2010 Growth | Via Christi Health

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St. Teresa  |  Wichita Clinic  |  Memorial Hospital in McPherson  |  Pittsburg Upgrades  |  Senior Villages  |  HOPE  |  Highlights

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Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa

West Wichita finally has a hospital to call its own. And, it's not just a hospital. The Aug. 11 opening of Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa heralded a new era in hospital care.

"Every aspect of this hospital has been designed with one thing in mind: creating the ideal patient experience," explains Kevin Strecker, hospital president.

Soothing, nature-inspired décor welcomes visitors and patients. Large windows let in natural light. The environment is designed to help patients heal faster. All patient rooms are private. An in-room computer also means that the nurse spends more time at the patient's bedside instead of at the
nurse's station.

The 68-bed hospital with four spacious labor and delivery suites features a full-service Emergency Department, surgery suites, radiology, pharmacy and laboratory services.

West Wichita resident June Beachler's husband Kenneth was twice taken to the hospital's emergency room with heart problems and then admitted as a patient. She calls the hospital and its entire staff "marvelous," and calls hospitalist Andrew Fields, DO, who managed her husband's care at the hospital, "a wonderful doctor."

"The personal care you get is unbelievable," she says. "The minute you ring for help, they are right there."

The first baby born at the hospital was Felix MacKenzie Marshall. Parents Tim and Katie Marshall made the drive from east Wichita on Aug. 12 to have their son born at the new hospital.

"I wanted to be able to tell my son that he was born in the hospital that I helped build," explains Tim Marshall, a sheet metal
apprentice who helped install the hospital's heating and air conditioning system.

Via Christi Health acquires Wichita Clinic

Closer coordination between physicians, hospitals and outpatient centers can improve health care quality and increase efficiency. With this in mind, Via Christi Health and Wichita Clinic joined forces in late 2010.

"We have listened to patients and physicians and purchasers of health care," says Randy Peterson, interim president and CEO, Via Christi Health. "We believe that by working together as a single organization, we can reduce the fragmentation in health care."

As part of strengthening physician leadership, Via Christi Health named Robert Kenagy, MD, senior vice president, Physician Services. Kenagy was previously chief medical officer of Wichita Clinic.

"This new model represents an evolution in health care that will seek to improve value, quality and the overall patient and family experience," Kenagy says.

The agreement brings to Via Christi Health Wichita Clinic's more than 160 physicians in more than 40 specialty areas. Over time, Wichita Clinic's name will change to Via Christi Clinic.

Via Christi Health to provide management services to Memorial Hospital in McPherson

To help Memorial Hospital in McPherson maintain its vital local presence and provide additional services to patients, Via Christi Health has signed a contract to provide management services to the hospital. Via Christi Health will help the hospital recruit medical staff and add services to help retain patients in McPherson. Via Christi also offers technology services to help Memorial Hospital meet such future demands as creating electronic health records.

"Via Christi Health's philosophy is that health care is best delivered in a patient's own community where the patient has the support of family and friends," explains Randy Peterson, Via Christi Health's interim president and CEO. "We are pleased to be able to lend our expertise and our resources to help Memorial Hospital enhance its ability to serve McPherson."

Upgrades to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg include new entrance, cath lab and linear accelerator

To strengthen health care services for residents of southeast Kansas, Via Christi Health invested $7 million in 2010 into capital projects at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg. The upgrades include a new community entrance, new cardiac catheterization lab and state-of-the-art linear accelerator in the Via Christi Cancer Center.

Patients and visitors at the hospital in Pittsburg are now greeted by a beautiful community entrance featuring a gift shop, visitors' lounge, cafeteria and welcome center. The design incorporates more natural light and features hardwood paneling, a sculpture of the Holy Family and glass walls bearing the Via Christi Health Mission Statement and Core Values.

"These make our new community entrance feel less institutional and more organic. When people are peaceful, they heal better," says Deb Bainbridge, chief financial officer for the hospital.

The new cath lab provides the latest in imaging technology to physicians.

"The new system significantly advances our ability to provide diagnostic and interventional care to our patients," says Ali Hammad, MD, Heart Center medical director.

The linear accelerator offers even more precise targeting of cancer tumors without harming surrounding tissue.

"Our Trilogy Linear Accelerator allows us to pinpoint down to a one-to-three millimeter area and can adjust for the movement caused by a patient's breathing," explains Duane Myers, MD, radiation oncologist.

"We are now better able to treat patients with upgraded radiation equipment in the Cancer Center, a state-of-the-art Catheterization Lab in the Heart Center and a complete makeover of the community entrance that is more accommodating for families," says Randall Cason, president and CEO, Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg.

In the past eight years, the hospital has added a new outpatient area and emergency room, the Via Christi Heart Center and a QuickCare Clinic. In more recent years, a new intensive care unit and cardiac step-down unit have been built. The Mount Carmel Foundation has also announced a $1.2 million campaign to construct a women's center on the third floor of the hospital.

Via Christi Villages - leader in senior services

More than two decades ago, a woman honored as a pioneer in elder care had the foresight to suggest that acute care and long-term care facilities be run as separate entities within what would become Via Christi Health. Sister Maureen Doughtery, CSJ, realized in order to run efficiently and effectively, the heavily regulated long-term care ministry needed to have a staff of experts, both administrative and clinical, to best serve an aging demographic.

It wasn't just about quality of care and effective management, but quality of life and making sure seniors have a more rich and rewarding experience as they age.

And thanks to that model, Via Christi Villages has become the nation's seventh-largest Catholic-sponsored senior care organization and is seen as a leader and innovator in a service field that will grow dramatically in the next half-century.

Besides operating its own 13 senior living communities and programs in Kansas and Oklahoma, Via Christi Villages now provides management services to other senior service providers. Some are as close as Villa Maria and Maria Court in Mulvane, Kan. Agreements for selected consulting services are in six other locations, some as far away as Texas. Inquiries have come in from providers in many more states.

Via Christi Villages offers expertise including nutritional services, clinical, human resources, financial services and other related management infrastructure.

Via Christi HOPE serves 500th client

When Via Christi HOPE started in 2002, it was Kansas' first and the nation's 37th Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. This past summer, the program - which provides customized high quality health and social services - served its 500th client.

For Rachel and Wayne Jones and their daughter Ann, the program has been a godsend.

Rachel became a client after a two-month hospitalization for congestive heart failure.

"Thank God HOPE answered the call of multiple needs," Ann says. "It provided medical equipment, medications, coordinated care and daytime activities."

"HOPE saved my life," Rachel says. "I was in a wheelchair when I came in. I couldn't climb steps. Now I can go up the front steps and I can walk with a walker and even use a cane at home. They worked miracles with me."

Eventually Ann convinced her father to participate. He received much-needed medical care, too. "But he will tell you that the new friends and social activity have been the best thing that HOPE has brought him," Ann says.


 2010 Highlights

:: Mitchell County Hospital and Health System and Trego County-Lemke Memorial Hospital in WaKeeney became the third and fourth hospitals to sign on with Via Christi Health ePharmacy. ePharmacy improves patient care and safety by helping to provide more timely review of medication orders, thereby reducing the chances of the wrong medication or dose being given to a patient.

 :: Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg received Level III Trauma Center verification from the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. The hospital is one of only two Level III Trauma Centers in Kansas and the second verified trauma center within Via Christi Health.

:: Mercy Imaging - a new joint venture between Mercy Regional Health Center and Manhattan Radiology - opened in June, offering patients more advanced imaging technology in a single, convenient location. It features women's imaging, a Siemens BiographTM PET/CT and a larger, more comfortable MRI.

:: Four Via Christi Villages celebrated milestone anniversaries: Via Christi Village on Georgetown and Via Christi Village in Ponca City - 25th Anniversary, Catholic Care Center - 20th Anniversary, Via Christi Village on McLean - 10th Anniversary.

:: In August, Randall Peterson was appointed senior vice president, Via Christi Health Hospitals, assuming responsibility for all Via Christi Hospitals including those in Wichita. In December, Peterson was appointed interim president and CEO of Via Christi Health as Kevin Conlin, who had led Via Christi for nearly seven years, accepted a new position outside of Via Christi Health.

:: In February, Randall Cason was named president and CEO of Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg. The veteran hospital administrator came to Via Christi from St. Vincent Medical Center/North in the Little Rock suburb of Sherwood, Ark.

:: Shannan Flach was named CEO of Wamego City Hospital in February. Flach had served as the hospital's controller/corporate compliance officer and as a member of the hospital's administrative team since 2008.

:: A dedicated effort by Via Christi Health's public policy staff helped gain passage of a skilled nursing facility bed tax to ensure additional funding for senior communities throughout Kansas. The tax will generate more than $31 million and will be matched by $56 million in federal funds. Via Christi Health will realize $648,549 from the tax.

:: In January 2010, Via Christi Health completed the sale of Preferred Health Systems to Coventry Health Care. Proceeds from the sale are being reinvested into providing the same compassionate care that Via Christi Health and its founding congregations have provided for more than a century. 


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