Stormont Vail Health’s Letter of Intent Signed by Geary Community Hospital Board of Trustees, Geary County Commission

Stormont Vail Health, a Topeka-based regional health care system, has agreed through a Letter of Intent to negotiate a contract with the Geary County Commission and the Geary Community Hospital and its Board of Trustees that could result in Stormont Vail providing hospital and clinic services in Junction City and Geary County.
Stormont Vail Health submitted a non-binding Letter of Intent Friday that was approved by the Geary Community Hospital Board of Trustees and the Geary County Commission Monday.

Robert Kenagy, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Stormont Vail Health explained, “Our intent is that we together will create a healthcare system that delivers high quality care close to home and is financially sustaining. Together we support a regional effort that will not only enhance healthcare access and delivery, but strengthen our region’s economic vitality and quality of life.”

Margaret Grismer, Interim CEO, Geary Community Hospital, said the team at Geary Community is excited by the prospect of working with Stormont Vail as a partner in providing residents of Geary County and surrounding counties with high quality, safe care.

She credited the work of the Geary Community Hospital Transition Task Force, agreed to by the Geary County Commission, with developing strategies and collective vision for the delivery of healthcare now and in the future. “The Geary County commissioners are also to be commended for their support to ensure hospital and healthcare services continue to be available long-term,” she said.

The non-binding Letter of Intent provides that Stormont Vail is willing to negotiate and potentially enter into a contract to provide hospital and clinic services in Junction City and Geary County. If a contract is reached and closed, Geary County would own the hospital building and lease it to Stormont Vail. Contract closing would be subject to certain conditions being met, including all required licenses, permits and governmental approvals.

The Letter of Intent comes at a time when Geary Community Hospital is facing a financial crisis. The hospital announced in January it would be closing its 6-bed intensive care unit. Geary Community Hospital continues to provide emergency, inpatient, outpatient and surgical services as well as services through its primary care and specialty care clinics.

Like Stormont Vail, Geary Community Hospital has been in operation for more than 100 years, starting when local physicians set up the hospital to take care of residents in their communities. Geary Community Hospital became a city hospital for about 40 years before it moved to county jurisdiction in 1963.

Stormont Vail Health is an integrated healthcare system serving a large region in eastern Kansas. The organization employs more than 5,400 team members, including more than 500 providers.

Through its Cotton O’Neil Clinic, a multi-specialty physician group, the organization provides access to care through primary care and subspecialty care clinics and centers: Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, Cancer Center, Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, Digestive Health Center, Pediatrics Clinics and Behavioral Health Center. It also operates Express Care urgent care clinics and two outpatient surgical centers.

Stormont Vail also has a growing presence in Manhattan – with two dozen primary and specialty providers. The organization is constructing a large medical facility near the Kansas State University campus that will house all of the Manhattan Stormont Vail medical groups when it opens in summer 2023.

Stormont Vail Hospital, an acute care hospital in Topeka, serves patients from across the region. The hospital has the region’s only Level II Trauma Center and only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.