Geary Community Hospital: “Progressive Healthcare, Hometown Compassion”
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Geary Community Hospital (GCH) has been providing quality healthcare and promoting the well-being of the community it serves since it opened in 1913 in a large old home on the southwest corner of Second and Adams Streets.
Since opening, GCH has relocated, transformed, and expanded several times, but has always remained focused on its vision to be the trusted choice for the community’s healthcare and wellness. In 1966, the current facility was completed, funded in part by $1.1 million federal matching grants that hinged on the promise to provide charity care to the indigent for the next 20 years. Although the debt has been retired, the hospital continues its commitment to those patients with little or no ability to pay. Earlier this year, GCH announced the offer of a limited one-time settlement that would reduce bills by 35 percent for any past due accounts with both the hospital and its associated clinics.
GCH would be a cutting edge facility for any community, but is notably impressive for one the size of Geary County. GCH has state of the art medical and surgical units, surgery center, birthing rooms, and intensive care units. GCH was the first facility in Kansas to perform in vitro fertilization, and in 2000 began Kansas’ first bariatric program. In February 2021, GCH opened the Wound Care Center, the first in the region. For this, GCH partnered with Healogics, the nation’s leading provider of advanced, chronic wound care services. Healogics, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, has a nationwide network of over 600 Wound Care Centers.
On the horizon, “GCH is currently looking at expanding AlphaCare hours to help meet the needs of our community,” according to Ashley King, Director of Communications of Geary Community Hospital. “We plan to recruit Internal Medicine, Neurology, OB/GYN, and Ophthalmology in 2021-2022.”
Recently, GCH received an “A” in the Spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing GCH’s achievements in protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. It is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care.
“I’m proud and honored by our ‘A’ that recognizes our staff’s commitment to protecting patients from harm for the second consecutive year,” said Frank Corcoran, CEO of Geary Community Hospital.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,700 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.
“An ‘A’ safety grade is an elite designation that your community should be proud of,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for hospitals, but Geary Community Hospital shows us it is possible to keep a laser focus on patients and their safety, no matter what it takes.”
“We are very fortunate that we were able to provide telehealth appointments to our patients during COVID and continue to do so today, to ensure our patients were taken care of during the pandemic,” said King. “We did not scale back on any of the services that we have during the pandemic: surgeries, office visits, radiology, labs and so forth continued on. We did not have to furlough any staff.”
The “community” in Geary Community Hospital has shone through during the pandemic. “GCH has been very lucky in the fact that we have received an ample supply of vaccines,” said King. “We had an appointment-only vaccine clinic for the last three months and have since opened up to a walk-in clinic in AlphaCare for vaccines. We have worked very closely with the Geary County Health Department and Konza Prairie Community Health Center to ensure that all entities have the supplies, patients and staff to accommodate the vaccine influx to our community. GCH has gone to several larger employers in the community and held a COVID vaccine clinic for their employees. Our community has stepped up numerous times throughout the pandemic with snacks, lunches, dinners, and so forth for our staff. It has been incredible.”
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