Norton County Hospital Launches Healthy Living Podcast


NORTON, Kan. – Norton County Hospital is pleased to announce the launch of “Health in the Heartland,” a podcast that examines current issues in health and health care, particularly relating to rural medicine. The podcast is centered on the health services provided by Norton County Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital and Level IV trauma center, and its rural health clinic, Norton Medical Clinic, located in northwest Kansas. Additionally, experts speak on timely information to encourage healthy living.

The podcast aims to inform, educate and empower individuals to live healthier lives, said Norton County Hospital community relations director Katie Allen Wagner. The hospital has been planning to use podcasts as a tool to reach local, regional, national and even global audiences for several months, but the project was initially delayed due to efforts to mitigate COVID-19 in 2020. The podcast project eventually took off with recording starting in the spring of 2021.

“Rural health care has its own set of challenges and rewards,” Wagner said. “We look forward to bringing our podcast audience along on the journey to learn about how we aim to provide high-quality health care in a rural area with limited resources, and how we play a role in the sustainability of the communities we enjoy. We welcome listeners to join us and be part of these important health care conversations.”

Examples of published podcast episodes include highlighting the occupational therapy profession, Stop the Bleed program and maternal health in a rural setting. Upcoming episodes will include a mixture of health advice from local doctors and advanced practice providers, as well as some of the latest trends in health care and their impacts on small hospitals like Norton County Hospital.

“We wanted to build a library of podcast episodes to provide a flavor of our intended content and then officially launch this summer,” Wagner said. “Please take a listen to our published episodes and stay tuned to hear more local experts speak on an array of health care topics.”

Listeners can download “Health in the Heartland” podcast episodes from any podcast service provider, or they can listen on the Norton County Hospital website:

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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