Updated December 2014
- Ellis 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
- 21 students from Ellis County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
- 10 Ellis 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.
- 49 high school students in Ellis County participated in activities during the 2013-14 school year that encouraged them to consider careers in health care, math and science. These events were hosted by the KU Area Health Education Center.
- Hays High School in Ellis County is one of 17 schools statewide that used Mini Medical School during the 2013-14 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 Area Health Education Center and features physicians and experts from KU Medical Center and Kansas State University.
- Fort Hays 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 North Central Kansas 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.
- Ellis 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
- 100 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Ellis County.
- 12 health care providers have been placed in Ellis 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 Ellis 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 Ellis County health care employer 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.
- 111 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences by Decatur County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2014.
- 57 professional education and administrative visits in Ellis 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.
- Ellis County is part of The Kansas Sepsis Project. Led by KU Medical Center Professor Steven Simpson, MD, 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 Ellis 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
- Ellis County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 179 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.
- Ellis County residents made 39 visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in FY14.
- Hays Medical 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.
- The University of Kansas Medical Center provides patient and family education on a variety of health and wellness topics to residents of Ellis County. The project is in collaboration with Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing and funded in part by a federal grant from the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth.
- Students at Kansas colleges, including Fort Hays State University, can now access free mental health and substance abuse counseling via video conferencing - or telemedicine - with mental health professionals. The services are provided through the KU Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
- Hays Medical Center is a key partner in The University of Kansas Hospital's new Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative, a 13-partner, a $12.5 million federally-funded initiative awarded in 2014 that seeks to reduce heart disease and stroke deaths in western Kansas by 20 percent. Led by Executive Director Robert Moser, MD, the Collaborative will bring systematic change to treatment for heart disease and stroke in the region to help patients get the care they need closer to home as well as reduce health care costs. The grant also provides funding for health education campaigns aimed at prevention and rehabilitation.
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Apr 14, 2015