Addressing a Health Care Crisis

Addressing a Health Care Crisis

In 2019, The Community Solution embarked on an ambitious endeavor to launch a college of osteopathic medicine aimed at tackling America’s rural health care shortage.

The Community Solution’s founding vision centered on addressing essential areas of human need, including psychology, education, legal representation, and health care through expanded educational opportunity. With a strong emphasis on community and collaboration, we leveraged operational expertise to achieve an ambitious goal: the establishment and opening of a college of osteopathic medicine in just three years.

The story of the Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (KansasCOM) reflects the power of radical cooperation to bring a vision to life.

A Region in Crisis

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), almost 70% of areas designated as primary medical health professional shortage areas were considered rural or partially rural. This shortage of providers strains already exhausted medical systems and prevents residents from receiving critical care.

Recognizing this growing need for health infrastructure, The Community Solution began exploring opportunities to expand our System to include a medical school and connected with a local group in Wichita, KS looking to do the same. Together The Community Solution and Kansas Health Science Center (KHSC) set out to establish Kansas’ first college of osteopathic medicine.

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The U.S. could be short 124,000 physicians by 2034
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1 in 5
Americans live in a rural area
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Only 10% of physicians practice in rural regions
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77% of U.S. counties report a shortage of mental health professionals

Leveraging Expertise to Achieve Success

The Community Solution brought the full weight of its reputation and scale to the ambitious project – quickly laying the groundwork for what would eventually become Kansas Health Science Center – Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (KHSC – KansasCOM). We leveraged our expertise in the areas of finance, land acquisition, and academic affairs to make this shared dream a reality.

Real estate and financial specialists worked arrangements that saved $25 million in immediate costs to the fledgling medical college while other System experts were instrumental in securing $15 million in grant funding from a local health foundation. Seasoned professionals worked with college leadership to begin the accreditation process, support curriculum development, and recruit the first class of students.

The college brings to the region an innovative hub for medical education and research.

A Modern Medical School

Kansas’s first medical school in 100 years, welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in the fall of 2022. True to its foundational mission, KHSC – KansasCOM aims to be instrumental in helping to increase health care resources for underserved communities across the state and beyond. An innovative curriculum integrates emerging technology, artificial intelligence, ethics, entrepreneurship, and diversity principles to prepare modern, compassionate practitioners.

KHSC – KansasCOM quickly integrated with the community, with students and faculty logging more than 4,000 hours of community service in its first year. Students embedded with physicians in rural Kansas, supported corrections facilities, and participated in EMT ride-alongs, learning first-hand the realities of the job and providing critical support to overwhelmed medical systems. This early exposure to the social determinants of health reflects KHSC – KansasCOM’s commitment to offering a holistic perspective, vital modern medical education.

The college brings to the region an innovative hub for medical education and research, establishing a research network dedicated to investigating issues impacting rural communities and offering professional development to practicing physicians.

medical students practicing exams

Why Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathic medicine is a branch of health care that takes a holistic approach to medicine, emphasizing the relationship between the body’s structure and function. These principles align with our System-wide commitment to advancing compassionate, human-centered professionals committed to whole-body care. Osteopathic physicians, or DOs, are licensed physicians who specialize in various medical fields and provide comprehensive care.

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