Updated December 2014
- Norton 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
- 3 students from Norton County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
- 2 Norton 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.
- Medical students spent six weeks working with primary care physicians and conducting a community-based research project in 26 counties, including Norton County, as part of KU Medical Center's summer Rural Primary Care Practice and Research Program, one of several programs designed to encourage students to consider practicing medicine in a rural Kansas community.
- Norton 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
- 7 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Norton County.
- 1 Norton 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.
Researching to Improve Health
- Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Norton County Hospital 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, 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 Norton 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.
Norton County is part of The Kansas Sepsis Project. Led by KU Medical Center Professor Steven Simpson, MD, this research 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.
Advancing Health Care Access
- Norton County residents made 2 visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in Fiscal Year 2014.
- Norton County Hospital is one of 13 partners in The University of Kansas Hospital's Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative, 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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Jan 02, 2015