Barton County

Last updated October 2014

Enhancing Student Education

  • 15 students from Barton County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
  • 8 Barton County physicians serve as volunteer KU Medical Center faculty, providing medical students with hands-on training in rural and underserved communities as part of the Rural Preceptorship Program.
  • Medical students spent six weeks working with primary care physicians and conducting a community-based research project in 26 counties, including Barton County, as part of KU Medical Center's Rural Primary Care Practice and Research Program, one of several programs designed to encourage students to consider practicing medicine in a rural Kansas community.
  • Nurses across Kansas can now advance their careers from home, thanks to an innovative agreement between the KU School of Nursing and 18 regional community colleges, including Barton County Community College. The agreement provides nurses who have an associate's degree in nursing from a participating college an easier transition to earning their bachelor of science in nursing through KU's online RN-to-BSN program.
  • Barton County is part of the Northcentral Medical Education Network with Scott Owings, MD, a resident of Salina, serving as the Medical Education Director. The medical education director helps coordinate the School of Medicine's efforts to mentor, train and place physicians throughout Kansas.

Strengthening the Health Care Workforce

  • 50 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Barton County.
  • 9 health care providers have been placed in Barton County since 2004 through the Kansas Recruitment and Retention Center, which provides placement assistance to rural health organizations and seeks to enhance the quality and quantity of health care professionals in rural Kansas.
  • 4 Barton County physicians received funding through the Kansas Bridging Plan, a loan-forgiveness program offered since 1991 to primary care medical residents who agree to practice in rural Kansas.
  • 11 shifts were covered by temporary physicians, which allowed Barton County physicians necessary time off in Fiscal Year 2014. These coverages were made via KU Medical Center's Kansas Locum Tenens and Kansas Medical Resource programs.
  • 2 Barton County health care employers exhibited with 2013 Kansas Career Opportunities, which is designed to introduce medical students, residents and other health care professionals to rural communities looking to hire.
  • 2 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences by Barton County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2014.
  • 179 professional education and administrative visits in Barton County occurred in FY14 via telemedicine, an interactive video technology that connects providers and patients when distance separates the two. The technology is operated by the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.

Researching to Improve Health

  • Barton County is part of The Kansas Sepsis Project. Led by KU Medical Center Professor Steven Simpson, MD, the project seeks to reduce the death rates of patients with severe sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. The program teaches health professionals in all specialties to recognize severe sepsis and to take rapid, organized steps to treat severe sepsis.
  • Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Clara Barton Hospital and Great Bend Regional Hospital are two of 35 Kansas hospitals participating in Kan Quit II, a study that provides smoking cessation counseling, treatment and case management services to inpatients. The study then evaluates the effectiveness of the smoking cessation services. The project is led by Edward Ellerbeck, MD, MPH and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.
  • Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer recurrence, and rural women are considered to be at a higher risk for obesity and to have less access to health care. Female patients from 60 counties, including Barton County, are taking part in a weight-loss maintenance intervention program for breast cancer survivors in rural Kansas. The program connects survivors for long-term weight management using phone-based peer group support. The study then evaluates the effectiveness of the program over time. This research is led by Christie Befort, PhD and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

Advancing Health Care Access

  • 261 Barton County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers via telemedicine, an interactive video technology that connects providers and patients when distance separates the two, in FY14. These services are provided through the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
  • Barton County residents made 14 visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in FY14.
  • St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center in Great Bend is a member of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, a network of hospitals, physicians groups, and cancer support and patient advocacy organizations bringing cancer research, care, and professional support together to advance the quality and reach of cancer care, prevention, early detection and survivorship in the Heartland.

Serving Communities

  • Barton County is served by KU Medical Center's Area Health Education Center (AHEC), which serves the state through student education initiatives, professional education for health care providers, health screenings, clinics and public presentations on health topics.
  • The University of Kansas Medical Center provides patient and family education on a variety of health and wellness topics to residents of Barton County. The project is in collaboration with Turing Point: The Center for Hope and Healing and funded in part by a federal grant from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth.

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For more information, contact outreach@kumc.edu
Last modified: Dec 19, 2014
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