Wichita, often referred to as “Cowtown,” due to its historic role at the end of the Chisholm Trail, is today considered a “high tech” and “advanced industries” hub. Wichita is often regarded as an epicenter for culture, media, and trade. It serves as host to several large museums, theaters, parks, and entertainment venues and is home to a number of four-year colleges including Wichita State University, Newman University, and Friends University. Wichita is considered the largest city in Kansas with an estimated metropolitan population of 637,394 in 2013.

The Wichita medical training area is considered robust given the presence of the KU School of Medicine and two large, competitive hospital systems — Wesley Medical Center, affiliated with HCA; and Via Christi Health Systems, affiliated with Ascension Health. On a biennial basis, the Medical Society of Sedgwick County (MSSC) reports the economic impact of the healthcare and related industries in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). A few of the recent report findings include:
  • Wichita has the second lowest Health Care Index value compared to Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Omaha, and Tulsa.
  • Wichita has the best health care professional to patient ratio compared to Kansas City, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City.
  • Wichita provides nearly $7 billion in direct revenues to the local economy.
  • More than 1 in 6 employees in the Wichita MSA worked directly in health care and related industries resulting in payroll of over $2.8 billion.1
It is clear that while Wichita is a mid-size, mid-western city, it has a robust and active healthcare economy.

In 2008, Wichita physicians recognized the era of the health information exchange (HIE) was on the horizon.

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