By Associated Press - Wednesday, July 1, 2020

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - A Leavenworth hospital will close this fall because of costs associated with the coronavirus, the hospital owner said.

Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital’s inpatient unit will close July 17 and the entire hospital will close Oct. 1, the Saint Luke’s Health System announced Tuesday.

Last year, Saint Luke transitioned to concentrate on providing emergency services to improve its financial position, CEO Adele Ducharme said in a news release.

But the hospital was only a few months into the transition when the financial impact of the coronavirus hit and “we never had the opportunity to fully test this new care model for Cushing Hospital to see how successful it could be,” she said. The hospital also has lost money because it deferred elective surgeries during the pandemic.

About 70 employees at the hospital will be eligible to apply for other positions within the Saint Luke’s Health System.

Leavenworth Mayor Mike Griswold said Tuesday that he was “angry and extremely disappointed about the decision to close Cushing Hospital,” The Leavenworth Times reported.

“Once again, Saint Luke’s Health System has made a decision with major ramifications for Leavenworth citizens, without bothering to give the City Commission an explanation, much less adequate advance notice,” he said in a statement.

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