Updated February 2013
Thomas 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
- 1 student from Thomas County is currently studying at KU Medical Center.
- 1 health professions student received hands-on training in Thomas County in 2012 through placement programs in rural and underserved communities, including Rural Preceptorship Program for KU medical students and fieldwork experiences for other professions.
- Thomas 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
- 17 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Thomas County.
- 4 health care providers have been placed in Thomas 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.
- 8 Thomas 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.
- 8 shifts were covered by temporary physicians, which allowed Thomas County physicians necessary time off in 2012. These coverages were made via KU Medical Center's Kansas Locum Tenens and Kansas Medical Resource programs.
- 1 Thomas 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.
- 72 health care professionals from Thomas County participated in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences in 2012.
Researching to Improve Health
- Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Citizens Medical Center in Colby 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.
Advancing Health Care Access
- 8 Thomas County residents made visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in 2012.
- 63 Thomas 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.
May 23, 2013