A lot has changed at CKMC in the past two years.
A lot is going to continue to change in the months to come, which is why issues involving Central Kansas Medical Center and its proposed transition into St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center came before the Great Bend City Council Monday night.
The council, after meeting with Mark Mingenback of CKMC, agreed to extend its variance on parking regulations, which was to run out next month.
The city parking regulations stipulate the number of off-street parking spaces required for facilities, based on their size.
According to that formula, when CKMC adopted an expansion program two years ago, it was going to need to add spaces.
The plan was for the old Allied Services building, located west of the hospital, to be razed and a new parking lot be built.
However, that was never done and now there are discussions of that building being developed as 25 senior citizen rental units.
Mingenback told the council that internal discussions about the senior housing project continue, however as the changes that are proposed for CKMC are considered, there will be more than enough parking spaces for the area that will be used by St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center, even without the added spaces that could have been added in the Allied Services space.
The council approved accepting the current parking as sufficient for the St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center plans.
Mingenback said he intends to be in front of the council again when a resolution of support is sought for that senior rental project, if internal approval is received.
He said that project would meet a need in the community and would allow the local facility to continue to minister to the community.
In the mean time, he acknowledged the community is seeing a lot of changes to its health care facility, but he assured the council, Great Bend is far from alone in this day and age. “There are a lot of changes that are not just here, that are larger than local.”
While Mingenback did not speak at length about the change to CKMC, he did acknowledge that the changes are difficult to the community and especially to the CKMC staff. “That’s the heart-wrenching part,” he commented. “We know that we are affecting a lot of lives in a negative way.”