Salina Journal — Moran tours new medical school buildingSeptember 23, 2016
The University of Kansas School of Medicine-Salina is key to bringing doctors to rural Kansas, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said Friday morning during a tour of the school’s new building planned for renovation at 138 N. Santa Fe.
“Access to health care makes a huge difference in rural communities,” he said. “One of my main goals is to get more funding for graduate medical education.”
Moran said he will have toured all 127 hospitals in Kansas, once he visits Scott City and Dighton next week. In addition to supporting critical access hospitals, he added he seeks to get “all the obstacles out of the way” to ensuring rural hospitals’ survival.
“I want to be your ally,” he said.
William Cathcart-Rake, dean of the Salina medical school campus, said his mission was to get as many graduates as possible to pursue residencies in Kansas and 75 percent to serve in underserved areas of the state following residency.
About 85 to 90 percent of the students at the Salina campus come from rural Kansas, he said.
Sean Webb, a third-year medical student from Wamego, said one problem for the Salina school is that many prospective students think it is only for students from small towns who intend to go into family practice.
“You can go into any area of medicine you want here in Salina,” he said.
Moran then toured what will be the school’s new location on North Santa Fe. Tom Martin, Salina Regional Health Foundation executive director, said the school is about $1 million short of its $7.5 million goal to renovate the building, which previously served as Planter’s Bank and Bank of America.
The total includes a $2 million grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.
The new facility will provide more than 40,000 square feet of space, double the space at the school’s current space in the Braddick Building adjacent to Salina Regional Health Center.
Renovations are scheduled to begin in spring 2017 and be completed in June 2018 to greet the incoming class that will graduate in 2022.