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Randy Cason OpEd: Ascension Via Christi is prepared, ready to care for Southeast Kansas

As the number of positive COVID-19 patients in Kansas continues to grow, Ascension Via Christi Hospital continues its preparations to ensure that we stand ready to provide safe, compassionate care to our friends, family and neighbors in Pittsburg and Southeast Kansas.

In keeping with that effort, we are in daily communication with Crawford and Bourbon county health departments, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Girard Medical Center, community medical staff and local emergency medical services. This collaboration of all of our local health providers will be critical in helping address a public health issue of this magnitude.

One of the first actions our hospital took in preparation for a potential surge was to suspend non-urgent elective procedures and surgeries. Although difficult, this decision has allowed our hospital to conserve personal protective equipment and valuable pharmacy and blood bank resources. It also opened up inpatient bedspace in advance of any influx of COVID-19 positive patients. Additionally, we enacted hospital visitor restrictions to reduce the possibility of additional exposure to patients and staff.

It is times like these where we truly realize the benefits that being part of Ascension, the largest non-profit Catholic healthcare system in the country, brings to us and our community. It brings with it access to a national supply chain, which is important when needed equipment and supplies are in short supply, as well as the expertise and best practices of colleagues from throughout the country.

Our biggest concern continues to be protecting the health and safety of our associates. They truly are on the frontlines as we face this worldwide pandemic and they are counting on us all to do our part. In communities that do not have stay-at-home orders in place, novel coronavirus infections can double in two or three days. In contrast, locations that uphold the order have seen doubling in six days or longer. By staying at home, we can help “flatten the curve” -- slowing the spread of the virus, allowing our healthcare system to manage the patients who need care over time and protecting our hospital associates and at-risk population.

Like every other Ascension ministry across the United States, we are proactively planning for this pandemic. We are here for you and your family. We continue treating regular illnesses, health conditions and injuries, and we are still helping expectant mothers to bring life into this world -- we are just operating a little differently than usual.

Please stay safe and stay home. Check on your family members and neighbors, those who are not able to get out and shop for themselves. We all have to do our part to help prevent further spread of this virus and protect our communities. On behalf of our medical staff, board of directors and associates, we are proud to be Pittsburg’s hometown hospital and are committed to caring for our friends, family and neighbors.


Randy Cason
President, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg

About Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Ascension Via Christi in Fort Scott and Wamego Health Center. She is a proud wife and mom and loves cooking, camping and spending time outdoors, her dogs and reading.