COMMUNITY COALITION KEARNY COUNTY
The PCAT Community Coalition Kearny County was establised in 2016 to address specific health needs identified in the Community Health Improvement Plan. Our coalition includes members from various community organizations as well as healthcare providers. Together we're working to make Kearny County more healthy. We meet on the first Monday each month at Kearny County Hospital in Classroom A1. To learn more about the coalition or to become a member, please contact Kendal Carswell at 620-355-7111 ext. 1343 or
Kearny County is a frontier, primarily agrarian, community located in Southwest Kansas approximately 50 miles from Colorado and 70 miles from the Oklahoma border. The county is largely made up of two primary communities, Lakin which is the county seat as a population of 2184 and Deerfield, population 746. The total population of the county as of 4/21/16 is 4001. The county consists of 2027 males and 1974 females.
While the county has a diverse population, 95% of the County's population is made up of two ethnic groups are Caucasian, population 2601 - 65%, followed by Hispanic with a population of 1201 - 30%. Additionally, 160 individuals identify as mixed ethnicity, 18 people identify as American Indian, 14 individuals are Black, and 7 identify as Asian. There are 1450 families, with an average size of 2.7 people. Of the 4001 residents, 1071 reside outside of the city limits of Lakin and Deerfield. There are 245 children ages 0-4, 132 ages 5-6, 198 ages 7-9, 187 ages 10-12, 188 ages 13-15, and 127 ages 16-17. Young adults consist of 214 ages 18-20, 505 ages 21-29. There are 462 people ages 30-39, 447 between the ages of 40-49, 508 ages 50-59, and 788 residents 60 years of age and older.
There are two public school Districts in Kearny County, USD 215 Lakin and USD 216 Deerfield. Each District consists of a grade school, middle school, and high school. Kearny County Hospital (KCH) is the lone hospital serving the community. The facility includes a 25-bed critical access hospital, 4 nursery beds, 40 long-term care beds, and 35 beds for assisted living. KCH presently sees patients from over 20 Kansas and Colorado counties. Patients travel from all over Southwest Kansas and even neighboring states to get medical care at our facility.
Currently 11 health care providers practice at KCH, including 5 physicians, 5 physician assistants, and 1 advanced practice registered nurse. KCH is also home to the only Otolaryngology specialist, commonly known as an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor in western Kansas and a Physician Assistant who assists the ENT. Seven specialists provide care at KCH on a monthly basis including: Cardiology, General Surgery, OB/GYN, Audiology, Maternal & Fetal Medicine, Urology, and Orthopedics services. There are 3 medical clinics, all associated with KCH, 2 located in Lakin and one in Deerfield. In addition, there is one Dentist, 2 Chiropractors, and a massage therapist located in Lakin. Lakin has 2 convenience stores, one which offers on-site fried foods and pizza. Lakin also has a Subway restaurant, 6 privately owned restaurants, and options to eat at the Kearny County golf course and the bowling alley. A Dollar General just opened in May 2016 and Deerfield has one convenience store that also offers fried foods and pizza.
Major employers in the community are the KCH, Kearny County, the City of Lakin, the City of Deerfield, Tyson Foods, Midwest Energy, Production Gas Company, Wheatland Electric, and Pioneer Communication, USD #215, and USD #216. There is one grocery store, which is located in Lakin and independently owned. Kearny County is steeped with diverse religious organizations consisting of fourteen churches, including a large Mennonite contingent. Community based organizations primarily consist of the Lakin and Deerfield Recreation Commissions, and four 4H clubs. Additionally, there is a Migrant Education Program, and an extension agent providing family and consumer services, the Pride Committee, County Health Department, the Senior Center, and Meals on Wheels.
Kearny County is a community with strong rural values, where neighbors still believe in helping and supporting neighbors. It is a close knit community exuding a passion for improving and growing services to enhance the quality of life for all residents. Kearny County Hospital is significant in making the community standout as it is unique to most frontier hospitals. To address the increasing shortage of primary care providers in the region, KCH began a unique strategy of recruiting mission-minded healthcare providers whose passion is to serve vulnerable populations.
Many of these doctors have spent time serving in developing nations overseas, and they recognized the opportunity to meet a serious need for improved health in Southwest Kansas. These providers care greatly for those who are poor, immigrants, refugees, isolated from the resources of urban areas, and in need. This part of the country is also home to a considerable number of immigrants and refugees.
Recent data collected by Dr. Debra Bolton, a researcher at Kansas State University, shows that in Kearny County, 24% of the population speaks a language other than English, 32% are non-Anglo, and 10% were born outside of the United States. In addition, Kearny County is home to two school districts that are top-rated in the state for academics, athletics and fine arts.
Recreational opportunities abound from hunting for deer, upland game birds, migratory birds and small animals to fishing, camping and riding ATVs. Kearny County maintains a number of essential services and provides for quality of life with beautiful parks, a golf course, and an aquatics center with both an indoor and outdoor pools.
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