WELLINGTON–Last month, Ascension Via Christi announced plans to lease space in the Sumner Community Hospital, which closed on March 11. It will use that space to open an ER as a department of Ascension Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc., the legal entity for Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph.

Once renovations of the space have been completed early next year, the ER will reopen with four exam rooms, a triage area and a trauma room just inside the EMS entrance in Wellington. It also will have limited on-site imaging, laboratory and a hospital pharmacy.

In a news release August 18, 2020, Ascension Medical Group Via Christi officials announced they will add Sumner County Family Care Center's Wellington and Mulvane practices to its list of primary care and specialty clinics -- a purchase that will be finalized in September.

"By joining Ascension, we are helping ensure that the communities we serve will continue to have access to the family medicine specialists they need now and for years to come," said Steve Hawks, DO, one of the primary care clinics' six physician owners.

Claudio Ferraro and Philip Newlin, MD, AMG Via Christi's chief operating officer and chief medical officer, said the change will be seamless for the patients and families being cared for by the busy practices.

"Being part of an integrated healthcare ministry allows our primary care providers and other specialists to work together toward achieving better patient outcomes and experiences because they can all quickly access the same electronic medical record," said Ferraro. "That leads to better coordination, less duplication of services and ultimately a lower cost and higher value of the care provided."

Don King, Ascension Via Christi's chief executive officer and Ascension Kansas ministry market executive, said the company is committed to providing Kansans in the Wellington area access to care by collaborating with other to develop sustainable models of ER and related basic services.