Manhattan, Kansas, has a long-established residential neighborhood adjacent to the trendy restaurants and boutiques in its popular downtown area.
So when Ray’s Apple Market on the corner of 6th and Leavenworth announced in 2015 that it was shutting its doors, many speculated about what grocery chain would move into the building.
But that never happened and for about a year, the building sat vacant for about a year amidst the historic homes surrounding it.
Consequently, when word began circulating that Via Christi Health, part of Acension, was interested in the property, neighbors were thrilled.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, many of them joined Via Christi leadership and board members, physicians, staff, volunteers and other community members for a ribbon-cutting of the totally renovated 17,000-square-foot building that today is Via Christi’s first primary care clinic in Manhattan. Sharing the space with the clinic are Via Christi’s already established behavioral health, weight management and diabetes education programs.
“This model houses primary care with services that support our patients’ additional health needs,” said Bob Copple, hospital president, noting that the clinic’s two primary care providers – Lan Ly, MD, and Jody Badura, APRN – “will be a welcome addition to our community and will hopefully increase the access to primary care and wellness to the eastside of Manhattan and western Pottawatomie County.”
Via Christi psychiatrist David Wichman, MD, who serves as president of the hospital’s medical staff, agreed.
“By co-locating services such as primary care, weight management and diabetes education, and behavioral health, we are providing a more holistic approach that will help providers collaborate on their patients’ care and needs,” he said, adding that the clinic also is giving to new life to a building that has served the community for decades.
“I had a patient tell me that my office was located in where the produce department used to be – and he was right!” he said with a laugh.
Efforts are ongoing to recruit additional primary care providers now that there is the clinical space needed to accommodate them.