1. April 2019 Town Hall Notes

    On April 17, 2019, Rawlins County Health Center hosted a town hall meeting consisting of thirty-three people to discuss physician recruitment and retention. There was a lot of great discussion from community members. The next quarterly town hall meeting will discuss Business Development.

    April 2017 Town Hall Notes

  2. Hospital PAs Kyle, Barb Herspring to move in June

    Kyle and Barb Herspring, physician assistants at Rawlins County Health Center will be leaving the Atwood Community and relocating to Wichita sometime in June 2019.

    “We thank both Kyle and Barb for helping to build a great system of care for the community, and we understand the value and appreciate the need for the Hersprings’s to focus on the importance of family first,” remarked Ron Robinson, CEO.

    For here for the full press release.

  3. Rawlins County Health Center Announces new CEO

    Rawlins County Health Center and Centura Health, the largest health ecosystem in Colorado and western Kansas, along with Goodland Regional Medical Center announced that Ronald Robinson, MD, MPH, MBA has accepted a new combined position as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer for both Rawlins County Health Center and Goodland Regional Medical Center effective December 17, 2018.

    Dr. Robinson began his service with Centura Health as a practicing physician in 2003, and has served in multiple leadership roles including; medical director of surgical services, chief of staff, and CMO at Centura’s Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville, CO. His education and experience have led him to a unique position for this very challenging and innovative role. Beyond his medical degree, Dr. Robinson also holds a Master of Public Health, and a Master of Business Administration. He is board certified in both anesthesiology and aerospace physiology and has served as a flight surgeon at NASA as well as a medical officer in the Air National Guard and the U.S. Navy, where he still serves as a Lieutenant Commander.

    Click here for the full joint press release.

  4. Rawlins Clinic seeks Local Photographers Photos



    Rawlins Clinic seeks Local Photographers Photos


    Rawlins Clinic – Atwood would like to feature local Rawlins County artists with pictures displayed throughout the clinic and front lobby areas. “There have been some recent studies showing the benefits of lower stress and reduced anxiety while waiting in an environment that featured artwork or other visual stimulus. Some items such as plants and aquariums present infection potential in a hospital setting. A good alternative to this is landscape or architecture-themed pictures. That is what we are going for with the photo contest; we hope to enhance our current waiting room and exam rooms to make patients experience more relaxing and enjoyable” said Jason Kearns, PA-C.  Jenn Hurst, Clinic Operations Director stated, “The staff in the clinic are very excited about the photo contest.  We have been wanting to do something in the clinic rooms since the remodel but were never sure what to do.  Jason came up with this idea and we love it!  The fact that there is research out there showing that this can benefit our patients is a bonus!  We truly live in a beautiful place and I am looking forward to seeing the pictures people submit.”

    A photo contest will be conducted, with community members getting the opportunity to vote on their favorite submitted photos. Photos can be of anything in the Rawlins County area, including scenery, events, buildings, etc. Pictures that were entered in the fair are also eligible. Some pictures will be a 20×30 acrylic print, so high-resolution print-quality will be desired.  Photographers are asked to submit pictures of actual or original size to sdozbaba@rchc.us by September 14th. Once photos are submitted, Rawlins County Health Center staff will vote on their top choices. The community will then be invited to help pick the top winners to get printed in October. If you have any questions regarding the photo contest, please contact Suzanna Koel at 785-626-3211 ext. 220 (sdozbaba@rchc.us) or Jennifer Hurst at 785-626-3211 ext. 310 (jhurst@rchc.us).

  5. Area Hospitals Collaborate

    Area Hospitals Collaborate as Members of Centura Rural Health Network

    To meet the needs of the people of Western Kansas, Goodland Regional Medical Center (GRMC), Logan County Health Services (LCHS), and Rawlins County Health Center (RCHC) are engaging in a formal, deliberate process for creating a future together as founding members of the Centura Rural Health Network. As the system of choice for the region, Centura Health has a management agreement with each of the three hospitals. Under the management agreement, each hospital maintains autonomy and local governance, but as a group, the network is collaborating to build a connected and enabling system committed to integrating care and enabling physicians, providers, and patients to flourish in healthy communities.

    Each partner organization brings its own unique assets and strengths to the network. By combining these valuable local resources, the Centura Rural Health Network supports an enabling, connected system, making it possible to sustain and grow high performing health care service to ensure quality, achieve better outcomes, and promote health.

    Through shared strategic direction, mission, and vision, the network is engaged in reducing costs, improving the care experience for the region, and helping people get well and stay well. Current activities underway include shared purchasing, expanding specialty care such as trauma, surgery, cardiology, pulmonary, ENT, and dermatology, improved technology, staff and community education programs, and implementing consistent, standardized best practices.

    The Centura Rural Health Network is an enduring partnership focused on keeping care close to home to provide the citizens of Northwest Kansas with consistent, predictable value and compassionate, patient-centered healthcare for years to come.

  6. Rawlins County Health Center Named a 2018 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

    Rawlins County Health Center in Atwood, Kansas was recently named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.


    “This recognition represents our team commitment to serving our community while changing to meet the dynamic demands of operating a critical access hospital in the 21st century,” said Sharon K Cox, Rawlins County Health Center CEO.  “We are fortunate to have a visionary Board of Trustees willing to embrace the future. This is the second time Rawlins County Health Center received this recognition, that last time being in 2015.”


    Rawlins County Health Center scored in the top 100 of Critical Access Hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural provider performance and its results are the basis for many of rural healthcare’s most prominent awards, advocacy efforts and legislative initiatives. The list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals can be found at www.ivantageindex.com/top-performing-hospitals.


    The Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals play a key role in providing a safety net to communities across America – and the INDEX measures these facilities across eight pillars of hospital strength: Inpatient Share Ranking, Outpatient Share Ranking, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspective, and Financial Stability.


    “The Hospital Strength INDEX provides a true benchmark for helping rural providers to better understand performance levels and identify areas of improvement. When we look across the spectrum of rural-relevant INDEX indicators, the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals are establishing a new standard for how to deliver higher quality care to their communities despite an unpredictable healthcare environment,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health.


    About Rawlins County Health Center

    The role and Mission of Rawlins County Health Center is to improve the health and quality of life of the individuals and communities it serves. Located in Atwood, Kan., this 24-bed critical access hospital services the community through cardiac rehabilitation, diabetic services, laboratory, outpatient surgery, physical therapy, wound care, x-ray, stress testing, MRI, bone density, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and CAT scan. Its specialty clinics include cardiology, general surgery, and mental health services. Rawlins County Health Center is committed to setting the standard for patient-centered quality healthcare. For more information, please visit http://www.rchc.us/.


    About The Chartis Group
    The Chartis Group® (Chartis) provides comprehensive advisory services and analytics to the healthcare industry. With an unparalleled depth of expertise in strategic planning, performance excellence, informatics and technology, and health analytics, Chartis helps leading academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, children’s hospitals and healthcare service organizations achieve transformative results. The Chartis Center for Rural Health (CCRH) was formed in 2016 to offer tailored services, performance management solutions, research and education to rural hospitals and facilities. Learn more at Chartisrural.com.




    Billy Balfour
    The Chartis Center for Rural Health

  7. RCHC Smokin on the Beaver 5K Flyer and Registration

    Rawlins County Health Center’s Annual 5K to benefit DSNWK-Prairie Development Center. This year’s race will start and stop at the Columbian Hall by the stage area. Runners and walkers, as well as strollers, are all welcome to join in the fun.

    Flyer information

    To register for the race:

    Online: https://runsignup.com/Race/KS/Atwood/SmokinOnTheBeaver5K

    Registration Form

    The registration form can be mailed to PO Box 47, Atwood, KS 67730 Attn: Suzanna. Please make checks payable to Rawlins County Health Center.

  8. Rawlins County Dental Clinic and Rawlins County Health Center receive Kansas Community-Based Primary Care Clinic Program

    Rawlins County Dental Clinic and Rawlins County Health Center have both been awarded a matching grant of $50,000 from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This grant assists clinics with operating costs throughout the year. While Rawlins County Dental Clinic has received this award in years past, this is the first year that Rawlins County Health Center has applied and received the award.


    Per the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website, the Kansas Legislature appropriates state general funds to assist in the development and operation of clinics that focus on improving access to quality health care with an emphasis on community-based services and reducing health disparities for underserved populations. Grant funds are intended to make primary medical and dental care and preventive health care services accessible and affordable to underserved Kansas residents. The Community-Based Primary Care Clinic Program began in State Fiscal Year 1992 with 9 grantees receiving a total of $1,000,000 and has grown to now include 40 grantees receiving over $7,000,000.


    “Thank you, KDHE for believing in the future of our clinic and entrusting us to be good stewards of these funds! A huge thank you to our staff, who without your hard work and dedication none of this would be possible!” stated Deb Pochop, CEO Rawlins County Dental Clinic.


    “We are thrilled to join the Rawlins County Dental Clinic as recipients of this grant and are grateful for the financial support from KDHE. Thank you to all who were a part in making this grant a reality.” Sharon Cox, CEO Rawlins County Health Center

  9. Rawlins County Hospital Foundation Awarded $100,000 from Dane G. Hansen Foundation

    The Rawlins County Health Center is in the process of creating a new Central Sterile area in the facility and the Rawlins County Hospital Foundation saw a way they may be able to help.  Along with funding from the 2012 Capital Campaign, there was the talk of a possibility of finding some funding through grants, specifically a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

    “There is a lot of critical equipment that carries a pretty hefty price tag,” said Suzanna Dozbaba, RCHC Marketing/Foundation Manager. She continued, “We felt as though we had a great chance at finding some funding to help with that cost.”  The Central Sterile Area in the Health Center will be used by the entire facility and the completion of the area will also mean the use of the new Operating Suite that was completed last year.

    “We are looking forward to retiring the outdated operating and central sterile areas,” said Mary Clark, RN, Pharmacy and Surgical Nurse, “We’ve worked hard to continue using the extremely outdated area but the time saved in the new spaces will be amazing. The improvements on both the patient and staff sides will be noticeable.”  The new Central Sterile Area began construction this week and should be finished this fall.

    The Rawlins County Hospital Foundation and the Rawlins County Health Center are grateful for the $100,000 awarded to them to go towards the equipment.  “We are feeling blessed right now and don’t take the decision lightly.  There are a lot of worthy causes out there and we are grateful that the Dane G. Hansen Foundation saw the need we had here and awarded us with so much financial help for the project,” said Dozbaba.

    The Dane G. Hansen Foundation was established as a charitable organization in 1965, with the primary goal of making the communities of Northwest Kansas better places to live. You can learn more about the Dane G. Hansen Foundation at www.danehansenfoundation.org and about the Rawlins County Health Center and the Rawlins County Hospital Foundation www.rchc.us.

  10. Myofascial Release Therapy to Treat Trigger Points

    If you experience pain throughout your body that seems to stem from one area, you may be experiencing what are known as trigger points. A trigger point is a specific area within your myofascial tissue, often located in the back or the neck, that causes pain or discomfort which carries to different areas of your body. Since trigger points can cause chronic pain, it is important that they are treated through the use of myofascial release therapy. With manual massage techniques from trained physical therapists, myofascial release therapy can be very effective in treating tight spots, knots, or soreness throughout long bands of muscle tissue.

    Our goal at Rawlins County Health Center is to educate patients so that they may live a happier and healthier life. If you feel that you could benefit from myofascial release therapy, learn more by reading our article below. We’ll outline what myofascial pain is caused by, how myofascial release therapy works, and the easy techniques you can do at home to aid in myofascial release.

    How it Works

    Due to stress, injury, or overuse, muscles can begin to tighten and shorten, causing individuals a great deal of pain, discomfort, and loss of flexibility. According to the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, “patients evaluated in one pain management center were found to have a myofascial component to their pain in 95% of cases.” Knowing this information, you can begin to see how common trigger point pain can be for individuals. Many people who experience myofascial and trigger point pain aren’t even aware that their muscle fibers are permanently contracted, which leads to muscle tension and tightness. The purpose of myofascial release therapy is to effectively return permanently contracted muscles to their relaxed state.   

    Self Myofascial Release at Home

    If you are unable to schedule a session with a massage therapist or physical therapist, myofascial release can be achieved at home with a little effort. To easily treat trigger points in the comfort of your own home, simply purchase a tennis ball or foam roller. Foam rollers are common tools that are used to break up tight muscle tissue, and can be found online or at major retail stores. After you’ve purchased your trigger point tool of choice, begin by laying on your back and placing your tennis ball or foam roller underneath you. Start by using your foam roller or tennis ball to slowly roll around sore spots on your back until you find a trigger point. You’ll know you’ve found a trigger point when rolling over an incredibly sore spot that causes pain and discomfort.

    If you are using a tennis ball to massage a trigger point, let the tennis ball rest on the trigger point until it begins to relax and give way to the tennis ball. After your trigger point has relaxed and loosened, begin using your body’s weight to leverage the tennis ball deeper into your muscle tissue. This will ensure that you are reaching the main source of your trigger point, and will help eliminate the root cause of pain altogether. Alternatively, if you’re using a foam roller, use your body’s weight to move the foam roller up and down your back. After you’ve found the sorest area affecting you most, begin slowly rolling up and down the muscle tissue. Although you may not be massaging the trigger point directly, you can effectively help the trigger point release by massaging the long muscle fibers which connect to your trigger point. This will cause your trigger point to relax, allowing myofascial release to occur naturally.

    With enough practice, you will begin to find your trigger points quickly and easily. Myofascial release therapy can alleviate most of the pain an individual is experiencing, improving their quality of life and muscular mobility. If you are a resident in Atwood or its surrounding areas and want to learn more about myofascial release therapy, get in touch with our friendly staff at Rawlins County Health Center! Our physical therapists are experienced in myofascial release therapy, and work with patients to ensure that they leave our facility with an increased range of motion while decreasing their overall level of pain. Contact Rawlins County Health Center to schedule your appointment today!