How far would you travel to ensure consistent, quality care to patients in rural communities? For Kai Scott, regional rehab services senior manager and a physical therapist at Banner Health, traveling 796 miles to Susanville from Page, Arizona, every quarter has become second nature and even “fun.”
A first-ever for Banner Health, Scott first pitched the idea to her supervisor at Page Hospital in 2014. Now settled into the dual roles, through long drives and technology she has extended her PT network to include Banner Lassen Medical Center for much-needed rehab and physical therapy care.
“Growing up in a small community myself, I understand and appreciate the rural lifestyle,” said Kai Scott, multi-state rehab services senior manager at Banner Health. “Volunteering my services and building a stronger PT program in each community seemed like the best possible option to maximize patient care and utilize resources already at our fingertips since there is such a critical need for not only physical therapists, but occupational therapists and speech therapists in rural communities.”
According to the National Rural Health Association, only about ten percent of physicians practice in rural communities despite the fact that nearly one-fourth of the population lives in these areas. Rural communities also have fewer specialists including physical therapists and rehab services despite the critical need.
With 20 years of experience, Scott brings passion, dedication, collaboration and a welcoming demeanor to every patient visit and internal team meeting. At each medical facility, Scott has a team of 3-6+ physical therapists who report to her regularly (via Skype, teleconferencing or in person) to ensure patient needs at both locations are exceeding expectations.
“Kai has endless enthusiasm and capabilities within Banner as a PT and rehab manager which she extends to her teams at both facilities,” said Brian Kellar, CEO at Page Hospital. “Her relentless accountability, time management and passion for providing exceptional patient care is what makes this first-ever, hybrid position not only effective, but beyond critical in each community.”
“Kai has the ‘it’ factor needed to succeed and get things done,” said Cathy Harshbarger, CEO at Banner Lassen Medical Center. “Although she is only in Susanville on a quarterly basis, she maintains consistent contact with her team here to ensure high-quality care is met. Kai’s positivity and patient-centered dedication sets her apart from others – I can say that as her employer and a past patient.”