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Kansas Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Effective Examples

Avera eCARE
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: Rural hospitals and healthcare providers have less access to specialty care support.
  • Intervention: A service was created at Avera Health that provides 24-hour virtual access to specialty care physicians, nurses and pharmacists.
  • Results: Rural patients can receive specialty care without leaving their communities, and rural healthcare providers can get needed support in providing quality care to their patients.
Children's Mercy Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Telemedicine
Added August 2017
  • Need: To increase access to an allergy/asthma/immunology specialist for children in rural Kansas and Missouri.
  • Intervention: Children's Mercy Kansas City offers a telemedicine option for allergy/asthma/immunology visits.
  • Results: In 2017, Children's Mercy had 338 encounters from patients in rural counties. Patients and their families report satisfaction with the telemedicine visits, which a six-month study found to be as effective as in-person visits.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Healthy Early Learning Project (HELP)
Updated/reviewed May 2017
  • Need: An ongoing health need to alleviate early childhood obesity in the rural Kansas counties of Marshall and Nemaha.
  • Intervention: 5 distinct physical and nutritional programs were introduced to 9 preschool sites through the overarching Healthy Early Learning Project (HELP).
  • Results: HELP comprehensively increased children's physical activity and healthy food consumption and established a sustainable presence at each preschool site.

Other Project Examples

Kansas Asthma Initiative
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Many of Kansas's rural residents have low incomes and are medically underserved, putting them at a potential increased risk for uncontrolled asthma.
  • Intervention: The Kansas Asthma Initiative is a partnership that provides education and professional development opportunities via telehealth for healthcare providers and caregivers of asthma patients.
  • Results: The partnership has developed a better methodology for working with physicians. Telehealth technology is helping facilitate a positive collaboration among providers in Kansas in order to decrease the burden of asthma.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Agriculture workers and their families had high rates of psychological distress and suicide, but limited access to mental health services.
  • Intervention: The "Sowing the Seeds of Hope" (SSoH) program was created to provide affordable and culturally appropriate mental health services to individuals working in agriculture and their families in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
  • Results: The regional program ran from 1999-2011 and successfully established a variety of interventions to help individuals in rural communities’ access behavioral health services.
Neighbor to Neighbor
Added May 2017
  • Need: To reduce social isolation and its negative effects on health for women in rural Kansas.
  • Intervention: Neighbor to Neighbor is a day center where women can socialize, eat free meals, and take care of basic needs such as laundry and showers.
  • Results: An average of 24 women and children visit the center every day. Positive comments from visitors suggest that the day center helps reduce their social isolation.
Kearny County Hospital’s Physician Recruitment Model
Added February 2016
  • Need: Physicians to serve in an increasingly diverse population in rural Kansas.
  • Intervention: Kearny County Hospital changed their recruitment model to include paid time off for doctors and midlevel providers to serve as international service workers, as well as medical school loan forgiveness.
  • Results: Kearny County Hospital has re-opened their services to out-of-county patients and are receiving an increase in applications from medical providers.

Last Updated: 9/28/2017