South Central Kansas Medical Center is increasing efforts to recruit more doctors and nurses, according to its CEO, a long-standing goal to provide more local medical services and to increase activity at the medical center to improve its bottom line.

Interim CEO Jeff Bowman gave the medical center board an overview of recent efforts Tuesday during its regular meeting.

Bowman said he and his team recently attended a health fair at Cowley College. He said the event had a strong turnout, and he was able to visit with several area nurses and a number of potential nurses.

The group also attended a University of Kansas health fair in Wichita, where several individuals expressed interest in partnering with SCKMC.

“We have three strong candidates that are interested in rural health,” he said. “There were two females with a family practice who are interested in OB, which is exactly what we’re looking for.”

Bowman said he also met with one individual who was interested in orthopedic surgery, which is another area he hopes to expand at SCKMC.

“She specifically wants a rural area like this,” he said.

Bowman said he has also reached out to the CEO at the El Dorado hospital. He said the hospital is currently attempting to set up a satellite orthopedic clinic that will work with the hospital and with Butler County Community College.

“They’re keeping 90 percent of the patients in the El Dorado hospital,” he said.

Bowman said the group has been considering setting up a similar clinic in Cowley County, where a physician would be in the area at least three to four days each week.

“What is exciting is that they are even willing to be on call when games are going on,” he said. “If there is a sports injury, they will immediately come in.”

The possibility of a physician share with El Dorado is also being discussed. Bowman said the physician would serve at the El Dorado hospital for two days each week, then three days in Arkansas City. That schedule could also be rotated.

Bowman said he has also received an email from KU asking about the possibility of having residents serve in the Ark City hospital.

SCKMC has a number of very strong recruitment possibilities in the orthopedic area, Bowman added.

Bowman said in 2014 a total of 220 orthopedic surgeries were performed in Ark City, but that number has dropped drastically.

 “I feel it’s a really great area for us to stand into, and we have a lot of options at this point and time,” he said.

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