Ascension Via Christi may provide ER service


WELLINGTON — The Wellington City Council voted unanimously to enter into a non-disclosure agreement with Ascension Via Christi, of Wichita, which has expressed an interest in providing emergency room services in the closed Sumner Community Hospital building.


“The city has been contacted by a couple of other groups with an interest in providing health care services,” City Manager Shane Shields told the council, during the Tuesday meeting. “The interest by Via Christi in providing full emergency room services appears to be the most positive possibility at this time.”


Ascension Via Christi reopened emergency services at the Fort Scott Hospital after it closed a year ago. Shields said he talked to the Fort Scott City Manager, who had spoken highly of Ascension and what it had accomplished in continuing emergency care for the city.


Shields said that on March 26, Ascension sent a team to conduct a site visit at the former Sumner Community Hospital to evaluate what would be necessary for providing emergency service. Shields told the council that Rural Hospital Group has not yet officially terminated.


Shields said he wouldn’t sign anything until a plan is made with Ascension, but he wanted to avoid any “potential delays.” City Attorney Shawn DeJarnett, who attended the meeting through teleconferencing, said the approval was a “necessary step.”