KU Health System looking to buy St. Francis

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The University of Kansas Health System says they are looking at acquiring St. Francis Hospital in Topeka according to a letter sent to SCL Health CEO Michael A. Slubowski.

In the letter from University of Kansas Health System President and CEO Bob Page, he states it is their mission and daily focus at KU Health System to support health and wellness of Kansans and ensure their access to care.

“We understand the critical role of St. Francis Health in the Topeka community and beyond — both in terms of the vital care provided and the economic stability as a major employer.

Page said they are preparing a proposal to buy St. Francis. He said based on an early review of the facility’s operations and needs, they are confident this will be the best solution for the community, employees, physicians and patients.

“We will be in position to meet the timeline outlined by SCL Health.”

Last week SCL Health said they would cease operating the hospital this summer if another operator did not come forward.

KU Health System partnered with Hays Medical Center in Hays, Kansas to help the keep health care in that community according to Page.

“We understand how to work with doctors, nurses and caregivers to provide quality care, while also providing access to the extraordinary resources of a nationally renowned academic medical center.”

In addition, Page said Ardent Health Services has one of the most experienced joint venture management teams in the nation.

Page said he understands the current uncertainty may be difficult for employees as they consider their careers and needs of their families.

“We want to assure you, as well as the employees of St. Francis Health, we are taking every reasonable step to assist the facility and ensure it remains open for decades to come.

Stormont Vail Health in Topeka also met with SCL Health last week to discuss transition plans for St. Francis and evaluate what could be done to keep the hospital open.

SCL Health has reported financial losses in recent years. It placed St. Francis on the market 11 months ago, leaving 1,600 employees increasingly anxious about its future.


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