“After almost a full year of providing services in Ft. Scott, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas wanted to take one last look at preserving the hospital building that was built to last through several generations. As you can imagine, transitioning almost 75 people and five clinics in a few short months was a very daunting task a year ago and, at the time, we were concerned about making it as seamless as possible. We were aware that our lease was only two years and that a long-term solution needed to be found and the easiest approach was to build from ground up. We have indeed started that process.
However, one can’t spend any time in Ft. Scott without realizing the impact the Sisters of Mercy have had on the community over the last century and how much their hospital meant to everyone – especially those who donated toward building it. With a year of history in the building, we thought it wise before we invested $5 million in building a new clinic, to evaluate what the actual costs of keeping the hospital building open have been. Without many of the services a hospital provides, the cost appears to have been far less than originally projected. In the meantime, there has been renewed interest in using portions of the space for health-related purposes as evidenced by the meeting held in Ft. Scott a few weeks ago.
As a result, CHC/SEK is doing a feasibility study to determine exactly what it will take to preserve the facility from destruction. We have approached the Mercy System about the possibility of acquiring the building and they have responded positively. At this point, everything is very preliminary and no formal ask has been made.
This is something we can’t do alone. We have also approached other possible major tenants in the building including Ascension/Via Christi and may have enough to sustain and maintain the facility. Again, everything is in the discussion stages with no firm commitments or contracts. We will also be talking with the city and county over the next few weeks. The last thing we want to do is raise false hopes so please know this is just an evaluation of what may be possible.
I will be presenting a recommendation to my Board at their January 16th meeting. Time is of the essence so a decision whether to formally approach the Mercy System for the donation must be made prior to February 1. Two building projects have already been initiated for a new clinic and an new ER and decisions have to be made quickly if we are going to reverse course. That leaves little time to work out all the details and talk with everyone so my apologies to anyone who we may miss over the next few weeks.
We do want people to be aware of our efforts and will be happy to talk to anyone with an interest that we haven’t already spoken with. The concept of a ‘medical mall’ is a promising one but, at this point, is only an idea. The best way to reach me is via email at [email protected].”
President & CEO
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas
3011 N. Michigan
Pittsburg, KS 66762
2 thoughts on “CHC Looks At Feasibility to Preserve Mercy Hospital Building”
So let me understand this. According to the article, “Two building projects have already been initiated for a new clinic and an new ER and decisions have to be made quickly if we are going to reverse course.” Shouldn’t this discussion have taken place BEFORE the two building projects were initiated?? Then you wouldn’t have to “reverse course”. Asking for a friend…
I’m wondering why we haven’t looked into having our city manager, economics directors, along with the commissioners, be advocating for the people of Bourbon County?
The local people have spent millions of their own money into the building and buying new equipment at this hospital. Why must, we the people, who pay these people’s bills, keep getting the shaft? They are supposed to be representing our NEEDS. Seems like these days all they represent is their WANTS! We NEED a hospital, with a capable, competent staff.