People living in the unhealthiest counties of Kansas are dying too early and at more than twice the rate of those in the healthiest counties. Kearny County Hospital, located in Lakin, Kansas, 50 miles from Colorado, is one of the lead organizations for the Communities of Care work currently underway.
According to the 2017 County Health Rankings, which examines 25 factors that influence health, the efforts of this community to improve health and create meaningful change are paying off. In the past year, Kearny County has skyrocketed up from 83rd to 33rd in health rankings among more than 100 ranked Kansas counties.
Kearny County Hospital is located in a rural area where resources are limited. The impact of reduced resources can be felt across a variety of factors, including access to healthy foods, healthcare and other vital resources that impact community health. As in many communities, the cost of inappropriate healthcare utilization due to resource limitations of community members or access to regular and preventive health services is far reaching. The hospital implemented a new program to gain greater understanding of the issues community members face and to learn more about the utilization of the hospital emergency department. The program incorporates screening and assistance for citizens with healthcare and financial assistance needs and provides insight into emergency department utilization. Recruiting new medical providers to the community will also reduce unnecessary ER visits by ensuring access to preventive and routine healthcare.
“The Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc. (KFMC) is pleased to be able to partner with the innovative and dedicated team KCH has onboard. Their commitment to improving care delivery and health outcomes for Medicare consumers, and all citizens of their community shines in all they do. Congratulations,” Vanessa Lamoreaux, Project Manager at Kansas Foundation for Medical Care, Inc.
Healthcare can be complicated. It takes more than just the clinicians doing the right thing every time to make a sustainable impact in community health; it takes everyone and every organization working together. Visit our Care Coordination webpage for more details and how to get involved.
To learn more about Kearny County Hospital, visit: www.kearnycountyhospital.com
To learn more about the county health rankings, visit: www.countyhealthrankings.org