Senator Jerry Moran visits Mitchell County Hospital

By Terry Bailey

Senator Jerry Moran toured the Mitchell County Hospital on Friday, November 3. Moran is well known for returning home to Kansas and making himself available to meet with constituents. Elected first to the national House of Representatives in 1996 Moran made it a practice to visit each of the 69 counties each year. When he was elected as one of the two Kansas Senators in Washington, D.C. in 2010, he continued the policy of visiting each of the 105 counties in Kansas each year.
About a dozen leaders of the Beloit community greeted Moran and spent about an hour with him. Arriving promptly at 11:00 a.m. he announced he had a take-out order scheduled at Kettle at 11:50 and he did not want to be late for his lunch. Moran said that many of the smaller communities in Kansas no longer have a restaurant and that Beloit is fortunate to have Kettle and other dining establishments.
While Moran speaks to all sorts of groups, large and small, he seemed to be in his best element with the small group walking through the hospital, stopping to look at the various departments of the facility and exchanging questions and answers with the local folks. Nicki Cleveland, Chief Nursing Officer, served as the host for Senator Moran.
Staffing needs and profitability were two topics of great interest. Moran spoke to Dr. Jason Cheney and asked, "Most of the doctors are about your age, aren't they." Cheney is by far the youngest member of the doctors in the Beloit community, of which Moran was well aware. He wanted to make sure everyone knew that he understood the aging of those in the health care community was a significant area of concern. The nursing program at the Technical College is viewed as a strong factor in the staffing needs of the hospital.
Beloit Jr.-Sr. High School has a job shadowing program allowing students to spend time at the hospital. Superintendent Jeff Travis was asked, "Is this program only available to students who are sure they want to enter the medical profession." He replied, "It is a chance for them to investigate. We hope when they complete the program they have a high interest in pursuing one of the many professions available at the hospital."
Moran was asked about his work with health care for veterans in rural Kansas. At one time, veterans had to travel to a veteran's hospital in Kansas to receive health care. This rule was modified to allow a veteran to seek local care if he or she lived more than 40 miles from a Veteran's facility. Moran commented, "It is a big challenge for an 85-year-old World War II veteran from Atwood, Kan., to travel 200 miles to receive health care."
Moran confirmed that the he was big contributor to developing the current policy for Veteran's health care so that a Veteran is free to choose where to receive health care regardless of how near of far away that might be. The bottom line is that the veteran has the final say regarding where he goes for health care.
In closing Moran asked, "How can I help?" The overall response was a big need for mental health care services and ways to recruit new personnel and to retain those already working at the hospital.
At exactly 11:45 Moran departed for the Kettle and his carry out lunch.


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Beloit, KS 67420, USA