- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The University of Kansas Health System is interested in acquiring a financially troubled nonprofit hospital in Topeka.

System President and CEO Bob Page told Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in a letter Thursday that it would submit a proposal for the 378-bed St. Francis Health hospital in Topeka.

Page said the University of Kansas system would partner with Nashville-based Ardent Health Services. It operates hospitals in six states.

St. Francis is owned by Denver-based SCL Health. It plans to stop operating St. Francis this summer whether it has a buyer or not.

The University of Kansas system operates the private hospital spun off from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1998.

The California-based Prime Healthcare Foundation and the rival Topeka-area Stormont Vail Health system also have expressed an interest.

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