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Via Christi investing time, resources in integrating care, expanding access

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Nationwide, Ascension ministries are working to better meet the needs of today’s patients by becoming less hospital-centric and more focused on ensuring access to the right level of care at the right time and location.

Ascension’s Ascension Via Christi is one of them.

The goal: To make care more accessible, quicker and less expensive while continually improving the quality, safety and outcomes of the care we provide.

For example, we’re working to expand access to outpatient care through recruitment of primary care providers to serve in outpatient clinics throughout our community. We’re also working to integrate the full spectrum of care that we offer – including prevention and outreach, family medicine and specialty clinics, hospitals and rehabilitative care – so that we’re all working together to see that patients receive the care they need in the most appropriate setting.

Last September, our Ascension Medical Group Via Christi in Derby moved to a beautiful new facility with room to expand its team of family care providers as well as provide room for the growing number of specialists now seeing patients there on a rotational basis.

We also are leveraging our resources by relocating some of our outpatient clinics currently in leased space to our own facilities. We recently moved our west Immediate Care to our Ascension Medical Group Via Christi on 21st and Reflection Ridge – bringing added convenience to patients of that clinic as well as to others who may need after hours and weekend walk-in care.

Later this year, we’ll be moving the multispecialty clinic at 13213 W. 21st to the medical office building connected to Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa, allowing us to continue to forge closer relationships between the caregivers serving in our hospitals and clinics.

Finally, as part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system, we’re able to share resources, introduce new ideas and invest in approaches that have worked in different parts of the country, implementing them here in our community. Likewise, there has been tremendous interest in our Transitional Care programs, which have helped us reduce readmissions and avoidable ER visits among patients either living with chronic heart and lung disease or who do not have a primary care physician at the time of their discharge from the hospital.

Healthcare leaders have the opportunity and responsibility to reimagine care delivery in a way that both expands access and educates consumers to make informed decisions about the most appropriate care setting for their needs.

The Sisters who founded our Kansas ministry, in whose footsteps we walk, wouldn’t have it any other way.

About Michael L. Mullins FACHE

Michael L. Mullins, FACHE is senior vice president, Ascension Healthcare, and ministry market executive for Ascension Via Christi, Ascension Kansas, and St. John Health System, Ascension Oklahoma.