Category Archives: Health Care

Presbyterian Manors Celebrates 70 Years

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s Founder’s Day
celebrates 70 years of service to seniors

Fort Scott — Employees of Fort Scott Presbyterian Village will observe the founding of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America this month as the company celebrates 70 years of providing quality senior services guided by Christian values in Kansas and Missouri.

Each Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America campus will have their own celebration with residents and employees during April acknowledging the importance each play in making life at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village, the way you want to live.

Many of our more than 2,000 employees view what they do as a calling, not just a job,” said Bruce Shogren, president and CEO. “Our dedicated employees make it possible for us to sustain PMMA’s mission, which directly impacts the wonderful care our 2,400 residents receive every day.”

Fort Scott Presbyterian Village will observe Founder’s Day on April 18, 2019 by having a cook out for the tenants and employees, along with live Music performed by Mr. Richard Mowen for all to enjoy will having lunch.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s roots go back to 1947. Alice Kalb, a widow from central Kansas, appealed to a Presbyterian Church organization to establish a home for seniors. Her vision laid the foundation for the first Presbyterian Manor community in Newton, Kan., and inspired others to do even more. Today PMMA remains true to the spirit of Alice’s vision, providing quality senior services guided by Christian values.

Alice’s dream has turned into a network of 17 senior living communities across Kansas and Missouri, with Fort Scott Presbyterian Village joining the system in 1994. PMMA, with its more than 2,400 residents, remains true to its core and mission: to provide quality senior services guided by Christian values.

For more information about Fort Scott Presbyterian Village, contact Becky Kellum, marketing director, at 620-223-5550 or rkellum@pmma.org.

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Vets Shuttle Now Includes Kansas City

At the Topeka Veterans Administration Luncheon recently are from left to right: Michael Leachner, Darrell Spencer, Roger “Skipper” Brown, Myra Jowers and Carl Jowers. All are veterans although non-veterans have volunteered to be shuttle drivers as well.

Local citizens have signed on to take veterans to doctors appointments for free at two Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Kansas.  And plans are in place to pick up any veteran along the Hwy. 69 corridor from Fort Scott northward.

To register for a shuttle seat, the veteran must

·         Have an appointment at a VA Medical Center between 9 am and 1 p.m. for the day they schedule their shuttle seat.

·         Call 785-925-0261 or email carljowers@gmail.com to schedule their seat. All seat reservations must be scheduled by 5 p.m., the day prior to their appointment.

The Fort Scott VA Shuttle service is coordinated by Carl Jowers, who commander of the local American Legion Post 25.

Shuttles are provided on Mondays and Tuesdays from Fort Scott to Topeka VA Medical Center; and Wednesdays from Fort Scott to Kansas City VA Medical Center.

Veterans must have an appointment scheduled between 9 am and 1 pm on the day they ride the shuttle.

“The vet should mention that they are a shuttle rider, when calling for a VA medical appointment,” Jowers said.

The shuttle will depart from the designated spot in Fort Scott,  Pete’s 66 Convenience Store, across from Briggs Automall on Hwy. 69 and will return to Fort Scott after the last veteran has completed their appointment. The departure time is based upon the time of the first appointment of the day at the VA Medical Center day. Riders will be notified of the shuttle departure time the evening before their ride.

“The departure time depends upon the time of the appointment of the riders,” Jowers said.” If there is a 9 a.m. appointment, then the shuttle departs at 6:15 a.m. for Topeka or 6:45 a.m. for KC.  If the earliest appointment isn’t until 10:45 a.m., then the departure time is adjusted accordingly. It didn’t make sense to me for a driver to pickup a rider at 6:15 a.m. to arrive in Topeka at 9 a.m. for a 10:30 a.m. appointment.”
“As the shuttle coordinator, after the reserved seating has closed out at 5 p.m. for the next day’s schedule, I decide on the shuttle’s departure time and convey this information to both the driver and the rider. It’s extra work on my part, but I think it’s a better use of time for both driver and rider.”

The shuttle does not accommodate wheelchairs or pets. Only certified service dogs are permitted on the shuttle. Oxygen tanks are not permitted on the shuttle. Oxygen concentrators are allowed.

Veterans living along Highway 69 may be picked up at the Casey’s Convenience Store in Pleasanton.

“We are going to make a pick up spot at McDonald’s in Louisburg at the intersection of Hwy. 68 and Hwy. 69 for either the Topeka VA or the Kansas City VA,” Jowers said.

“The Ottawa pickup location will be at Love’s Truck Stop at Highway 68 and I35, going to Topeka,” Jowers said.

” Veterans scheduling rides must be at one of our predetermined stops to ride the shuttle,” he said. “This is a shuttle service, not a taxi service. We have to plan for a group. If a person calls and is at a specific spot, they can ride the shuttle. They have to have a seat reserved.”

The VA shuttle holds five passengers and riders must preregister for a seat by calling 785-925-0261. Seats on the shuttle are open to any area veteran on a first come, first served basis.

Family members may not ride with the Veteran on the shuttle. Those veterans who need a caregiver to accompany them must have a signed note from their doctor attesting that the veteran requires a caregiver to accompany them to and from their appointment.

“Drivers have to pass a comprehensive VA medical and background investigation,” Jowers said. “It’s the same process as if you were being hired by the VA. We’ve had quite a few people step up and two more are awaiting background clearance.”

The list of shuttle drivers is: Roger and Faye Brown, Darrell Spencer, Steve Dean, Michael Martin, Michael Leachner, and Danny Graham. Jowers and his wife, Myra are back-up drivers.

Currently, one veteran a week is using the shuttle to get to their medical appointments, Jowers said.

“While at this time, there are not a lot of riders, I think that this will change as vets become aware of the service and begin making use of it,” Jowers said.

 

 

 

 

Budgeting For the New Ambulance Service

The budgeting process for the new Bourbon County Emergency Medical Service has two government bodies amending their budgets for 2019.

These actions are because of Mercy Hospital closing in December 2018, and along with that, the hospital ambulance service.

A collaboration between the city and the county will provide the new ambulance service.

The City of Fort Scott will operate the ambulance, Bourbon County  Commissioners will bill the insurance and receive the revenue and then reimburse the city. The majority of this budget is wages, taxes and benefits, according to the Fort Scott City Commission March 19 minutes.

A task force was formed to put together a new ambulance service that will serve the community. The task force was comprised of representatives of Mercy, Bourbon County and the City of Fort Scott.

On March 19, the Fort Scott City Commission approved to create a new EMS fund and adopt an EMS budget of  $1,004,242, according to the commission minutes.

The county government is also revisiting its budget.

“The county’s projected budget for 2019 for ambulance service is 1.1 million dollars,” Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah said.

Lynne Oharah

“The county has always had a line item budget for ambulance service which was paid to Mercy,” Oharah said.  “I think that that budget item was approved for $316,000 for 2019. This is a budget line item where we will amend our budget.”

“We have (Certified Public Accountant)Terry Sercer working with us on an amendment to the ambulance budget…,” Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah said.

“This budget will be figured on what we contracted with the city to provide ambulance service, plus what we pay an outside company, OMNI, to provide medical billing and collections, wages for the volunteer employees that staff the third ambulance and other ancillary expenses associated with handling ambulance. Building a budget item for future ambulance replacement included,” Oharah said.

The north wing of the Bourbon County Courthouse houses the Bourbon County Commission, Treasurers Office and the Clerk’s Office.

 

Mercy Pharmacy Tranferred to CHC/SEK April 1

Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients, as stated on the front door of the CHC/SEK Clinic in Fort Scott.

Since Mercy Hospital closed in December 2018, many changes have happened at the former facility.

One of those changes is the pharmacy, it has transitioned to operating by Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas personnel.

“The Fort Scott (Mercy) Pharmacy officially transferred to CHC/SEK on April 1,” Krista Postai said.

Krista Postai

“We participate in the federal government’s 340B Drug Discount program which allows us to purchase medications at the lowest cost possible,” Postai said. “This makes it possible for us to make sure that cost is never a barrier for people to get their medicines.”

“As a result, we are only allowed to fill prescriptions for patients of a CHC/SEK clinic.  Prescriptions from out-of-town specialists may also be filled if they were referred there by one of our physicians and it is documented in their record. Our pharmacists can help with working through that if needed.”

Income from the pharmacy helps cover medicines for those who can’t afford them.

“It is worth mentioning that any income from the pharmacy is redirected back into patient services and helps covers the cost of vouchering medicines for those who can’t afford them, patient navigators, case managers, patient transportation, etc. – resources many patients need but are not reimbursable from other sources,” Postai said.

The staff remains the same.

“Same staff, although we added an additional pharmacist – Julie Pellet – a long-time Mercy employee who had, most recently, worked at the now-closed pharmacy located in Price Chopper,” Postai said.

 

“Same hours as in the past and delivery as usual,” she said. “Patients can also utilize the drive-through located on the emergency room (south)side of the hospital.”

 

There have been rumors that CHC/SEK will be leaving the facility in the near future.

 

“CHC/SEK’s lease for the current clinic in the hospital is for two years, after which we are planning on relocating,” Postai said. “Everything is in the discussion stages, but we know we will need about a 25,000 sq. ft. facility. An initial discussion has been on construction of a new building but we’re not even close to determining which direction we should go yet. We should know more in about a month.”

 

Bourbon County Ambulance Service Starts Today, April 1

Bourbon County Emergency Medical Service.

Mercy EMS is no more.

Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services is, as of today, April 1, the new ambulance service for the community.

For emergency situations, you still dial 911.

“For emergencies, you can dial 911,” Bruner said. “For all non-emergency calls, the public can contact me at 620-223-2140.” Bruner is the Fort Scott Deputy Fire Chief.

Bruner is a representative of the City of Fort Scott on a task force that was given the job of transitioning the services, there were also representatives from Bourbon County and Mercy Hospital.

“The transition has been a learning process with all the licensing and credentialing that takes place,” Bruner said.  “We are very appreciative to Mercy with the assistance they have provided to make this transition into Bourbon County EMS.”

“Currently, we will remain stationed at Mercy Hospital and the Fort Scott Fire Department Station 1 (located on National Avenue),” Bruner said.

The city will operate the ambulance, the county will bill the insurance and receive the revenue and then reimburse the city. The majority of this budget is wages, taxes and benefits, according to the Fort Scott City Commission March 19 minutes.

“We currently have six ambulances,” Bruner said. “Three of those are staffed 24/7.”

Currently, there are 11 full-time emergency medical services staff members, according to  Bruner.

“Of those, four are paramedics, 1 paramedic/registered nurse and six emergency medical technicians,” Bruner said. “In addition to the full-time staff, we have 15 PRN staff. Of those four are paramedics, four are AEMT’s and seven are EMT’s.”

“Other than the logo change on the uniforms and the decals on the trucks, the service remains the same,” Bruner said.

Insurance

“We now have most, if not all, of the enrollment completed with all identified insurance carriers,” Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah said.  “But it’s early in the insurance reimbursement process and we will be able to obtain a clearer picture of our monthly insurance reimbursements going forward. We are hopeful that reimbursements will cover expenses.”

 

Building Donated By Mercy

A building on the campus of the former Mercy Hospital is being remodeled for Bourbon County EMS.

“Renovations are still being completed at the new EMS headquarters located on the northeast corner of the Mercy Campus,” Bruner said.

“Mercy has graciously offered the donation of the EMS building,” Jody Hoenor, a member of the task force, said. “We are only waiting on the finalization of some of this paperwork.”

County jail work-release prisoners have worked on the renovation of the building, with work slated for completion by April 15, Hoenor said.

New EMS Director Being Sought

Christi Keating is the current EMS Director but is resigning, according to the city minutes.

“They have been interviewing candidates and we will be announcing the new hire soon,” Hoenor said.

History

Mercy Hospital closed in December 2018.

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas now operates the medical clinic at the site, while Ascension Via Christi operates the emergency services department.

Each Kansas county must provide ambulance services to its residents, according to state statute, Commissioner Oharah said.

 

Veterans Medical Shuttle Expands

The Fort Scott VA Shuttle service is now providing weekly service to Veterans in the Southeast Kansas area on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays as follows:

Mondays and Tuesdays: Fort Scott to Topeka VA Medical Center.

Wednesdays: Fort Scott to Kansas City VA Medical Center.

Veterans must have an appointment scheduled between 9 am and 1 pm on the day they ride the shuttle.

Veterans living along Highway 69 or near Louisburg and Ottawa can also schedule a ride to the VA by following the below process. Veterans scheduling rides must be at one of our predetermined stops to ride the shuttle. This is a shuttle service, not a taxi service.

The VA shuttle holds five passengers and riders must preregister for a seat. Seats on the shuttle are open to any area Veteran on a first come, first served basis.

The shuttle service is free to any Veteran who needs transportation to the VA for their medical appointments.

The shuttle will depart from the Fort Scott’s Pete’s 66 service station on Main Street and will return to Fort Scott after the last Veteran has completed their appointment. The departure time is based upon the time of the first appointment of the day at the VA Medical Center day. Riders will be notified of the shuttle departure time the evening before their ride.

The shuttle does not accommodate wheelchairs or pets. Only certified service dogs are permitted on the shuttle. Oxygen tanks are not permitted on the shuttle. Oxygen concentrators are allowed.

Family members may not ride with the Veteran on the shuttle. Those Veterans who need a caregiver to accompany them must have a signed note from their doctor attesting that the Veteran requires a caregiver to accompany them to and from their appointment.

To register for a shuttle seat, the Veteran must

·         Have an appointment at a VA Medical Center between 9 am and 1 pm for the day they schedule their shuttle seat.

·         Call 785-925-0261 or email carljowers@gmail.com to schedule their seat. All seat reservations must be scheduled by 5 pm, the day prior to their appointment.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email me with any questions you might have.

Submitted by Carl Jowers, Fort Scott Shuttle Coordinator.  

New Medical Providers Coming To Fort Scott

Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients, as stated on the front door of the CHC/SEK Clinic in Fort Scott.

New medical providers have been or will be added to the services that Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will furnish to Fort Scott, according to Krista Postai, Chief Executive Officer.

Postai said the following have recently been added as medical providers at the Fort Scott Clinic.

SURGERY

Allen County Regional Hospital-Ralph W. Hall, DO

 

CARDIOLOGY

Mercy Group- Renae Bateman, APRN

AJ Caine,  MD   (August 2019)

Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)- James L. Marcum, MD

 

CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY

Mercy Medical Group- Pam Darnel, APRN

 

UROLOGY
Ashley Clinic- John J. Robinson, MD

Elias A. Tawil, MD

 

MATERNAL FETAL MEDICINE
HCA (Mid Summer 2019)

 

NEUROLOGY
HCA (Mid Summer 2019)

 

PULMONOLOGY
HCA (Mid Summer 2019)

 

ORTHOPEDICS
Freeman- Greg King, APRN

 

Amy Budy

 

Introducing the practice manager of the CHC/SEK at Fort Scott, Amy Budy.

Budy oversees the main clinic and  Walk-In Care.

She is a former administrative assistant at the Mercy Clinic and had worked at Mercy for 19 years performing a variety of job duties including registration supervisor and precert coordinator.

Budy has been married for 19 years to Jeremy, and has a son Dominick 14; daughters, Mackenzie, 11, and Kynleigh. 8 years.

Budy attended Metro Business College, in the Medical Secretary program.

Community Health Center Update From Krista Postai

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, 401 Woodland Hills Blvd.

 

The past month has been busy for the new Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas staff’s move to the former Mercy Hospital Clinic.

“As expected, we had a few glitches with technology but believe we have internet and phone systems now working well…so thanks to everyone for their patience,” said Krista Postai, CEO for CHC/SEK.

The east entrance to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas states that the center provides services regardless of ability to pay. Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients.

“Patients have been great about getting us signed consents to transfer records – so great, in fact, that we are backlogged….but working through the stack as fast as possible.”

“We also have been very appreciate for all the kindness we’ve been shown…many folks have gone above and beyond.”

“We did get mammography back up and running and are now working at restoring wound care services.”

“We’ve also approached three organizations about the possibility of offering cancer care in Fort Scott to replace the Cancer Center of Kansas who closed their clinic with minimal notice. We’ve had some interest but no commitments.”

 

“As in the past, we are providing comprehensive primary care including obstetrics. Dr. Burke is now on staff at Via Christi and doing deliveries; Dr. Seals is also doing deliveries at Via Christi and Nevada Medical Center.”

 

“With the addition of the new clinics, CHC/SEK now employs about 420 – about 40 of these are in the Ft. Scott clinics and about 30 staff are in Arma, Pleasanton and Mound City. We still have openings to fill in registration and nursing, as well as behavioral health where we are looking for a LSCSW or a psychologist (PHD),” Postai said.

 

“Convenient Care – now Walk-In Care – transitioned Feb. 1; the main clinic on Feb. 4.

“The pharmacy will formally transfer to our ownership April 1. In the interim, Mercy continues to operate it and have contracted with us for the 340B drug discount program which makes it possible for us to provide medications at very low cost for those who are uninsured or have limited finances.

 

“As we’ve mentioned in the past, our lease in the hospital building is for two years so we continue to explore long-range options. We will need about 20,000 sq. ft. which will allow us to offer more services including dental and behavioral health. Expect to have a decision on the direction we’ll take by May 1.”

 

We are working to recruit a pediatrician to Ft. Scott and have interviewed one candidate; also interviewed a dentist with an interest in returning to the area.”

 

“Phone numbers remain the same. Hours of operation have expanded at the main clinic to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.”

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas east entrance door states the hours of operation and the phone number of the medical provider on call.

Introducing the Chief Executive Officer of CHC/SEK:

Krista Postai. Submitted photo.

Postai, an original founder and former board member of CHC/SEK. She serves as Chief Executive Officer, according to the CHC/SEK website.

Prior to joining the organization in November 2004, she was vice president of planning and development at Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center. During her 23 years with Mt. Carmel, she was instrumental in the development of several key programs including the regional cancer center, the $17.5 million outpatient expansion completed in 2004, the creation of a physician recruitment and retention program and several mission-directed services including CareVan (a transportation service), Congregational Health Ministry, and the Wesley House Dental Clinic. She served as secretary to the Mount Carmel Foundation and as liaison to the Mt. Carmel Auxiliary.

She attended Pittsburg State University and is a graduate of Kansas University in Lawrence with a Bachelor’s of Science.

 

Horton Hospital Closes: Governor Sends Help

Governor comments on Horton Community Hospital closure, sends agency assistance

Following the closure Tuesday of Horton Community Hospital, Governor Laura Kelly extended assistance from her administration and highlighted the critical importance of community hospitals in rural Kansas.

“I’m concerned for the community of Horton as they face the serious loss of their local hospital,” Kelly said. “This is becoming a far too frequent occurrence in our state. Local hospitals are key to the health of Kansas families and are often one of the largest employers in a small town. Elected leaders must work together to do more to support our local hospitals.”

Three rural hospitals have closed in the last three months. Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott closed on December 31st. Oswego Community Hospital closed in February. And Horton Community Hospital closed its doors Tuesday.

“I’ve directed our agencies to coordinate support for hospital staff during this challenging time,” Kelly said. “A closure of a hospital has ripple effects through the community and region. Our KANSASWORKS team will be in Horton Thursday to assist hospital staff with filing for unemployment benefits, as well as job applications and re-employment services.”

The Governor’s Office, Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Department of Labor are working to provide support to employees of the hospital, ensure unemployment benefits applications are streamlined, and re-employment opportunities are available.

In response to Tuesday’s closure, KANSASWORKS will be hosting Rapid Response Informational Meetings Thursday in Horton in conjunction with the Community Outreach Event at the Horton Public Library.

Efforts to assist affected hospital employees will include Rapid Response Informational Meetings at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday at the Horton Public Library, 809 1st Ave E. No registration is required. Information will be shared about KANSASWORKS, Workforce Center employment and training services and how to file unemployment insurance benefits.

Also, the KANSASWORKS Mobile Workforce Center will be at the Horton Public Library from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to provide additional re-employment services. Workforce Center staff will be available to help with registering on KANSASWORKS.com, creating a resumé, job search assistance and filling out job applications.

The Rapid Response team was also sent to Oswego following the closure of its hospital last month.

Any questions about KANSASWORKS should be directed to the Department of Commerce:

Integrity Home Care + Hospice Opens In Fort Scott

Integrity Home Care + Hospice announces the opening of its Fort Scott location, offering quality post-acute care and hospice throughout the region. Effective March 1, the home health and hospice provider is at 902 South Horton Street, where it will provide acute rehabilitation and hospice services.

“Families with a loved one facing a serious, life-limiting illness or extensive rehabilitation will want and need to know that quality services are available,” says Amy Ford, vice president of operations for certified services at Integrity.

Integrity Home Care + Hospice is a faith-based, privately held leader in quality, post-acute health care. Committed to quality patient and family experiences wherever people call home, the healthcare provider offers a comprehensive range of compassionate, client-centered home care, hospice, and home health rehabilitation services in Missouri and Kansas.

“People in this community can feel secure knowing they have a provider who is committed to meeting their home health and hospice needs,” says Ford.

Integrity’s partners in Bourbon and Crawford counties and surrounding areas include forward-thinking regional providers which meet the needs of patients who wish to remain in their home during times of serious, life altering illness or at end of life.

Due to an aging population the knowledge that family members can get the post-acute care they need is now critically important to the region.

“Our goal is to keep patients safe. By providing quality care, we can keep them out of the hospital so they can remain wherever they call home,” she says.

Individuals who have exhausted acute treatment options may struggle with their care plan after being told there’s nothing else doctors can do. When that time comes, Integrity’s team works closely with patients and families to develop a plan of care which helps them to meet their goals.

“When it’s time to ask for help, they can receive it right here at home,” Ford says.

Working side by side with caregivers, Integrity addresses challenges in managing chronic and serious illness, facing problems head-on, and customizing solutions for issues faced by each patient in the community they serve.

“Working together, we ensure each person maintains the quality of life they want and deserve,” she says.

Integrity Home Care + Hospice is located at 902 South Horton Street. For more information on hospice, call (620) 223-1191, or to explore home health options, call (620) 223-1195.

About Integrity Home Care and Hospice

Integrity Home Care and Hospice, https://www.integrityhc.com/, is a faith-based, privately held leader in quality, post-acute health care in Missouri and Kansas. Integrity offers a comprehensive range of compassionate, client-centered home care, hospice, and home health rehabilitation services. We partner with forward-thinking regional providers to ensure the future of health care resides at home.

Kansas Emergency Department Data Available

KDHE’s KIC Website Offers New Data from Emergency Departments

Tool makes diagnoses and other statistics available online for first time

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has added a new dataset to its online health data query tool, Kansas Information for Communities (KIC). Emergency department data from the state’s general hospitals is now available on the KIC page.

 

“Using KIC, individuals and policy makers will be able to see the diagnoses that bring almost 900,000 residents to emergency departments at Kansas hospitals,” said KDHE Acting Secretary and State Health Officer Lee A. Norman, M.D. “This information can provide an insight into the injuries and illnesses affecting Kansans, many of which are preventable.”

 

Using the KIC emergency department data, individuals will be able to produce statistics on the number of ED visits by county, race, ethnicity, sex and various diagnosis categories. The diagnosis codes are grouped using a clinical classification software developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The same categories are used in the hospital discharge or inpatient diagnoses that are reported in the KIC hospital discharge query tool.

 

KIC can produce counts, rates and age-adjusted hospital ED or inpatient rates. Other datasets contained in KIC include hospital discharge procedures, births, deaths, pregnancies, cancer and population.  Data used in KIC is deidentified with some small counts or unreliable rates suppressed. The KIC web site also hosts a variety of other statistics, data and resources. The URL is http://kic.kdheks.gov.

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.