TOPEKA—The establishment of a Doctor of Osteopathic (DO) school of medicine would increase health care options available to rural Kansas communities according to a new report released by a task force commissioned by Governor Sam Brownback.

Terry Holdren, CEO of the Kansas Farm Bureau, led the task force to study the potential of a DO school of medicine in order to promote high quality health care for all Kansans. The task force met multiple times throughout the summer and fall of 2017 to gather input from numerous individuals and groups with experience in the medical field and knowledge of rural Kansas.

“This is very heartening news, because we need to increase the number of doctors who can care for people across our state” said Governor Sam Brownback. “The creation of a DO school will increase access to healthcare so we can ensure the best options for care even in the most rural areas of our state. Promoting strong medical training programs here is critical to the success and well-being of both our students and our residents.”

The full task force report is here: DOTaskforceReport. Highlights of the report include specific directions to increase medical training together with physician recruitment and development. The report indicates that recruiting Kansas students early on to offer them a chance to be get their medical degree right here in the state will help keep them on track to stay here and practice medicine upon graduation. The report highlights an existing pool of prospective medical students that could be recruited into a DO school and the opportunity to use federal funds to establish new residency programs in rural Kansas hospitals where they are not currently offered.

“Our young people are the best resource we have, and maximizing that resource means offering them educational options and a reason to stay and provide health care for their communities,” Governor Brownback said. “Establishing more residency programs in rural areas of the state will help medical students put down roots.”

The state of Kansas is currently home to one medical school, the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, with additional campus locations in Salina and Wichita.

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