Riley County

Updated December 2014

  • Riley 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.

Enhancing Student Education

  • 84 students from Riley County are studying at KU Medical Center.
  • 18 Riley 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.
  • 1 high school student in Riley County participated in activities during the 2013-14 school year that encouraged students to consider careers in health care, math and science. These events were hosted by the KU Area Health Education Center.
  • Kansas State University is one of 10 campuses involved with Kansas Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE), a multidisciplinary program to enhance Kansas' research capacity through faculty development, retention and infrastructure, as well as inspire undergraduate researchers to pursue careers in biomedical research. KU Medical Center serves as the lead institution, and Douglas Wright, PhD, serves as the program director.
  • 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 Manhattan Area Technical 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.
  • Riley County is part of the Eastern Medical Education Network with Robert Haskins, MD, a resident of Pittsburg, 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

  • 185 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Riley County.
  • 2 health care providers have been placed in Riley 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.
  • 9 Riley 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.
  • 3 Riley County health care employers exhibited with 2014 Kansas Career Opportunities, which is designed to introduce medical students, residents and other health care professionals to rural communities looking to hire.
  • 24 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences by Pottawatomie County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2014.
  • 9 professional education and administrative visits in Riley County occurred in FY14 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.

Researching to Improve Health

  • Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan is one 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 Riley 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

  • Riley County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 51 times via telemedicine in FY14. An interactive video technology that connects providers and patients when distance separates the two, telemedicine services are provided through the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
  • Riley County residents made 4 visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in FY14.
  • Kansas State University's Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research 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.

Community Connections

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Last modified: Jun 25, 2015