Jun 30, 2020 11:22 PM

Virus victim: Saint Luke’s Health System closing Cushing Hospital

Posted Jun 30, 2020 11:22 PM

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Hospitals across the country have spent the past several months grappling with the unexpected costs of preparing for and managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The significant financial impact of those actions has forced many health care providers to make difficult decisions in how to realign care and services to continue to serve patients. As part of that realignment, Saint Luke’s Health System announced Tuesday it will be closing Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital, 711 Marshall St, Leavenworth, effective October 1, 2020, according to a media release from Saint Luke's.

“This was an extremely difficult decision and one we never wanted to make,” said Adele Ducharme, CEO, Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital & SLHS North Region. “In 2019, we launched a new model for Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital. Our hope was that by focusing on emergency services, we would set Cushing on a successful and sustainable financial path while providing the Leavenworth County community the services most essential to them. We were just a few months into this new model when COVID-19 hit.”

In addition to substantial increased costs for necessary supplies to treat and care for COVID-19 patients and protect health care workers, the health system also deferred many elective procedures out of concern for the health and safety of patients, staff, and the community.

“The financial impact of the unexpected global pandemic was unprecedented,” Ducharme said. “As a result, we never had the opportunity to fully test this new care model for Cushing Hospital to see how successful it could be.”

Saint Luke’s has invested more than $20 million in Cushing Hospital over the last five years to improve services and enhance the facility. Although the hospital will close October 1, Saint Luke’s Primary Care–Cushing will remain open and accessible to patients. Patients will also have access to Saint Luke’s virtual and telehealth options.

Approximately 70 employees may be impacted by this decision, but all are eligible to apply for other opportunities within the health system between now and the official closure date.