KU Cares: Jayhawks on the Frontlines

DR. RYAN KNOPP is a proud Jayhawk and Williams Education Fund member living in Wildcat-country, serving as a family physician with Stonecreek Family Physicians in Manhattan, Kan., 32 miles outside of his hometown of Chapman, Kan. Knopp received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Kansas and completed his family residency through the KU Med Rural Residency Program.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has greatly impacted the normal operation of family medical practices around the country, including Stonecreek Family Physicians.

“We have had to reinvent medicine practices over the past few months (in order to remain compliant with social distancing),” Knopp said. “(We have been conducting) lots of virtual visits, conducting drive-thru COVID-19 testing and lab appointments. The overall goal is to try to keep the patients safe while providing medical care and being creative in the ways that we do it.”

The healthcare professionals who expose themselves to harm every day are who Knopp calls heroes during these unprecedented times.
“Collectively, it is all the nurses, hospitalists and office workers,” Knopp said. “(I would consider) all of my colleagues in healthcare (to be my heroes).

Knopp has been able to see a true unification in his community among medical professionals due to this pandemic.

“All medical providers in Manhattan have created a clinical taskforce,” Knopp said. “All of us have been bonded together which has been awesome. We have been working with all other community organizations to help guide the community’s response to the pandemic as a whole. We have collaborated with the health department to set up drive-thru testing, while sharing resources and helping one another out.”

The way to help combat the spread of COVID-19 is simple, Knopp says.

“The single best way to help is to continue to advocate for best practices moving forward,” Knopp said. “Continue to promote social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing procedures. Be one more voice advocating for best practices.”

We thank Dr. Ryan Knopp and every other general family practice physician for their flexibility, creativity and determination to help in the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.