TOPEKA — Kansas Farm Bureau CEO Terry Holdren today announced the membership of the Doctor of Osteopathy school taskforce. Holdren was asked to chair the taskforce by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback last December. Holdren and the taskforce was charged with exploring and establishing a D.O. school in order to address the rural health care needs across Kansas.

“Finding and keeping highly qualified doctors and other medical professionals is a critical need across Kansas. Our work will be focused on the opportunity for Kansas kids to receive high quality medical education and return home to practice” said Holdren.

92 of Kansas’ 105 counties are classified as medically underserved. Governor Brownback called for the taskforce to address the unique health care needs of rural Kansas.

“The long-term sustainability of communities—particularly in our rural areas—depends on citizens’ access to local health care,” said Governor Brownback. “We must develop sustainable solutions. We must educate the doctors of tomorrow today. Terry has recruited an outstanding group of people to identify the way forward for this new D.O. school, taking the next steps towards ensuring a more healthy future for rural Kansas.”

Taskforce member Congressman Roger Marshall noted the importance of recruiting doctors for rural communities.

“Anytime we can help bring attention to and solve challenges facing rural Kansas, we will,” said Congressman Marshall. “One of the greatest challenges facing Kansas is the recruitment of family practice doctors to rural communities. We believe this taskforce will help highlight this issue, and hopefully bring about exciting possibilities and solutions.”

Members of the taskforce include:
• Congressman Roger Marshall, Great Bend
• Mayor Jeff Longwell, Wichita
• Sharon Cox, Rawlins Co Hospital, Atwood
• Scott Taylor, St. Catherine Hospital, Garden City
• David Setchell, St. Francis, Topeka
• Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail, Topeka
• Dr. Bob Moser, KU Med, Kansas City
• Dr. Marc Hahn, KCU, Kansas City
• Dr. David Nill, Cerner, Kansas City
• Dr. Steve Short, Manhattan
• Dr. John McMaster, Via Christi, Wichita
• Bob Williams, KS DO Assn, Topeka
• Ron Stephen, Riverside Foundation, Wichita
• Brenda Sharpe, REACH Foundation, Kansas City
• Ashley Hutchinson, Cloud Corp, Concordia
• Connie Hubbell, Topeka
• Shane Bangerter, Attorney, Dodge City
• Taylor Green, Gypsum
• Trent Armbrust, Manhattan Chamber, Manhattan
• John McGivern, Washburn University, Topeka
• Ben Schears, Northwest Tech, Goodland

The taskforce will hold its first meeting in early May.