About the Kansas Rural Health Association

The Kansas Rural Health Association (KsRHA) is the result of years of combined effort from the widely varied individuals and organizations in our state that have a rural health interest.  There are many organizations in the state that represent various significant aspects of the rural health spectrum.  Many organizations have participated in the formation of the KsRHA or have representation in the association.

  • Kansas Hospital Association
  • University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • Kansas Academy of Family Physicians
  • Kansas Office of Local and Rural Health – Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • National Rural Health Association
  • Kansas Medical Society
  • Kansas Association of the Medically Underserved
  • Kansas Area Health Education Centers
  • Kansas Office of Health Education and Services

There are numerous individuals that have worked very hard to bring the KsRHA to life.  Medical students at University of Kansas School of Medicine that are members of the Rural Medicine Interest Group served in a vital role organizing the first meetings of the KsRHA.

History
The National Rural Health Association granted Debra Lea, Michael Kennedy and the students of the RMIG funding to form a Kansas Chapter of the Rural Health Association.  Nationally, most states have a chapter of the NRHA.  The rural needs of Kansas have been historically well served by a wide variety of individuals and groups around the state.   
Saturday, March 26, 2011 was the first meeting of the KsRHA.  It was held at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Conference Center in Salina, Kansas.  At that meeting attendees expressed a uniform desire to have an organization that provided one thing – networking.  The many excellent organizations in Kansas serve their constituents extremely well.  But, none of these organizations has as their prime mission “rural health”.  Although, it should be said that many of the organizations have rural at the top of their list, hence their participation in the initial meeting.  It was the desire of the initial group that the main job of the KsRHA is to put state and federal issues into the context of rural.  The group worked on a vision statement and mission for the KsRHA.  They also arrived at a list of value statements.  These are listed below.

Our Core Values

  • Rural way of life
  • Thriving rural communities
  • Innovation of healthcare
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Promoting healthy rural communities
  • Affecting local, State and Federal legislature
  • Stakeholders
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Quality
  • Excellence
  • Leadership
  • Optimal health for all Kansans with a focus on rural Kansans
  • Inclusivity

Subsequently, the group formed a sub-committee to draft by-laws for the KsRHA.  Members of this By-Laws Sub-Committee drafted Bylaws for the KsRHA and a second was conducted.  At that meeting the by-laws were approved by the membership present and a temporary Board of Directors for the organization was appointed. 

The Temporary BOD are

  • Michael Kennedy, Interim Board Chair
  • Sandy Kuhlman
  • Jody Gragg
  • Joyce Grayson
  • Ryan Spaulding
  • Sara Roberts
  • Roger Masse
  • Braeden Johnson
  • Debra Lea

These board members are soon to meet and take the next steps in the formation of the group.