Ascension Via Christi/Fort Scott Celebrates Opening of Emergency Department

Randy Cason, Ascension Via Christi Hospital President speaks at the grand opening of the Fort Scott Emergency Department on Feb. 28.

A ceremony of speeches, prayers, cookies and punch, and tours of the new Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department took place in the former cafeteria of Mercy Hospital on Feb. 28.

Ascension Via Christi assumed operations of the closed Mercy Hospital Emergency Department on Feb. 1, 2019.

On Feb. 18, the new department began operations in Fort Scott.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was the celebration of the emergency department opening.

Randy Cason, president of Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg said it “was no small feat to open up an emergency department and lab services” and acknowledged the help of the Mercy Hospital administration team and others (a city/county collaboration) who “worked hard to make sure health care will move forward in our community. We understand the need.”

“We opened on the 18th at 7 a.m. and we had our first patient at 7:15 a.m.,” Cason said. “It’s been 24/7 service since then.”

“It’s the most mission based thing we have done,” he said. “I am proud of our team pulling it together.”

In addition to the move to Fort Scott, Via Christi had a name change, “a unified brand move” Cason said. “On Feb. 14, we officially became Ascension Via Christi.”

There are 40 employees at Fort Scott, including emergency, radiology and laboratory services, said Michelle Kennedy, Ascension Via Christi Senior Marketing Specialist.

“We worked hard to see the former employees staying on,” Kennedy said.

The operation of the emergency department will be like any other, she said. “We’ll put patients in categories and the level of care they need.”

“Depending on the urgency, they would be stabilized and transported to another facility for advanced care.”

The facility chosen would depend on hospital availability and the condition of the patient, Kennedy said.

Some of the 40 employees of Ascension Via Christi at Fort Scott.  Back row, left to right: Jessica Cobb, Kayla Stewart, Adrienne Kellenberger, Holly Ryan, Barbara Dunlap, Stephanie Holtz. Front row L to R: Naomi powers, Bill Watkins, Brooke Newell, Melissa Wescoat, Jennifer Meadows, Cheryl Koppa.
The outside entrance, on the south side, to the Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department.
Dr. Tim Stebbins, medical director of the Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department in both Pittsburg and Fort Scott, speaking at the grand opening of the Fort Scott ER on Feb. 28.
Ascension Via Christi Hospital has imaging and laboratory services at the former Mercy Hospital building at 401 Woodland Hills, Fort Scott.
Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison speaks during the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the emergency room. Also speaking from Fort Scott were City Manager Dave Martin, Mayor Jeanne Parker, and Father Yancey Burgess (pastor at Mary Queen Of Angels-Fort Scott), who prayed a blessing for the emergency department.
The Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department had a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the reception area on Feb. 28, including staff and administration and local city dignitaries.
From left: Tawny Sandifer, Ascension Via Christi Chief Nursing Office, and project leader for the Fort Scott Emergency Department; Naomi Powers, Director of the Emergency Department in Fort Scott and Pittsburg; Jessica Cobb, RN Nursing Manager, Fort Scott and Pittsburg; Kayla Stewart, RN Coordinator Clinical Program.
Natalie Snyder, RN; Kristi Harbit, RN and Cheryl Koppa, RN, all of Fort Scott,
man the emergency department nurses station the day of the grand opening of the Ascension Via Christi Emergency Room, Feb. 28. All of the full-time nurses are local, said Ascension Via Christi Manager of Patient Access, Jennifer Meadows. The emergency department interior “looks pretty much the same,” Meadows said.


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