We Together: A Communication of Stormont Vail Health (November 9)

Dear Community Partners,

Here are today’s updates:

  • Stormont Vail Strong in Emporia
  • Foundation Presents Leadership Award
  • “To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight
  • Times for Veterans Day Flag Raising Ceremony – Nov. 10, 2023

Stormont Vail Strong in Emporia

We are Stormont Vail Health strong in Emporia.

Our team in Emporia, caring for 18,000 Emporia and Lyon County residents at our Cotton O’Neil Clinic, has been an integral part of the community and an important part of our organization for nearly 30 years. These team members include physicians, nurses, radiology techs, lab professionals and more. They are involved in community organizations and events in Emporia, many live and work in the county, and all have a focus on providing high quality, safe care for patients.

In the past two weeks, our organization’s plans to enhance healthcare in Emporia by building a new campus facility – similar to what we recently opened in Manhattan – has come under siege by leaders of Newman Regional Health, who seek a zoning change that would severely limit growth or enhancement of healthcare facilities in Lyon County, other than their own. This has placed our Emporia teammates in a difficult situation, as the very location where our clinic is located is space leased from Newman.

Our current space in Newman’s facility is why Stormont Vail began considering expansion plans in the first place. Our team has outgrown the space, it is scattered on three floors, it does not provide for additional equipment or providers, and it is not well maintained. Example: Today, two elevators were not working for patients seeking to get to our clinic space.

Today, we visited with our Emporia team in a fourth floor waiting room to discuss what is occurring, to let them know we are committed to providing patient care and to talk about options. We are doing our best to let our Emporia team members know we support them as we work through the hurdles of developing a state of the art facility for them to provide care. Our Emporia team is engaged and proud to work for Stormont Vail – and we embrace and support their efforts.

Key to this situation is the proposed zoning change or “text amendment” that is sought by Newman to prevent Stormont Vail Health from moving forward with plans that include expanded services and economic development. The zoning changes will put a chill on any other healthcare organization wanting to invest in Emporia.  We strongly oppose the proposed zoning changes. It will be considered at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 by the Emporia-Lyon County Planning Commission, then will go to the Emporia City Commission. In a disappointing move, Lyon County Commission approved a letter of support for the zoning change this morning.

In August, Stormont Vail was invited by Newman Regional Health leaders to meet to discuss our strategic plan. At that meeting, Stormont Vail presented a high level view of our intention to expand in Emporia to meet the needs of patients who live in Emporia and the region but have chosen to have their health care needs met in Topeka, Kansas City and Wichita.  Examples, from data available through the Kansas Hospital Association, include:

  • 50% of Lyon County residents now leave the Emporia market for their outpatient surgeries and procedures.
  • 5,000 imaging studies for Lyon County residents are conducted in healthcare facilities outside Emporia annually.

Our vision is that with a more appropriate, state of the art facility, many of these healthcare needs going outside Lyon County, can actually be met in Emporia, close to home. Patients often heal better when they are close to home with the support of family and friends.

We remain open to discuss with Newman Regional Health our plans to expand healthcare in Emporia, and hope that the community and their respective governing bodies will welcome the enhanced services, convenience and economic development, and partner with Stormont Vail Health to create a healthier tomorrow for Emporia.

Foundation Presents Leadership Award

Tracy Duran, Regional Director and Administrator, Flint Hills Campus, is the 2023 Clyde Clifton Leadership Award recipient. Duran was recognized for her honesty, integrity and embodiment of the mindset that success is created with a team approach.

In 2022, Duran accepted the challenge to be part of the transition team with the acquisition of what is now Stormont Vail Health’s Flint Hills Campus, ultimately choosing to stay as part of the leadership team.  While her primary responsibility was oversight of clinical operations, her ability to create an environment of trust and respect during a challenging time uniquely displayed her leadership skills. 

Those skills continued to evolve over the past year as she led the Joint Commission site visit making it a learning opportunity for staff through modeling the benefits of a partnership relationship with regulatory agencies.  She has also worked diligently with the Flint Hills management team and achieved notable successes in improving patient care, creating a positive work environment and being fiscally responsible.

Sponsored by the Stormont Vail Foundation, the Clyde Clifton Award honors its namesake, who served as Stormont Vail’s chief financial officer for more than 40 years.  The award recognizes managers, supervisors, charge nurses and directors who demonstrate exemplary leadership characteristics.

“To Your Health” on WIBW-TV Tonight

Dr. Clif Jones, Vice President of Subspecialty Medicine and infection disease physician, will share information about COVID-19 and the upcoming respiratory season on tonight’s WIBW “To Your Health.” The segment will air at 10 p.m. on WIBW-TV, Channel 13. The segment will typically repeat at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Fridays on 13 News This Morning and be posted on

Times for Veterans Day Flag Raising Ceremony – Nov. 10, 2023

Stormont Vail Health is recognizing Veterans Day during a ceremonial flag raising at the Stormont Vail Topeka and Flint Hills Campus Hospitals on Friday, Nov. 10. The correct times for these events are listed below.

Topeka Campus Hospital Ceremony

  • Time: 8 a.m.
  • Where: South entrance flagpole
  • Conducted by: Topeka Arab Shrine Legion of Honor

Flint Hills Campus Ceremony

  • Time: 9 a.m.
  • Where: Rooftop sundeck, third floor (Accessible via the main lobby elevator)
  • Conducted by: Irwin Army Hospital Community Color Guard
  • Standing room only; no seating allowed on the rooftop

We together,
Dr. Kenagy

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