Ford County

Updated December 2015

  • Ford 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

  • 14 students from Ford County are currently studying at KU Medical Center.
  • 6 Ford 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 Ford 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.
  • Dodge 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 Dodge 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.
  • Ford 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

  • 38 KU Medical Center alumni live and/or practice in Ford County.
  • 8 health care providers have been placed in Ford 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 Ford 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.
  • 2 Ford County health care employers 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.
  • 111 enrollments in KU Medical Center continuing education/professional development courses and conferences by Ford 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.
  • 35 professional education and administrative visits in Ford 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.

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 Ford 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

  • Ford County residents saw KU Medical Center health care providers 54 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.
  • The University of Kansas Medical Center provides patient and family education on a variety of health and wellness topics to residents of Ford 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.

Community Connections


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Last modified: Feb 12, 2016
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