Decatur County

Updated December 2015

  • Decatur 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

  • 1 student from Decatur County is studying at KU Medical Center.
  • 1 Decatur County physician serves as volunteer KU Medical Center faculty member, providing medical students with hands-on training in rural and underserved communities as part of the Rural Preceptorship Program.
  • Decatur County is part of the Northwest Medical Education Network with Michael Machen, M.D., 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 alumni live and/or practice in Decatur County.
  • 2 health care providers have been placed in Decatur 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.
  • 30 professional education and administrative visits in Decatur County occurred in Fiscal Year 2015 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

  • 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 Decatur 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.
  • Decatur Health Systems offers clinical trials for patients with cancer in their local community through the support of the Midwest Cancer Alliance.

Advancing Health Care Access

  • Decatur County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 25 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.
  • 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.
    • MCA's Behavioral Health Therapist helps members support the psychological well-being of cancer patients from the first day of diagnosis through survivorship. In FY 15, 584 Kansans used these services at MCA sites, including Decatur Health Systems.

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For more information, contact outreach@kumc.edu
Last modified: Feb 12, 2016
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