Catalyst Award: Patterson Family Foundation
Watch the Patterson Family Foundation's video from the 2023 Hall of Fame.
Bob Page: When you look at the Patterson Family Foundation's mission, and then you look at the health system's mission, you see this incredible synergy. We're the only academic medical center in the state of Kansas, and our ultimate goal is to make sure we improve the health of Kansans. And when you sit down and you talk to folks from the foundation, their emphasis is on rural healthcare.
Lindsey Patterson Smith: We're a family led foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri, endowed by my late father and stepmother Neil and Gene Patterson. Our mission is to advance healthcare, education, and economic opportunity, particularly in rural communities.
Tammy Peterman: The vision of the Patterson Family Foundation is thriving rural communities. When we think about thriving rural communities, we know that healthcare is at the center oftentimes in those communities.
Bob Page: That's where we come together. Our care collaborative that we started years ago was designed for this very purpose.
Bob Moser: The care collaborative began as the Kansas Heart and Stroke Collaborative back in late 2014. This was the result of a CMS innovation award that The University of Kansas Health System received, and we implemented with 13 counties. We like to jokingly call them our original 13 colonies, but 11 of those were critical access hospitals.
Jodi Schmidt: Those are the smallest hospitals in Kansas with 25 beds or less. CMS said to us, "You're doing so well, can you demonstrate replicability to other diseases?" And since that time, we have continued to grow and expand. So we now serve 81 members across 72 Kansas counties, roughly two thirds of the state.
Tammy Peterman: We are so grateful for the Patterson Family Foundation's support for our care collaborative because what we know through the Care Collaborative, we've been able to advance healthcare in these smaller communities.
Lindsey Patterson Smith: Rural communities on average are older, sicker, and poor, and we've heard that for years. That's a known thing. It's also under-resourced and it's not just under-resourced and it's tax dollars and it's federal funding, it's under-resourced and philanthropy. 20% of the population lives in a rural community, but only 7% of the philanthropic dollars are invested back within rural communities. Part of our work at the Patterson Family Foundation and extending the legacy of our founders is filling a gap.
Bob Moser: There's more regulations coming down to the quality assurance and performance improvement requirements for our small critical access hospitals. And the change in technology has been challenging to keep up with. We don't always have the resources, the expertise in the rural communities to adapt and adopt some of those rural technology functions into our practices. We laid out the proposal or the grant from the Patterson Family Foundation. They quickly recognized how well they fit into their mission.
Jodi Schmidt: The Patterson Family Gift is allowing us to develop these things in 20 rural hospitals that then can be shared with the other 62 critical access hospitals across the state of Kansas. And then hopefully that will build to others. And so truly, they have become a catalyst for improvement all across the state and hopefully eventually the country.
Bob Page: What you need to understand is they're behind the scenes, making sure that those in the front lines have what they need to provide the best care possible.
Tammy Peterman: They are supporting us to make sure that we can provide the very best care. In these smaller communities, keeping that care close to home.
Lindsey Patterson Smith: We knew we needed partners. We knew that we weren't going to be able to do this alone, so I appreciated the fact that The University of Kansas Health System was always there.
Bob Page: I've had the opportunity to look at the landscape of healthcare in the State of Kansas, and it is in trouble to be very honest. We collectively have to figure out what we as an organization in partnership with foundations like the Patterson Family Foundation are going to do to help healthcare and Kansans receive healthcare. What I want to do is thank them for having the vision and the courage to step into that void and to partner with us in a way that nobody else is doing.
Lindsey Patterson Smith: The Patterson Family Foundation is beyond honored to be named a catalyst. We hope that our work is bringing a spotlight to the challenges that rural communities are facing, the resources that they lack, and we hope that our work inspires others to go make those similar investments.