Updated December 2014
- Finney 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
- 15 students from Finney County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
- 7 Finney 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 Finney 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.
- 14 high school students in Finney 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.
- Garden City High School is one 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.
- 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 Garden City Community 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.
- Finney County is part of the Southwest Medical Education Network with Thomas Koksal, MD, a resident of Garden City, 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
- 53 KU Medical Center graduates live and/or practice in Finney County.
- 1 health care provider has been placed in Finney 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.
- 3 Finney 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 Finney 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.
- 160 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education courses and conferences by Finney County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2014.
- 149 professional education and administrative visits in Finney 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.
- Finney 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
- Hospitalization has been identified as a teachable moment in which patients may be more likely to quit smoking. St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City is one 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.
- 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 Finney 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.
- Latino populations suffer from significant cancer disparities. Rural Latino communities, in geographically large states, such as Kansas, experience even greater access to cancer screening and treatment disadvantage due to dispersion of specialists and facilities. The Kansas Community Cancer Disparities Network (KCCDN) concentrates on reaching rural Latinos in Finney County with innovative programs to improve knowledge, access and utilization of beneficial biomedical and behavioral cancer procedures. Using community based participatory research methods and linking our primary care research network (the Kansas Physicians Engaged in Prevention Research, KPEPR) to the Midwest Cancer Alliance network, the KCCDN seeks to improve outreach, research and training on cancer disparities. This research is led by Allen Greiner, MD, MPH, and is sponsored by the National Institute of Health.
Advancing Health Care Access
- Finney County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 88 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.
- Finney County residents made 85 visits to KU Medical Center health care providers in outreach clinics held outside of Kansas City in FY14.
- 1,034 Kansans received free medical attention and education in FY14 through preventive screenings and health education events hosted in Finney County with support from KU Medical Center programs.
- St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City 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.
- Latina women in southwest Kansas train with KU Medical Center faculty and staff to become Promotoras, or community health workers. Promotoras encourage cancer prevention and healthy lifestyles among their families, friends and neighbors. In 2014, 62 Promotoras received training in Finney County.
- KU Medical Center providers and case managers travel to outreach sites in Garden City every six to eight weeks to serve the needs of HIV-positive individuals living in rural Kansas.
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Apr 17, 2015