Updated December 2015
- Saline 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
- Salina is home to one of three University of Kansas School of Medicine campuses, and the smallest four-year medical school campus in the nation. The School of Medicine—Salina enrolls just eight students a year, and is aimed at students with a strong desire to practice in rural areas.
- 32 students from Saline County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
- 10 Saline 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.
- Salina Central High School is one of 17 schools statewide that used Mini Medical School in the 2014-15 school year, a resource kit for upper level high school teachers in the biological sciences. The kit is designed to supplement and enhance their curriculum while simultaneously introducing students to various aspects of the health field through fun and exciting projects. Mini Medical School was created by the KU AHECs and features physicians and experts from KU Medical Center and Kansas State University.
- Saline 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
- 233 KU Medical Center alumni live and/or practice in Saline County.
- 8 health care providers have been placed in Saline 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.
- 13 Saline 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.
- 1 Saline 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.
- 1,280 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education/professional development courses and conferences by Saline County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2015. Continuing education programming is offered by KU Medical Center's Continuing Education and Professional Development and KU AHECs.
- 99 professional education and administrative visits in Saline 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.
- Saline 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
- Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Salina Regional Health Center is one 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, M.D., 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 Saline 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.
Advancing Health Care Access
- Saline County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 222 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.
- Salina Regional Health Center 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.
- KU Medical Center providers and case managers travel to outreach sites in Salina, Garden City and Pittsburg every six to eight weeks to serve the needs of HIV-positive individuals living in rural Kansas.
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Jan 22, 2016