We are all healthcare

The landscape of healthcare is changing, creating challenges in our hometowns across Western Kansas. But what others see as roadblocks, we recognize as opportunities – because in Western Kansas, we know how to build up bright ideas with hard work, bold thinking and a strong community spirit.

Healthcare reimagined.

What do we mean when we say, “we are all healthcare”? We mean this is the time to come together to create a healthier, more vibrant Western Kansas – to think differently about what’s possible and transform shared goals into sustainable solutions. Together, we can make Western Kansas a destination for the best in rural health. And when our families, friends and communities are healthier, everybody wins.

At HaysMed, along with our alliance of hospital partners across Western Kansas, we will always be here to treat people when they’re sick – but the role of the hospital today has grown far beyond the bedside. So, we’re taking the innovative thinking beyond traditional healthcare. This is healthcare reimagined for each one of you, across the map in every small town, city or rural place. This is our common ground – at the intersection of real life and the vision of what Western Kansas can be.

Challenges facing healthcare

The healthcare industry is ever evolving: Technological advances, funding shifts, aging populations, demographic changes in the workforce, disease trends and other factors are coming together to shape the future of our healthcare.

As one of the fastest growing segments, the healthcare industry is key to a thriving economy. Hospitals make up the biggest part of the health care sector, contributing $6 billion in income and employing over 72,000 Kansans. Vital to a thriving community, hospitals create jobs, attract business, and improve business productivity. But our hospitals are facing enormous challenges.

The current baby boomer generation – the 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964 – is profoundly impacting costs and staffing shortages. With baby boomers aging and retiring, not only are more people needing care, but there are fewer younger people to provide that care – not to mention an increasing lack of educators to train new clinical staff.

Changes to Medicare and Medicaid, both at state and federal levels, will affect who is eligible and how hospitals are reimbursed for their services. As with everyone else, costs and supply chain issues are increasing for hospitals on everything from gloves and surgical tools to food and, most importantly, clinicians and staff, while reimbursements are decreasing.

There has never been a more important time for our communities to come together with creative solutions. Fortunately, that is exactly what is happening here.

Good things are happening in Western Kansas.

By collaborating across the community spectrum, we’re uncovering valuable ways to deliver care for people to live their best lives in the best health. Here’s a sampling of recent initiatives that illustrate what we’re doing here in Hays. We encourage you to use these initiatives as inspiration for what’s possible wherever you are:

Enriching Senior Care & Community

Grow Hays, a nonprofit organization working to advance the economic health and vitality of Hays and surrounding communities, is creating a retiree-focused housing development known as “The Grove,” featuring multifamily housing, duplex townhouse units and patio homes focused on seniors. HaysMed donated four acres where a 14,000 square foot Community Center will be built, housing a childcare facility, the Hays Senior Center, and community meeting rooms. This development helps address the need for more housing for people of retirement age, who are beloved family members as well as valuable economic contributors to community growth. Read more from the Hays Post.

Adding Childcare at HaysMed

We listened when our staff and community told us that lack of daycare options created a major roadblock for working at HaysMed – so we’re addressing the nursing shortage by fixing root causes, not just symptoms. We’ve secured $1.3 million in funding from the HaysMed Foundation, the Hadley Foundation Endowed Fund and the Dane G. Hansen Foundation to build a state-of-the-art childcare center right here on our HaysMed campus. With enough space for 70 children from newborn to 6 years old, HaysMed associates will soon have convenient access to on-site childcare. Excess spots for more children will be shared with the community. Hear more from our CEO, Eddie Herrman.

New Inpatient Children’s Mental Health Services Fill Gap

Through our partnership with Camber Children’s Mental Health, we’re elevating our ability to provide excellence in mental health care for children and teens. Equipped with the latest technology and safety monitoring in a welcoming, child-focused space, Camber Hays – located at the Business Center – offers acute pediatric beds not available in Western Kansas since 2019. The HaysMed-Camber partnership saves children and families from traveling long distances to Wichita or Kansas City for treatment. Read more from the Hays Post.

Breathing New Life into the Field of Respiratory Therapy

The shortage of respiratory therapists (RTs) has reached crisis levels in recent years. Both RTs and the educators to train new RTs are in short supply. That’s why HaysMed and NCK Tech have partnered to develop and launch a new respiratory therapy educational program that will be taught at HaysMed. Start-up costs will be funded by the HaysMed Foundation. Read more from the Hays Post.

Innovating to Recruit Essential Healthcare Staff

With shortages of nurses, physicians and other hospital workers intensifying across the country, HaysMed is leading the way in making it easier to recruit top talent in Western Kansas. In 2022, we launched healthcareersks.com dedicated to making it easier for people to connect to a great healthcare career. We invite all hospitals in our Northwest Kansas Alliance to use the website for their own recruiting needs – because at HaysMed, we know it’s about working together toward common goals across the region.

Connecting you to the future of health.

Each of us, with every decision we make, we are shaping the future of health. As healthcare systems across the country look for new ways to attract top talent, secure leading-edge technology and provide high-quality healthcare, it’s up to us – all of us – to create better, stronger, healthier communities right here in Western Kansas.

As care delivery models increasingly shift from inpatient to outpatient, and the emphasis on prevention, rehabilitation and virtual care continues to grow, we know that change is the only constant – so we change too. We are working for you and with you to meet people’s needs more holistically than ever before. That’s what care means to us – because we are all healthcare.