Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

St. Luke’s acquires Cushing Memorial

July 6, 2006

— Cushing Memorial Hospital has a new owner as of July 1: St. Luke's Health System of Kansas City.

The change comes nearly five years after Cushing and St. Luke's Health System entered into an agreement where Cushing paid an annual management fee to St. Luke's for consultation and management support services.

"We've made great strides as a hospital with St. Luke's management expertise," Bob Edwards, Jr., Cushing chief executive officer, said in a news release. "We're excited about moving to the next level of success for the benefit of the hospital and the entire Leavenworth community."

Under the new arrangement, St. Luke's Health System will form a new board, assume Cushing's assets and liabilities and consolidate Cushing's financials with its own. In the coming weeks, a new board of directors, made up primarily of Leavenworth-area individuals, will be appointed.

"Both St. Luke's and the Cushing board of directors understand that the challenges of today's health care environment require stronger alliances of clinical professionals in order to progress," said G. Richard Hastings, president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System. "The expanded affiliation will give us the momentum to achieve that."

The Cushing board of directors approved the agreement on June 16. David Thompson, Cushing Memorial Hospital board chair, said the goal of the board was always to do what was best for the Leavenworth community.

"This full affiliation was carefully analyzed by the board, and it was clear that this was the right decision to make for the good of the entire community," Thompson said. "We recognized the fact that this was quite an opportunity for the people of Leavenworth and surrounding communities to have access to the medical expertise of St. Luke's Health System right here in town, as well as other St. Luke's hospitals when patient needs require it. The time was just right."

With the arrangement, the Leavenworth-Lansing community will have greater access to the St. Luke's specialists without leaving home, the news release said. The affiliation with St. Luke's is also expected to enhance the recruitment of physicians to the area.

Though the relationship has changed, Edwards stressed the hospital's focus would remain the same.

"You will continue to see a local direction for Cushing. We are still your same community-based hospital and our mission is still the same - to provide quality health care to the Leavenworth area," Edwards said.

No name change is anticipated as a result of the arrangement and no jobs will be eliminated.

Dinah Zeck, chair of the Cushing Memorial Hospital Foundation, reiterated Edwards' comments regarding the continued goal of a community-based hospital.

"We recognize the importance of the Foundation's mission to continue its support of our local hospital to help provide resources to make our services the best they can be," Zeck said. "Though the hospital has St. Luke's leadership, as a community, we still bear responsibility for making great things happen in our own back yard."

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