New Hospital Prepares To Open In West Wichita

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The final touches are going into Wichita's newest hospital, set to open by mid-August.

Developers of Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa say it could save lives in emergencies where seconds matter. That's because the hospital is located in West Wichita near 21st & 151st streets, approximately twenty minutes closer than downtown's Via Christi Hospital on N. St. Francis.

The $93-million, 144-thousand square foot hospital will be the only full-service hospital on the city's west side, Via Christi officials said. The hospital was designed to be "biofillic," using large windows and earth-toned colors to help bring the feel of nature inside. Studies suggest it helps patients recover faster.

"Everything is driven by the patient, the family and their experience," said Jo Clepper, administrative nursing director for the new hospital.

Via Christi Hospital on St. Theresa is wired with all the latest in medical technology. Inside one of the building's state-of-the-art operating rooms, high definition monitors can assist surgeons in complicated procedures.

There's also a fully equipped lab in the building, a 24-hour emergency room with 14 beds, and West Wichita's only child birth facility.

And Via Christi says it's not done.

"We purchased 120 acres [around the hospital]," said CEO Kevin Strecker. "We have intentions of developing the whole property as a medical campus."

While not a Level-1 trauma center, such as Via Christi Hospital on N. St. Francis, the West Wichita hospital will still be able to provide patients with almost any service. Officials say the addition of another 24-hour emergency room gives many in the area a sense of peace. Wesley Medical Center operates an emergency room at 13th & Tyler.

"Everybody around here is very excited," Clepper said.

The public is invited to take guided tours, meet the staff and enjoy light refreshments at the new hospital from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

Parking is available in the hospital parking lot. To ensure easy access, additional parking will be available in the north patient parking lot at Wichita Clinic Eberly Farms, 13213 W. 21st St. North. Via Christi Villages will be providing shuttle service from there to the new hospital during the open houses.

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