Wellington To Close Hospital, Replace It With Smaller Privately-Run Facility

By TRACY MCCUE, Sumner NewsCow

Wellington’s Sumner Regional Medical Center is expected to close within the next two years and be replaced by a new, smaller hospital that will be run by a private company.

An attorney for the hospital, which has struggled financially in recent years, made the announcement at a meeting of the Wellington city council Tuesday evening.

Plans are in the works for a new five to 15-bed healthcare facility which will be owned and operated by the private company called RHG, Rural Hospital Group in Kansas City.

An agreement was approved by the Sumner Regional Medical Center board Tuesday morning which would transfer ownership to the Kansas City based company by March 15.

The hospital will then be operated by RHG in the current facility until a new hospital can be built in the next 12 to 24 months. Because the city of Wellington owns the SRMC building, the city council had to approve a lease agreement to move the transaction forward.

The council did so by a 6-0 vote. The agreement effectively leases out the facility to RHG until a new facility has been built.

The city will also assist in the financing of the development of the new facility. That money is to be repaid over time by RHG.

A location for the new facility has not been determined.

SRMC Board Attorney Doug Pfalzgraf made the announcement at Tuesday’s city council meeting. He said as part of the contractual agreement by the board, all current SRMC employees will be retained.