Barton County

Updated December 2015

  • Barton County is served by KU Medical Center's Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), which serve the state through student education initiatives, professional education for health care providers, health screenings, clinics and public presentations on health topics.

Enhancing Student Education

  • 14 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 27 counties, including Barton County, as part of KU Medical Center's summer 2015 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 North-Central Medical Education Network with Scott Owings, M.D., 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

  • 55 KU Medical Center alumni 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.
  • 15 shifts were covered by temporary physicians, which allowed Barton County physicians necessary time off in Fiscal Year 2015. These coverages were made via KU Medical Center's Kansas Locum Tenens and Kansas Medical Resource programs.
  • 1 Barton County health care employer exhibited with 2015 Kansas Career Opportunities, which is designed to introduce medical students, residents and other health care professionals to rural communities looking to hire.
  • 47 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education/professional development courses and conferences by Barton County health care professionals in FY15. Continuing education programming is offered by KU Medical Center's Continuing Education and Professional Development, KU AHECs and the Midwest Cancer Alliance.
  • 195 professional education and administrative visits in Barton County occurred in FY15 via telemedicine, an interactive video technology that eliminates distance as a barrier to health care, continuing education and interprofessional collaboration. The technology is operated by the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
  • Barton County is part of The Kansas Sepsis Project. Led by KU Medical Center Professor Steven Simpson, M.D., this 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.

Researching to Improve 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, Ph.D., and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Heartland Cancer Center in Great Bend was one of 14 Kansas locations in FY15 that offered clinical trials for patients with cancer in their local communities through the support 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.

Advancing Health Care Access

  • Barton County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 341 times via telemedicine in FY15. An interactive video technology that connects providers and patients when distance separates the two, telemedicine services are provided through the KU Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
  • Heartland Cancer 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.
    • 51 Kansans sought second opinions at MCA member sites, including Barton County, in FY15.
    • MCA's Behavioral Health Therapist helps members support the psychological well-being of cancer patients from the first day of diagnosis through survivorship. In FY15, 584 Kansans used these services at Barton County and other MCA sites.
    • 89 Barton County residents took part in MCA outreach cancer prevention screenings in FY15.

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Last modified: Feb 22, 2016