Doctors return to rural: Couple takes their skills to an underserved Kansas community

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DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A western Kansas couple is breaking down language barriers, learning to speak Spanish to better serve their community. 

The United States Census Bureau found that nearly 55% of people in Dodge City speak Spanish, and with a 62% Hispanic demographic on top of that, the demand for more Spanish-speaking doctors became all the more real for Zach and Serina Harvey. It became a need they aimed to fill.

After graduating from chiropractic college in 2016 the Harvey’s moved to Peru for three years. The couple studied Spanish while treating patients at a small clinic.

“When the patient is able to communicate with you, they’re able to put that trust into you,” said Zach Harvey, husband and doctor at Arrowhead Family Chiropractic.

While there, they learned more than just the language, they learned how to connect with their patients.

“We started realizing that the connection between us and our patients was so much more intense. Like that patient really opened up to us,” said Serina Harvey, wife and doctor at Arrowhead Family Chiropractic.

When their work in Peru was done, the Harvey’s moved back to the United States.

Knowing there was a greater need for bilingual doctors in western Kansas, they settled down in Zach’s hometown, Dodge City, and opened their own chiropractic clinic.

“I looked around and there’s still no Spanish-speaking doctors here, there’s still not anybody catering to the community,” he said. “We were just like there’s a huge need that needs to be filled here, and we could be that people, we could be those people that actually provide quality affordable care, you know, in a way that is comfortable for the Spanish-speaking community.”

The couple says they wanted to bridge the language gap and provide treatment to those in need.

“It makes us even more full of pride to be able to tell people, ‘here we can talk to you, we understand, we know what it was like,’” she said.

The couple opened their clinic in October of 2020. They provide adjustments, stretching, therapies, among other services, to get patients back to their routines pain-free.

Their practice offers appointments, a website, and social media posts, all in Spanish.

Since opening, they have been working to bring a sense of comfort and independence back to patients who may not speak English.

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