Vigil held after rumors of St. Francis closure

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – People gathered outside of St. Francis Medical Center Monday night to show support for the hospital that is rumored to close.

“There is going to be 1,600 people from this institution that are going,” says Steven Leonard, who has worked at the hospital for 37 years. “Their lives are going to be changed forever.”

Different organizations, like the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, are preparing their patients in case St. Francis closes its doors.

The VA and St. Francis have a partnership in caring for veterans. The VA says they will lose the ability to divert and transfer patients if St. Francis closes. Over 600 vets have accessed care at St. Francis since last year.

Other concerns involve people’s medical insurance and in-network coverage. Bob Hanson with the Kansas Insurance Commissioners says they would expect the insurance companies to update provider directories and websites to reflect changes if the hospital closes.

Governor Sam Brownback’s office sent KSNT News a statement regarding the possible closure: Governor Brownback and Attorney General Schmidt met today with the leadership of Sisters of Charity Leavenworth. They, along with Mayor Wolgast and other government officials will continue to work with the Sister of Charity Leavenworth and other interested parties in efforts to keep St. Francis hospital open.”

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