Nikol Babb [email protected]
When Wellington Community Hospital closed in March 2020, residents were concerned that the community would be left without a local option for emergency care. Ascension Via Christi stepped in and opened an Emergency Department on March 15, 2021, bringing quality care with them.
“At the time, we didn’t know that communities across the nation would soon have to battle a protracted and deadly pandemic,” says Kevin Strecker, chief operating officer of Ascension Via Christi. “The timing of the opening of our Wellington Emergency Department couldn’t have come at a better time for the approximately 23,000 residents of Sumner County and the surrounding area.”
The Wellington ER is a full-service facility that includes a triage area, exam rooms, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pharmacy and other support services within 9,850 square feet of space. The average time between a patient arrival and a provider evaluation is 4 minutes or less. The ER is staffed by 25 associates plus 24/7 medical coverage.
With so many services available locally, the ER team is able to treat 85% of patients in Wellington. This means that only about 15% of patients need to be transferred to Wichita. Since the emergency room opened, staff have seen more than 10,000 patients, 15 percent of whom were geriatric.
Less than a year after opening, the team earned a prestigious Level 3 accreditation from the American College of Emergency Physicians Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation. This accreditation has strict guidelines regarding the care of the elderly.
To achieve Level 3 accreditation, hospitals must have a Physician or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) with evidence of 4 hours of Geriatric Emergency Medicine (EM) focused training, a Registered Nurse with evidence of EM focused training geriatric care, access to mobility aids such as canes and four-point walkers, evidence of the Geriatric Emergency Care Initiative, and easy access to food and water 24/7.
“Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa in western Wichita was the first Kansas hospital outside the Kansas City metro area to have an accredited geriatric emergency department,” says Tiffini Battiste, DO, the EM specialist certified by the board serving as the medical director of Wellington ER. “We were second to the state.”
In 2022, the Wellington ER also received an award for overall quality of care from Professional Research Consultants, (PRC). Nationally recognized for supporting more than 2,800 organizations, PRC was founded in 1980 by Dr. Joe Inguanzo, a Cuban refugee dedicated to producing research and coaching services for the optimal health equation.
“Most of our ER patients get the quality care they need right here and back home,” says Wellington-based Cari Buresh, who is the ER services coordinator. “The combination of timely and affordable care delivered by a skilled and compassionate team of healthcare professionals has led to many compliments from patients along with consistently high Patient Satisfaction Survey scores.”
The Ascension Via Christi Wellington Emergency Department is located at 1323 North A Street. With 25 staff and 24-hour medical assistance, the facility is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.