(Pittsburg, KS) – The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) is preparing for a very busy new year as it will assume operations of five clinics in Bourbon, Linn and Crawford counties beginning January 1.
Following the news that Mercy Health System would be closing the hospital in Fort Scott, it was announced that CHC/SEK would take over operations of Mercy’s primary care clinics in Fort Scott, Pleasanton and Arma.
“Mercy recognized the impact that closing the hospital would have and approached us about preserving access to care in Bourbon and Linn counties,” said CHC/SEK CEO Krista Postai adding that CHC/SEK also recognized the need. “We immediately began working with them on a transition plan.”
CHC/SEK will officially assume operations of the Mercy clinics at 601 East Washington in Arma and 11155 Tucker Road in Pleasanton on January 1. CHC/SEK will also transition the Mound City Family Care clinic — which is owned by the Mound City Medical Foundation and currently under the management of the Olathe Health System — on January 1.
Postai said transition of the Fort Scott clinics will begin on February 1 with Convenient Care at 1624 South National changing its name to CHC/SEK Walk-In Care.
“The hours and services will stay the same,” said Postai. “For most people, the only change they will notice will be the name on the building.”
The main clinic located inside the hospital at 401 Woodland Hills Blvd. will be managed by Mercy until January 31. It will then be closed until February 4 when it reopens as part of CHC/SEK. Postai said the clinic will have the same hours and offer the same services.
“We will continue to provide primary medical care along with obstetrics, lab, x-ray and immunizations,” she said. “We also plan to continue to offer mammograms and provide space for specialists including the Cancer Center of Kansas.”
Postai added that CHC/SEK will also operate the retail pharmacy next to the main clinic. “The only difference patients should notice is lower costs for their prescriptions,” she said. “It will have the same hours and you will see the same faces as before.”
Postai said the question she hears most often has to do with staff, particularly which medical providers will be staying with the organization.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Katrina Burke, Dr. Larry Seals, Dr. Maxwell Self and Dr. Pankaj Gugnani from Fort Scott as well as Dr. Jay Allen from Mound City to our medical staff,” said Postai. “Dr. Seals and Dr. Burke will also provide delivery services at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg.”
Postai added that several nurse practitioners will also make the transition including Amanda Stice, Pamela Moyers, Kristine O’Dell, Hannah Born, Amber Hunziker, Brad Young, Kristyn Milburn, Rhonda Kellstadt, Kim Burns and Kelsey Welch.
“We have also hired local Practice Managers who will be on-site to oversee the daily operations,” said Postai. “Amy Budy will oversee the Bourbon County clinics and Tesia Coffey will be in charge of the clinics in Linn County.”
Postai went on to say the addition of five clinics along with a combined total of more than 15,000 patients and approximately 75 staff members represents an estimated 35 percent growth for CHC/SEK.
“This is not only the largest undertaking in our 15-year history,” she said. “It is quite possibly the most significant.”
In the meantime, Postai said one of the biggest tasks CHC/SEK is working on right now is transferring all of the electronic medical records which can be very time consuming. “Every patient needs to sign a release form in order for us to do that.”
Postai encouraged all current patients of the Mercy clinics or Mound City Family Care to complete the forms which are available on CHC/SEK’s website at www.chcsek.org/medicalrecords.
About Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) is a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center dedicated to providing affordable, high quality medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and out