr. Rosen was the first in the region to achieve Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) from the American College of Endocrinology, recognizing his expertise in diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration. Dr. Rosen was named a Kansas City Top Doctor by Ingram’s Magazine in 2015, and in 2017 was named a Top Doctor by 435 Magazine.
Avin Pothuloori, MD
Dr. Pothuloori is board-certified in Internal Medicine and board-eligible in Endocrinology and Metabolism. He received his undergraduate degree from Creighton University, and subsequently obtained his medical degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Sanford School of Medicine, and completed a very prestigious fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University. He is a member of the America Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the Endocrine Society and the American College of Physicians.
Both a clinician and educator at heart, Dr. Hellman believes in the power of knowledge to help his patients understand diabetes and how to effectively treat and manage it. The most common form of diabetes (also known as diabetes mellitus) is Type 2, a chronic condition affecting the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes affecting pregnant women. Many people may have “prediabetes” without being aware of it, and early diagnosis and treatment of this condition can significantly delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
“We treat patients with all types of diabetes with the latest technologies and newest medications to provide the care they need,” said Dr. Hellman. “We are a complete practice for diabetes care, coupled with the programs to prevent it. We can identify those at high risk and advise as to certain lifestyle changes and medications to reduce the risk of developing the disease.”
Statistically, diabetes is on the rise. According to Dr. Hellman’s review of recent figures, there are 23 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. Dr. Hellman suggested, however, that in reality there are likely in excess of 30 million people with diabetes, or one out of every 11 adults, as at least seven million of them are unaware of the diagnosis.
“It is a common problem,” he stated. “Over 90 million people have prediabetes and are on their way to developing diabetes, but don’t know it.”
Dr. Hellman and his team are determined to continually bring those numbers down.
Dr. Hellman presenting information in the classroom seminar
“Our focus is on the prevention of and care of diabetes,” expressed Dr. Hellman. “To my knowledge, we are the only practice in the Kansas City area which has had scientific literature published which has shown we can provide care and lower the death rates for patients with diabetes.”
Twenty years ago Dr. Hellman and Dr. Rosen had an article published in the leading diabetes scientific journal which received worldwide attention. Their study consisted of nearly 900 patients with diabetes who were under their care, many of whom were followed for up to 15 years. The strategy of a comprehensive diabetes program utilized by this team led to improved overall outcomes for patients. The active patients studied, when compared to other diabetic patients with lower initial risks who did not participate in the comprehensive program, had statistically significant lower death rates and kidney failure rates. This was the first time such favorable outcomes had been shown in a scientifically based outcomes study.
“I am unaware of any other practice in the U.S. that has done a particular study like that,” emphasized Dr. Hellman, “but we welcome others to continue similar efforts.”
However, this team has not rested on its laurels and continues to focus its efforts on providing the highest quality care. Dr. Hellman explained that while environment and lifestyle can contribute to Type 2 diabetes, there is also a genetic predisposition at work.
“A patient may have a family history of the disease or present with other high risk factors, such as being overweight, inactive, or having an ethnic predisposition for the development of diabetes,” he said. “Women who have had gestational diabetes also have a higher risk of developing diabetes going forward. If you weighed less than five pounds at birth, you also have a higher risk of developing diabetes in the future. Many factors play a role.”
Jim Florez, RN, CDE
The good news, however, can be found at Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates, as not only can these medical experts often delay the onset of the disease, but also in some patients they can delay it for a long time. A first step is often to undergo testing for diabetes or insulin resistance, long before any symptoms develop. Dr. Hellman urged that many people should be assessed at a young age, as some are at risk even as young children. For example, an obese nine-year-old with parental history of the diabetes should be tested.
“It is widely recommended that we should all be checked for diabetes by age 45, but those with risk factors should be checked many years earlier,” Dr. Hellman indicated. “We see a very large number of people who have prediabetes, due in large part to the obesity epidemic coupled with inactivity. Nearly half the population of people 65 years of age and older are prediabetic.”
While many physicians lean towards the hemoglobin A1c test as method of diagnosing diabetes, Dr. Hellman disagrees. He points out that it is less reliable and much more insensitive. “Fifty percent of those with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes will have a normal hemoglobin A1c”, he noted. In addition, he pointed out that the hemoglobin A1c level can be affected by other conditions not related to diabetes, that can raise or lower the level. “The greatest value of the A1c is not to diagnose the disease, but to compare the control of the blood glucose levels during the course of the disease.”
Two tests that are commonly used for the diagnosis of diabetes including the fasting blood glucose test and a glucose tolerance test. The glucose tolerance test, which is more sensitive, is the gold standard.
“In our practice we have the tools and technology to scientifically calculate the degree of insulin resistance of the patient, and their relative risk of developing diabetes and other conditions related to insulin resistance in the future,” he said.
Dr. Hellman applauds the commitment to excellence demonstrated daily by his team, which includes two other endocrinologists, a senior dietitian who focuses on group and individual education; five certified diabetes educators (several of whom are also nurse educators); a clinical psychologist; three physician assistants and two nurse practitioners.
“We have an excellent clinical team,” said Dr. Hellman. “We meet twice a week to conduct educational programs for ourselves. In these meetings we teach our clinical team the most up to date, scientifically based practices and teach using a patient-centered format. We interface with the UMKC School of Medicine to train young endocrinologists. We give the highest standard of care to our patients, and we have proven they can do well.”
Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates is a comprehensive endocrinology practice, and the people who work there employ a high level of skill and expertise, along with an unwavering dedication to their craft.
Melissa White, MS, RD, LD, CDE
“We’re known for taking care of sick people,” emphasized Dr. Hellman. “However, we can help people even more if we see them earlier. Although we can help patients with diabetes when all else has failed, we can do even more if we see patients earlier. In my opinion, ideally we would like to see the patient within six years of diagnosis, when we can do the most, but certainly within the first 16 years, to help avoid the most serious complications. Many complications, which can be such a burden, can be avoided with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”
“However, though we’d rather see you earlier than later,” Dr. Hellman continued, “we are well known for being able to help patients navigate a very difficult and complicated situation at any point in their care. Even patients with the most severe complications of diabetes, including heart failure, dialysis, and other serious complications, are patients we can help.”
Dr. Hellman has patients he has seen for more than 35 years. Dr. Hellman states that many of his patients have told him that they feel the care they have received has extended their life, and they are grateful for the additional years of improved health. Many patients did not really believe they would live this long, and thanks to Hellman & Rosen Endocrine Associates, they are still able to express their gratitude.
“I feel good about my relationship with this community,” smiled Dr. Hellman.
2790 Clay Edwards Drive, Suite 1250, North Kansas City, MO
816.421.3700 | nkcendo.com