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OpEd: Manhattan hospital president provides update on local operations

Bob Copple

Recently, we’ve been hearing questions about our business decision not to continue to provide services to an outside entity as well as about our recent name change and what that means for the future. I’m writing to address both.

For years, Manhattan Surgical Hospital has contracted with our hospital for lab, food service, stored blood and tissue, and other services. More than a year ago, we began exploring whether providing these services to a for-profit entity was within our core competencies and mission, and whether doing so was the best use of our time and resources. After significant discernment, we determined it was not and gave appropriate notice so they could procure such services elsewhere without any operations interruption. While some of the Manhattan Surgical Hospital owners were not happy with this decision, it was in keeping with our responsibilities as a non-profit hospital to be a good steward of the resources entrusted to us.

Secondly, in regard to the recent addition of the Ascension name to our own, this is a sign of our deepening commitment to serving our community now and in the future. Ascension Via Christi is part of the largest Catholic healthcare system in the country and with that comes more resources. Our ministry has been affiliated with Ascension since 2013 – when our hospital was still Mercy Regional Health Center. The recent changes were made in order for all of Ascension’s 150-plus hospitals located in 22 states to unify under one name, letting patients and families who come to us for care know that our local hospital is part of something larger. For those we serve, being part of a well-resourced national ministry allows us to collaborate with our Ascension peers to identify and share best practices that lead to better outcomes and patient experiences.

Our team in Manhattan performs excellent work. We continue to look for ways to provide more close-to-home access to more services, such as 3D mammography and our current campaign to bring an upgraded cardiac catherization and interventional radiology lab. Over the past five years, we have added a state-of-the-art gastrointestinal center, primary care clinic, second aquatic therapy pool, and an on-site sleep lab and pain clinic. We’re also in the process of remodeling our cardiac rehab gym, again to better serve our community.

In fiscal year 2018, Ascension Via Christi provided more than $68.8 million in community benefit in Manhattan, Wichita and Pittsburg and the surrounding communities. This total includes $27.9 million in charity care provided to Kansans in need.

I am fortunate to serve an organization that puts patient care at the forefront of its mission. Despite the challenges facing hospitals nationwide, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan is well-positioned to serve our community now and to ensure that Manhattan’s only community hospital continues to remain strong for generations to come.


Bob Copple
Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan

About Bob Copple