Crawford County

Updated December 2014

  • Both the east and the state office for KU Medical Center's Area Health Education Center (AHEC) are located in Pittsburg. The AHEC 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

  • 28 students from Crawford County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
  • 13 Crawford 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.
  • 91 high school students in Crawford County participated in activities during the 2013-2014 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.
  • Pittsburg High School and St. Mary's-Colgan High School in Crawford County are two of 17 schools statewide that used Mini Medical School during the 2013-2014 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.
  • Pittsburg 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.
  • Crawford County is part of the Eastern Medical Education Network with Robert Haskins, MD, a resident of Pittsburg, 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

  • 105 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Crawford County.
  • 5 health care providers have been placed in Crawford 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.
  • 7 Crawford 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 Crawford 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.
  • 15 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences by Crawford County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2014.
  • 39 professional education and administrative visits in Crawford County occurred in Fiscal Year 2014 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

  • Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. Girard Medical Center in Arma and Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg are two of 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.
  • Crawford County is one of nine Kansas counties participating in a research study investigating the prevalence of developmental disabilities in rural children with epilepsy. The study is led by Suzanne Hawley, PhD, MPH.
  • 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 Crawford 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

  • Crawford County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 55 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.
  • Via Christi Health in Pittsburg 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 Crawford 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.
  • KU Medical Center providers and case managers travel to outreach sites in Pittsburg every six to eight weeks to serve the needs of HIV-positive individuals living in rural Kansas.

Community Connections


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Last modified: Feb 09, 2015
Pittsburg safety-net clinic exemplifies keys for success

Inside the dental clinic at the Community Health Center of South East Kansas

The Community Health Center of South East Kansas (CHCSEK) may be a model for how safety-net clinics can survive and thrive while ensuring high-quality and affordable health care, according to research published by University of Kansas School of Nursing doctoral student and clinical instructor Jill Peltzer, Ph.D., RN. Read more.

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