TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – SCL Health, a non-profit that operates hospitals and health services in three states, announced Thursday plans to seek proposals from healthcare providers interested in assuming responsibility for St. Francis Health in Topeka.
St. Francis is one of two hospitals located in Topeka and offers services, including general medicine and general surgery, medical and interventional cardiology, obstetrics, on cology and orthopedics. St. Francis employs a medical group of more than 70 primary and specialty care providers.
“St. Francis is recognized locally as one of the most affordable, quality providers in the region,” said SCL Health President and CEO Michael A. Slubowski. “Yet, for some years St. Francis has been challenged to strengthen and expand its healing ministry at a time when health reform is requiring all hospitals to rethink how to provide care most effectively and efficiently.”
SCL Health and St. Francis had been evaluating a number of strategic scenarios, and in 2015 discussed the potential for collaborative arrangements with local providers and insurers. After failing to reach consensus, SCL Health continued to study alternatives and ultimately decided to seek interest from a wider group of healthcare organizations.
“This was a difficult decision and one that involved significant contemplation and prayer,” Slubowski said. “Both the SCL Health Board and St. Francis’s Board ultimately agreed that the best way to ensure a viable future for St. Francis, its associates and physicians is to find another provider organization, preferably with operations in Kansas. We want an organization that will support local leadership as they re-invent St. Francis to compete in a unique market and in a state that has yet to expand Medicaid coverage.”
Chair of St. Francis’ Board of Directors Greg Schwerdt said this is an important decision that will change the path of St. Francis Health and is an important opportunity to strengthen the ministry.
SCL Health has engaged Citi, a national expert in healthcare transactions, to manage the process to collect proposals. Among the top priorities SCL Health and St. Francis seeking a provider are commitments to:
- Continue to fulfill the healthcare needs of the community;
- Continue the provide charity care services to meet community needs;
- Continue to make investments in appropriate capital projects and information technology needs.
“I’m confident we will attract interest,” said St. Francis Health President David Setchel. “We offer superior quality and outstanding physicians, nurses, allied health providers and associates who are committed to providing the highest level of person-centered care. Additionally, we have the benefit of the transformation happening in the Topeka community, with strong local leadership that is driving exciting revitalization efforts in Downtown Topeka and other key projects that support our city’s economic development and quality of life. We are proud of our ministry and look forward to continuing our legacy of healing in Topeka for many years to come.”