Kiowa hospi­tal opens in Kan.

Crit­i­cal-ac­cess fa­cil­ity de­stroyed in 2007 tor­nado

Modern Healthcare - - Regional News - Vince Gal­loro

The tor­nado that ripped through Greens­burg, Kan., on May 4, 2007, dev­as­tated more than just bricks and mor­tar, such as Kiowa County Memo­rial Hospi­tal. It also tore apart the health­care provider com­mu­nity in the town, said Mary Sweet, the hospi­tal’s ad­min­is­tra­tor. So the chal­lenge wasn’t only to re­build a hospi­tal, but also a provider com­mu­nity, she said.

The new Kiowa County Memo­rial Hospi­tal opened this month, less than three years af­ter the tor­nado that de­stroyed more than 90% of Greens­burg and about 17 months af­ter ground was bro­ken. The 15-bed crit­i­cal-ac­cess hospi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment will have full-time lab­o­ra­tory and di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing sup­port, in­clud­ing a 16-slice CT scan­ner, Sweet said.

The new hospi­tal also takes steps to­ward re­build­ing a base of other health­care ser­vices. The build­ing in­cludes a ru­ral health clinic and space for a re­tail phar­macy, Sweet said. The phar­ma­cist who used to run a re­tail phar­macy in Greens­burg moved away af­ter the tor­nado, so the hospi­tal has to re­cruit a new one, she added. There is also an area for spe­cial­ists to set up shop, such as an eye doc­tor and a car­di­ol­o­gist, and the hospi­tal hopes to of­fer mi­nor surg­eries, Sweet said. The hospi­tal also fea­tures an on-site day­care for its em­ploy­ees.

The hospi­tal also was de­signed to seek out the Lead­er­ship in En­ergy and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­sign, or LEED, platinum des­ig­na­tion, Sweet said. If granted, Kiowa County Memo­rial would be the first LEED platinum crit­i­calac­cess hospi­tal, she said. A wind tur­bine pro­vides about 30% of the elec­tric­ity the hospi­tal needs. The amount of elec­tric­ity is kept low by the avail­abil­ity of nat­u­ral light and other ef­fi­cien­cies, she said.

The hospi­tal cost about $19 mil­lion to build and an­other $6 mil­lion to equip, Sweet said. A va­ri­ety of fi­nanc­ing sources con­trib­uted to the $25 mil­lion, she said. In­sur­ance, do­na­tions and grants from the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency and its Kansas equiv­a­lent cov­ered all but $4.2 mil­lion of the cost, and then the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture pro­vided the rest, split equally be­tween a grant and a loan, Sweet said.

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