Finney County

Updated December 2015

  • Finney 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

  • 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 27 counties, including Finney County, as part of KU Medical Center's summer 2015 Rural Primary Care Practice and Research Program, one of several programs designed to encourage students to consider practicing medicine in a rural Kansas community.
  • 9 high school students in Finney County participated in activities during the 2014-15 school year that encouraged them to consider careers in health care, math and science. These events were hosted by the KU AHECs.
  • Garden City High School is one of 19 schools statewide that used Mini Medical School during the 2014-15 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 AHECs 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, M.D., 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

  • 57 KU Medical Center alumni 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 2015 Kansas Career Opportunities, which is designed to introduce medical students, residents and other health care professionals to rural communities looking to hire.
  • 58 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education/professional development courses and conferences by Finney County health care professionals in Fiscal Year 2015. Continuing education programming is offered by KU Medical Center's Continuing Education and Professional Development and KU AHECs.
  • 78 professional education and administrative visits in Finney County occurred in FY15 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, M.D., 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

  • 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, Ph.D., and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Garden City-based United Methodist Mexican American Ministries health clinics are taking part in Pioneer Baby, a quality improvement initiative is designed to improve pregnancy and birth outcomes among reproductive-aged women in one of the state's most underserved areas. Directed by Benjamin Anderson, CEO of Kearny County Hospital, and Lisette Jacobson, Ph.D., assistant professor of preventive medicine and public health at the KU School of Medicine–Wichita, the four-phased project is a collaborative partnership that also includes Scott County Hospital. The first phase, an assessment of needs, is complete. The second phase – to bring specialized care for mothers-to-be and new mothers to the region – began in late August 2015.
  • 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, M.D., MPH, and is sponsored by the National Institute of Health.
  • St. Catherine Hospital in is one of 14 Kansas locations that offers clinical trials for patients with cancer in their local communities, through the support 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.

Advancing Health Care Access

  • Finney County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 185 times via telemedicine in FY15. An interactive video technology that connects providers and patients when distance separates the two, telemedicine services are provided through the KU Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
  • 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.
    • 51 Kansans sought second opinions at MCA member sites, including Finney County, in FY15.
    • MCA's Behavioral Health Therapist helps members support the psychological well-being of cancer patients from the first day of diagnosis through survivorship. In FY15, 584 Kansans used these services in Finney County and at other MCA sites.
    • 21 Finney County residents took part in MCA outreach cancer prevention screenings in FY15.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Community Connections

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Last modified: Feb 12, 2016
Night @ The Lab

 Night @ the Lab students
In April 2013, more than 100 students from the Garden City High School Health Sciences Academy showed their skills at evidence-based research and shed light on important community health issues. The students piloted a new KU Area Health Education Center program, Night @ The Lab. 
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