Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is in negotiation with the owners of the former Price Chopper building to acquire it, Krista Postai, CHC/SEK President and CEO, said in an email interview.
“However the details are not yet finalized,” she said. “Following the closure of the store in 2019, the health center identified the building as a potential site to house a future clinic based on the uncertainty surrounding the future of the existing hospital building at that time,” she said.
“The large size and convenient location would allow us to bring our medical clinic, walk-in care, and pharmacy into one location with enough space to allow additional expansions if needed,” Postai said.
The Price Chopper building is located at 2322 S. Main and has been empty since 2019.
The CHC/SEK lease for the clinic space at the former Mercy Hospital building at 401 Woodland Hills expired on December 31, 2020,Postai said.
Postai said CHC/SEK needed to “move forward on determining a long-range plan for a permanent home for our clinic.”
“We did secure an additional two-year lease from Mercy Health System in December – who remains the owner on the building — on our existing clinic space, with the understanding from Mercy that there was no option to renew,” she said.
“Mercy also donated several acres of land behind the existing hospital to CHC/SEK and we were planning new construction when the opportunity to acquire the Price Chopper Building was once again raised,” Postai said.
“We had originally pursued the possibility of utilizing that space (the Price Chopper building) in collaboration with Ascension Via Christi when it first became available but were in the midst of transitioning both the clinic and the Emergency Room over from Mercy which was the priority for both organizations,” she said. “We did, however, remain in contact with the owners of the building who were anxious to see this space utilized once again.”
“With our plans to now move forward on acquiring the former grocery store, we have reconnected with Ascension Via Christi regarding the possibility of future collaboration and are in serious discussions with their senior leadership,” she said.
“We remain committed – as does Ascension Via Christi – to ensuring the residents of Bourbon County have access to primary and emergency care today and into the future,” Postai said.