The Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department in Wellington opened Monday, March 15, filling the void created when the community’s investor-owned Sumner Community Hospital suddenly ceased operations a year ago.
"Thanks to Ascension Via Christi, community-based emergency care once again will be available to Sumner County residents,” said Wellington Mayor Jim Valentine. “We are tremendously pleased that they have stepped in to help provide this essential service.”
Ascension Via Christi’s new full-service ER occupies 9,850 square feet of space within the former hospital at 1323 N. A Street. The extensively remodeled facility, which continues to be owned by the City of Wellington, features diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy and other basic support services required by a hospital ER. It will be open 24/7 and operated as a department of Ascension Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, which includes Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph.
The former hospital's main entrance will serve as the single point of entry for all patients except for those arriving via EMS. The ER has a triage area, four exam rooms and a trauma room. It is fully open to walk in traffic and will begin accepting ambulance traffic within a week.
Jacob Reed, DO, a board-certified Emergency Medicine specialist, will serve as the medical director, and Tammy Northrop, RN, will serve as the nursing director for the Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph and Wellington emergency departments.
"We are committed to ensuring Kansans' access to care by collaborating with others to develop sustainable models of care," said Don King, Ascension Via Christi's chief executive officer and Ascension Kansas ministry market executive. "Our new ER in Wellington is a testament to that commitment as well as to the collaborative spirit of the community’s leaders.”
The opening of the Wellington ER marks the second time that Ascension Via Christi has stepped in to restore close-to-home access to emergency care following the closure of a rural Kansas hospital. In February 2019, Ascension Via Christi opened a similar ER in Fort Scott, Kansas, as a department of its hospital in Pittsburg.
It also is the second time in the past year that Ascension Via Christi has made a significant investment to ensure Sumner County residents’ access to primary care services for years to come. In October 2020, the Sumner County Family Care Center family medicine clinics in Wellington and Mulvane became part of Ascension Medical Group Via Christi.
A virtual blessing and dedication will be held later this month.