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Our History

South Central Kansas Medical Center has a proud history of providing needed medical services to Cowley County and its surrounding communities.  The organization’s long-term success has been possible due to the ongoing collaborations between the City of Arkansas City government, SCKMC’s Board of Trustees and staff, partnering medical professionals, and tremendous community support.

 

SCKMC was originally founded in Arkansas City on the corner of First Street and Birch in 1906 as Mercy Hospital.  In 1914, a group of physicians purchased the hospital and in 1921 it was incorporated. Extensive remodeling in 1920 increased the facility’s capacity to 50 beds.  The City of Arkansas City purchased the structure and property in 1946, following the Great Depression and threats of foreclosure.  Although the hospital’s ownership had changed, it continued to be supervised by the previous stockholding physicians.  In 1951, the original building was torn down, beginning a series of major construction projects.  That same year the facility’s name was changed to Arkansas City Memorial Hospital.  A new wing was added in 1951 with 20 more beds and a 35 bed convalescent care section.  Additional construction projects continued through the 1970’s and 80’s.

 

In 1996, the facility changed its name to South Central Kansas Regional Medical Center in recognition of the fact that its service area had expanded beyond the boundaries of the immediate community. That same year hospital officials began working on plans for a replacement facility. The replacement facility plan evolved from what had originally been a three phase redesign of the original structure. However, after conducting a feasibility study, the hospital Board of Trustees determined building new would be more cost effective, and have longer term benefits for the community. The idea was to leave behind an outdated facility and construct a new building that would allow the hospital to expand the services they offer by taking advantage of a modern and efficient design.

 

With the decision made to proceed with new construction, the hospital Board faced two new challenges: Where do you locate this new facility and how should the organization be structured? Several locations were researched, and then in 2001, one hundred and sixty-eight acres of land North of Arkansas City was generously donated to be used for the site of the replacement hospital. The entire parcel was island annexed to the City of Arkansas City at the request of the medical center, and named “Patterson Park” in recognition of the donors. The regional accessibility and availability of resources allow not only room for the hospital to expand over time, but to also develop the entire property as a complete medical campus. The campus concept includes independent businesses such as a dialysis center, medical supply companies, pharmacies, physician offices, a cancer center, and more.

 

The organizational structure for the new facility changed several times throughout the planning phase. Federal programs such as HUD and USDA were explored, as well as private investor ownership. In the end, the facility remained a “quasi-municipal” entity, connected to the City of Arkansas City in both its ownership and funding for the project.

The project was financed through revenue bonds in coordination with the City of Arkansas City through the formation of a public building commission. This multi-step process was boosted by a 10 year, one-half cent sales tax initiative passed by the local voters in November of 2008, and an additional one-percent sales tax initiative in 2016.

 

Construction crews broke ground on the replacement facility on November 5, 2009. In addition to the hospital, the initial site development also included an outpatient services building (OSB), and a maintenance building. On March 17th, 2011 South Central Kansas Medical Center, the word “Regional” was removed to shorten the name, received their first patients at the new facility.

 

Throughout the years, SCKMC has evolved from providing the most basic acute and convalescent care services to an organization that continually strives to lead through providing state-of-the-art technology and quality care to the community. Since the move, SCKMC has expanded to include an off-site outpatient primary care clinic, telemedicine services partnering with medical providers from around the world, and a 12-bed senior health unit. All in addition to the hospital’s wide range of health care services. 

 

Today SCKMC’s available services include: cardiology, inpatient and outpatient surgical services, emergency medicine, a wide range of laboratory services, respiratory therapy, nutritional counseling, anesthesia services, 24 hour acute care, general medicine, radiology services which include MRI, CT and mammography, physical, occupational, and speech therapies, obstetrical/gynecological services and childbirth education, bone density testing, nuclear medicine, social services, ophthalmology services, dietary services, pharmacy services, and more.