Hospital services

Stormont Vail could bring hospital services to Junction City

JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) – Stormont Vail Health is entering contract negotiations to bring hospital and clinical services to Geary County and Junction City.

The health system announced Tuesday that it had submitted a letter of intent to negotiate with the Geary County Commission and Geary Community Hospital, which both groups have approved. Although the letter of intent is non-binding, if negotiations go as planned, Stormont Vail could potentially enter into a contract to provide healthcare services to Junction City and Geary County.

The talks announcement came just over three months after Geary Community Hospital closed its intensive care unit. Human resources director LJ Baker said the closure was due to an “exacerbated shortage of COVID-19 nurses, as well as fiscal situations beyond [their] control.” Although the intensive care unit is no longer in operation, the local hospital still provides emergency, inpatient, outpatient and surgical services.

With Geary Community Hospital facing financial challenges, Acting CEO Margaret Grismer thanked the Geary Community Hospital Transition Task Force for helping get the ball rolling with Stormont Vail to maintain care for healthcare available in the region.

“Geary County commissioners are also to be commended for their support in ensuring that hospital and health care services continue to be available long term,” Grismer said.

Stormont Vail Health CEO Robert Kenagy, MD also has high hopes for a partnership with Geary Community Hospital.

“Our intention is to work together to create a healthcare system that delivers high-quality care close to home and that is financially sustainable,” Kenagy said.

Along with Stormont’s potential to get involved in Geary County, the health system is also building a large medical facility near Kansas State University. With about 24 primary and specialty care providers in the area, Stormont Vail said the new building will house all of its Manhattan medical groups.