Next-gen health care

University partnership elevates health care collaboration
By Malorie Sougéy

Carl Ade, associate professor of kinesiology, is the liaison between Kansas State University and Stormont Vail Health in a revitalized partnership that will provide more opportunities for clinical health care research collaboration.Kansas State University’s next-generation land-grant mission includes community health and well-being, and a revitalized partnership with a local health care system is part of that vision.

The Kansas State University and Stormont Vail Health Research Collaboration supports next-generation health care research, education, access and innovation by providing opportunities for K-State students and faculty to collaborate with Stormont Vail providers and patients. Stormont Vail Health is a nonprofit integrated health system.

Through this partnership, K-State experts — who are up to date on current trends, research and clinical trials — can carry out Stormont Vail practitioners’ ideas for research, allowing the practitioners to focus on patient care.

Students also get the opportunity for hands-on research and can potentially help facilitate clinical trials, experiences that are typically only available to medical school students, while also learning from guest speakers sponsored by the collaboration.

Carl Ade, associate professor of kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Sciences and liaison between K-State and Stormont Vail, emphasized the significance of multidisciplinary teams in modern research.

“For many of us doing health care research, we need to expand into the clinical realm, whether that’s access to patients, unique pieces of equipment, biosamples like blood or simply expertise. This partnership allows us to build these collaborative teams that advance research, teaching and patient care.”

Patients from across Kansas can participate in clinical trials that they might not otherwise have access to, and they can see their providers and go to the clinical research space all at Stormont Vail’s Manhattan campus.

Mary Martell, vice president and regional administrator for Stormont Vail, said the collaboration expands beyond the shared geography.

“The work has already become regional, and its impact will reach far beyond as we work together to accelerate health care innovation,” Martell said.

K-State’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering and College of Veterinary Medicine have proposed or ongoing projects with Stormont Vail, including a study focused on brain blood vessel health in cancer survivors and research to find better ways to diagnose peripheral artery disease.

While the partnership is still relatively new, there are already ideas to expand its reach in the future, Ade said, including a vision for addressing rural health care challenges.

“We want to find ways to take our research and our findings into rural communities with K-State Research and Extension in support of the K-State 105 initiative and the Next-Gen K-State strategic plan,” Ade said

K-State 105 is the university’s answer to the call for a comprehensive economic growth and advancement solution for Kansas. Combined with K-State and Stormont Vail’s shared commitment to Kansan health and well-being — an area of focus in the Next-Gen K-State strategic plan — the momentum is building.

“As people are learning about this new capability, it’s making them think about projects that in the past they didn’t pursue because they weren’t feasible,” Ade said. “Because of this partnership, they can chase ideas and dreams they couldn’t before.”