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Topeka Doctor Helps Establish First Micro-Hospital

How This New Healthcare Model Fell into Hometown Hands

When presented with an opportunity to bring a micro-hospital to his home town, Dr. Jared Schreiner knew he wanted to bring the new health care format to Topeka. “My boss asked me, ‘Hey, you know something about micro-hospitals, right?’” says Schreiner, M.D., and chief medical officer of Topeka ER & Hospital. “That’s when the Topeka project fell into my lap.”

The Texas-based hospital group Nutex Health was in the process of planning and building Topeka’s first free-standing ER and hospital and was contacting physician groups in the area looking for doctors who might be interested in the project. “When Nutex introduced their plans to build in Topeka, it was a no-brainer,” Schreiner says. “This is my home town, and I was thrilled at the chance to help start a hospital here with a model I believe in.”

Schreiner began working at micro-hospitals in Dallas a few years after completing his medical residency there. As a health care provider, he found the relatively new format appealing. “I loved the model,” he says. “I loved that a patient gets more time with a doctor and is made to feel like something more than a number,” he says.

"I also loved the team approach. Everyone there genuinely seemed to care about the patient experience and took a lot of pride in where they worked. It was like a combination of visiting your neighborhood doctor but still dealing with stressful emergencies at the same time.”

Schreiner described a recent example of the “team care” approach after treating a heart attack patient from out of town. “He came to us with the usual signs of a heart attack, but was hesitant to get treatment because he had his dog with him,” Schreiner said. “He was concerned about leaving his car here and who was going to take care of his dog.” Schreiner called his parents, who came to Topeka ER & Hospital to pick up and care for the patient’s dog. Meanwhile, the security staff kept a watchful eye on the vehicle until the patient’s wife could come to Topeka and pick up the vehicle and the couple’s dog.

The path that allowed Schreiner to share those kind of stories began at the University of Kansas, but in music not medicine. “I was a music education major with vocal emphasis until about midway through second year,” he says. “Then I realized I didn’t want to make a career from music and so took a physiology course and loved it. “At the same time, I had a family member who was ill and in the hospital. I spent a lot of time in the hospital during that time and realized that’s where I wanted to be.”

After Schreiner graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2008, he and wife, Erin, moved to Dallas where in 2011, he completed his emergency medicine internship and residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital. 

After several years of working both at the traditional big hospital ERs and micro-hospitals, Schreiner’s family moved back to Kansas in 2018. The “Topeka project” culminated with Topeka ER & Hospital officially opening its doors on July 27, 2020. In the time since, Schreiner has seen some familiar faces pass through its doors. “Since we’ve opened, every now and then I am able to treat an old friend, classmate, or family friend,” he says. “Being able to help treat the community I grew up in has been the best experience. I’m honored and grateful that I was able to be part of this project. Providing care for the people I grew up with is a huge honor; that’s truly the best.”

Schreiner says he is also proud of helping build a team dedicated to providing truly great patient care. “We have an amazing team of doctors, nurses, and support staff,” he says. “Every single person on our team is integral in making this hospital run for the community. It’s just so great to get to watch this team grow from strangers to a family and treat the patients like family, too."