Decatur County

Updated January 2013

Decatur County is served by the Northwest office of KU Medical Center's Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in Hays, 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

  • 2 students from Decatur County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
  • Decatur County is part of the Northwest Medical Education Network with Michael Machen, MD, a resident of Quinter, 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

  • 3 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Decatur County.
  • 2 health care providers have been placed in Decatur County since 2003 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.
  • 1 Decatur County physician 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 shift was covered by a temporary physician, which allowed a Decatur County physician necessary time off in 2012. These coverages were made via KU Medical Center's Kansas Locum Tenens and Kansas Medical Resource programs.
  • 1 Decatur County health care employer exhibited with 2012 Kansas Career Opportunities, which is designed to introduce medical students, residents and other health care professionals to rural communities looking to hire.
  • 66 health care professionals from Decatur County participated in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences in 2012.
  • 120 professional education and administrative visits in Decatur County occurred in 2012 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

  • Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Decatur Health Systems, Inc. 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.

Advancing Health Care Access

  • 2 Decatur County residents made visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in 2012.
  • 11 Decatur 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 2012. These services are provided through the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
  • Decatur Health Systems 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.
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Last modified: May 23, 2013
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