Prime Healthcare wants to save Kansas hospital from closure

In a letter to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Prime Healthcare Foundation, the Ontario, Calif.-based nonprofit arm of Prime Healthcare Services, said it is interested in taking over St. Francis Health in Topeka, Kan., according to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

The hospital is facing closure after Denver-based SCL Health announced last week it will cease operating St. Francis this summer. While SCL Health is still exploring options to keep the hospital open, the system said it will stop operating St. Francis this summer regardless of whether another owner or operator is found.

In an April 20 letter to Gov. Brownback, Prime Healthcare's general counsel Troy A. Schell said the hospital operator wants to save St. Francis from closure.

"Prime Healthcare wants to assist in keeping St. Francis open immediately and for years to come," Mr. Schell's letter said, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

On Monday, Mr. Schell reiterated that Prime is interested in taking over the struggling Kansas hospital. "Prime Healthcare believes that a closed hospital is a missed opportunity to allow a cherished asset to thrive and to be an integral part of the community for generations to come," Mr. Schell tells Becker's Hospital Review. "With sound management focusing on quality patient care, St. Francis can be a flagship hospital for Prime Healthcare and a cornerstone in the Topeka community."

Last week, SCL Health officials said the system is eager to discuss any alternatives to closure for St. Francis. SCL Health President and CEO Mike Slubowksi said he hopes to have more information about the hospital's future in the first week of May.

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