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Faced With 'Financial Strain' From Coronavirus, Saint Luke’s Closes Its Hospital In Leavenworth

070220_Cushing_ED_med_0.jpg_cushing hospital
Cushing Hospital
Cushing Hospital was established in 1894.

The closure affects about 70 employees, who will be eligible to apply for other positions in Saint Luke’s metro-wide system.

Saint Luke’s Health System is closing Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth, Kansas, on October 1, saying the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in “significant financial strain.”

The decision comes just months after Saint Luke’s had converted the facility from a traditional 74-bed hospital to one focused on emergency services with eight inpatient beds.

“Like health care organizations everywhere, we stocked up on resources and staffed up on people to prepare for a surge in cases,” Saint Luke’s said on its website.

“This increased expense came at the same time we had to defer elective procedures. These factors resulted in significant financial strain and ultimately led to the decision to close Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital.”

The inpatient unit will be closed on July 17 before the hospital shuts down entirely.

The closure affects about 70 employees, who will be eligible to apply for other positions in the Saint Luke’s Health System around the metro.

The Leavenworth hospital was established by Harriet Cushing in 1894, according to the hospital’s website.

Cushing Hospital CEO Adele Ducharme said the hospital had hoped the focus on emergency services would set it on a sustainable financial path.

But the pandemic didn’t allow it the opportunity to test that model, she said in a news release.

After Cushing closes, Leavenworth will be left with one hospital open to the general public — Saint John Hospital, which is owned by Prime Healthcare. Leavenworth also has a veterans hospital: the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center.

The city has a population of about 36,000. Surrounding Leavenworth County has about 82,000 people.

Saint Luke’s Health System operates 18 hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, including Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and employs more than 12,000 people.

It recently announced a series of cost-saving measures, including streamlining care, eliminating nonessential expenditures and instituting a 90-day furlough for a “limited number” of employees.

Dan Margolies has been a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star, and KCUR Public Radio. He retired as a reporter in December 2022 after a 37-year journalism career.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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