Rice County

Updated December 2015

  • Rice 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

  • 8 students from Rice County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
  • 2 Rice 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.
  • Rice County is part of the South-Central Medical Education Network with Greg Thomas, M.D., and Marla Ullom-Minnich, M.D., residents of McPherson and Moundridge, respectively, serving as the medical education directors. The directors help coordinate the School of Medicine's efforts to mentor, train and place physicians throughout Kansas.

Strengthening the Health Care Workforce

  • 15 KU Medical Center alumni live and/or practice in Rice County.
  • 2 health care providers have been placed in Rice 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.
  • 1 Rice 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 Rice County health care employer exhibited with 2015 Kansas Career Opportunities, which is designed to introduce medical students, residents and other health care professionals to rural communities looking to hire.

Researching to Improve Health

  • KU Medical Center researchers are working with long-term care facility residents in Sterling to encourage better communication about care plans and improve the resident's quality of life. The project uses quarterly televideo meetings to discuss care plans with the resident, their family and staff members.
  • 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 Rice 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.

Advancing Health Care Access

  • Rice County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 28 times via telemedicine in Fiscal Year 2015. 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.
  • A handful of Rice County residents took part in Midwest Cancer Alliance cancer prevention outreach screenings in FY15.

Community Connections


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For more information, contact outreach@kumc.edu

Last modified: Jan 29, 2016
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