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.