KU is working to increase access to quality health care in underserved rural areas by advancing the workforce through recruitment, retention, research, education and partnerships.
The University of Kansas Medical Center has a strong commitment to serving Kansas. Rural Health Education and Services, an office in the Institute for Community Engagement, provides quality, responsive services to Kansas health care organizations, health care providers, resident physicians, medical and health care students, rural and urban underserved communities and national and statewide associations.
School of Medicine Initiatives
KU School of Medicine's focus on rural health dates back more than 70 years, with an innovative, state-wide initiative called Rural Health Program for Kansas that aimed to alleviate the critical shortage of physicians plaguing many rural Kansas communities. The Office of Rural Medical Education was created in 2007, and our Salina campus opened in 2011. The Scholars in Rural Health program assists undergraduates from rural Kansas who are interested in building successful future careers as primary care physicians serving underserved rural areas throughout Kansas.
School of Nursing Initiatives
Ninety counties in Kansas (86%) are designated as Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas. Registered nurses and nurse practitioners are vital to the health and well-being of rural populations. KU School of Nursing-Salina offers the same high-quality nursing education, but students gain clinical experiences in a rural setting to prepare for careers in rural health. KU Nursing Pathway Programs provide educational and career support to high school students, with a special focus on rural nursing.