On Call as Doctor, Director, Mom

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

October 31, 2013

Dr. Kiran Taylor is in her 10th year as a practicing psychiatrist and specializes in providing therapy to cancer patients and family members who care for them.

Taylor is the medical director of the Supportive Care Medicine Clinic at Spectrum Hospital’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids. She's also the Chief of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine for the entire Spectrum Health System, which includes 11 hospitals and nearly 200 ambulatory and service sites all over the western Lower Peninsula.

And Thursday, she made sure to schedule a trip to her children’s school for the Halloween parade and costume parties.

Balancing is a daily requirement for Taylor (formerly Khanuja), an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award winner as an East Lansing senior in 1994. But the skills she learned as a tennis standout for the Trojans and at the University of Michigan are those she relies on still as a doctor, director and Mom. 

“My high school athletic experience impacts all areas of my life,” Taylor said. “I think about the journey of those experiences and how those changed me.

“The discipline and time management skills you have to have as a scholar-athlete, to pay attention to school and pay attention to your sport, those are certainly skills I carry with me today.”

Taylor was one of 20 scholar-athletes recognized that winter by the MHSAA and Farm Bureau Insurance, which continues to sponsor the award program that has grown to 32 recipients. In advance of this March’s 25th celebration, Second Half is catching up with some of the hundreds who have been recognized.  

Taylor advanced as far as the Lower Peninsula Class A No. 1 singles championship match during her high school tennis career, finishing runner-up at the top flight her junior season. She already had an interest at that point in health and an understanding of what went into playing at a high level, and was most interested in sports medicine and orthopedics when she began medical school, also at U-M.

But as she got a little deeper into her studies, Taylor discovered a path that seemed more in line with her personality.

‘Natural fit’

A video bio of Taylor on the Spectrum Health website includes her explaining that she chose psychiatry because it’s an area that allows her to empower patients to help themselves. In her line of work, she not only heals but aspires to help those in her care reach their potential.

“When they’re helping themselves, they’re helping others, they’re helping their communities,” Taylor said, “and the impact is endless.”

While at U-M, Taylor found a mentor in Dr. Michelle Riba, the director of the PsychOncology program at U-M’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her work, like Taylor’s at Spectrum, centers on treating patients in their dealing with the emotional issues that come with cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Taylor’s role as chief of psychiatry and behavioral medicine for the entire Spectrum system allows her to affect a patient’s entire care by making more accessible treatment for emotional and well as physical needs.

There are days she comes home after working with a patient facing especially somber circumstances, and through her medical training has learned how to keep those sad situations from affecting her personally.

But there also are days when she’s had to deal with a difficult managerial situation, and during those times she taps into the skills she learned while on the court.

"You manage adversity on a tennis court. It could be a tight match, or you're up 5-0 or down 5-0," Taylor said. "It's a microcosm of the world.

"If I have a challenging colleague or someone with a different opinion in a meeting, I tap into knowing how to deal with adversity." 

Pass it on

Taylor, 37, remains tied to a few from her Scholar-Athlete Awards class. She has known Okemos winner Andy Dhaliwal since childhood and he is now a doctor too, having also graduated from U-M. Jackson winner Harland Holman is a family physician in Grand Rapids and also part of the Spectrum Health system, and knew Taylor's husband through wrestling.

Karin is married to Dr. Joe Taylor, quite a former scholar-athlete himself – he was a standout wrestler at Charlotte before graduating in 1995 and going on to study at U-M.

Thanks at least in part to their parents’ inclination toward sports, the Taylor kids are beginning to try some out. The oldest is 9, the same age as when Kiran first picked up a tennis racket.

For this, Taylor also is prepared thanks to her high school and college careers. Considered together, they give her a long perspective when it comes to kids and sports. 

“(It’s about) letting them figure out what they’re interested in, letting them explore. They want to pay attention to things or don’t; watching them unfold was fun,” Taylor said. “It’s about understanding the road, and that’s what high school athletics did, and going on into college athletics. They helped me understand it’s a long road. You don’t have to start your kid at 4 and have the best at 7.”

And it's a road she advises this year's Scholar-Athletes to appreciate now as they pick up knowledge they'll use for a lifetime. 

“The lessons they’re learning now, and how they conduct themselves – being a scholar-athlete, I think, is about the way you conduct yourself – those are the skills they will take with them no matter what they do at any point in life,” Taylor said. “That’s what being a scholar-athlete has done for me.”

Click to read the series' first installment: 

25 Years Later, Scholar Athletes Shine On

PHOTO: (Top) Kiran Khanuja returns a volley during a tennis match while at East Lansing High School. (Bottom) The MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award class of 1993-94 included Khanuja, seated fourth from left. 

Parking, Entrance Protocols Announced For 2023 11-Player Football Finals at Ford Field

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

November 19, 2023

To provide for the convenience and safety of spectators attending the Michigan High School Athletic Association 11-Player Football Finals on Nov. 25 and 26 at Ford Field in Detroit, attendees are being advised of a variety of items related to transportation and security – including policies regarding parking, seating and types of bags allowed into the stadium.

Parking will be available in Ford Field facilities and lots to the east and north of the stadium and costs $8. A map identifying the designated Ford Field lots (4, 5 and 6) and parking deck can be found on the Football page under “Tracking the Tournament.” (There also are a number of privately-operated parking facilities close to Ford Field, but their pricing may differ.)

Fans also are advised that the consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Ford Field parking facilities and lots, and smoking – including use of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers – is prohibited inside the stadium. Tailgating, including the setting up and use of grilling equipment, also is not allowed.

Tickets are priced at $20 and allow a fan to see all four games in a single day. Tickets are available for purchase at the door (cash or credit accepted), from participating schools, or online from Ford Field via Ticketmaster – links to order tickets both days also are on the MHSAA Website football page. Spectators leaving the stadium will be required to purchase another ticket for re-entry. Infants able to be held in arms will be admitted without charge for this event. There will not be a public Will Call window.

Spectators may enter Ford Field at Gates A & B. Upon arrival in the building, fans will find their designated seating areas on the South side of the field if their team is the designated home team for their contest and on the North side for the designated visiting team. Home teams this weekend are Belleville, Warren De La Salle Collegiate, Mason, Harper Woods, Corunna, Almont, Jackson Lumen Christi and Ottawa Lake Whiteford. Brightly-lit video boards above the seating areas will display the names of the participating teams each day, and fans should sit on the side of the stadium where they see their school’s name. For general fans, the entire lower bowl of Ford Field will be open for the event.

Security measures also will be in place to help assure spectator safety. Fans will be subject to metal detector screening, and Ford Field personnel reserve the right to request patrons open their coats, bags and other item-carrying vessels for visual inspection and deny entrance to individuals who do not cooperate. Spectators should remove cell phones, cameras, keys and other large metal objects before passing through the metal detectors.

Items which fans will be prohibited from bringing into the building include, but are not limited to, the following: 

*  Purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, book bags, diaper bags, fanny packs, cinch bags, grocery & paper bags; duffle bags, computer bags or luggage of any kind.
*  Aerosol cans (hairspray, mace, pepper spray, etc.) 

*  Animals (except service animals to aid guests with disabilities)
*  Balloons (air or helium)
*  Balls (beach balls, footballs, etc.)
*  Banners or large flags

*  Cameras with lenses longer than five inches or any detachable lens. Selfie Sticks also are prohibited.
*  Chairs including folding chairs or stools
*  Decals, stickers, confetti or glitter
*  Drones and/or remote-controlled aircraft

*  Electronic equipment including laptop computers, video recorders (hand-held video cameras are allowed), tripods and wearable video cameras including Go Pros.
*  Fireworks 
*  Flashlights

*  Food, beverages – including water – or liquids (cans, bottles, boxes, flasks, etc.) 
*  Illegal substances 
*  Knives, pocketknives, box cutters, scissors, etc. 
*  Laser pointers 
*  Marijuana including medically prescribed electronic accessories or paraphernalia associated with marijuana or illegal narcotics use.
*  Markers (permanent) and/or paint 
*  Noisemaking devices (bells, horns, kazoos, whistles, etc.) 
*  Objects that can be used as missiles or projectiles (sticks, poles, bats, clubs, Frisbees, etc.) 
*  Strollers and infant car seats or carriers 
*  Umbrellas (large size)
*  Weapons 
*  Wrapped gifts

The following items may be permitted after inspection

*  Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, or a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc or similar). An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the Gate.
* Infant items in a clear bag (bottles and formula) only if accompanied by a child
* Binoculars and binoculars cases not exceeding 4½ inches by 6½ inches may be brought in via one of the clear plastic bag options. 
*  Cameras (lenses may not measure longer than five inches or be detachable, and no tripods or extension cords)
*  Small radios (no larger than the size of a football and used with an earpiece)
*  Small, compact umbrellas (must be placed securely under seat)
*  Posters and signs without poles or sticks, or larger than what one person can hold. 
*  Tablets (iPads, Kindles, etc.)
*  Seat cushions not exceeding 15 inches by 15 inches. Seat cushions also must not contain arm rests, zippers, pockets, flaps or metal backs.

The complete list of prohibited items can be found on the Detroit Lions website. Prohibited items that are discovered during security inspections at stadium entrances must be returned to the owner's vehicle or discarded. Items will not be held for later pickup. 

Fans are reminded that all image taking (still and video) may be only for personal, non-commercial use.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.