By Jim Misunas
LARNED — Pawnee County commissioner John Haas and Arlis Atteberry, former Pawnee County commissioner, shared the honors of welcoming everyone to Sunday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for Pawnee Valley Community Hospital.
Atteberry worked on the ground floor when St. Joseph Hospital closed and Pawnee Valley was launched.
“We are here to celebrate the beginning of a new era of healthcare in Pawnee County and the surrounding area,” Atteberry said. “My goodness — we worked so hard to get to this point. It’s been worth it for sure.”
Atteberry is credited for naming the hospital, which he said was made to include everyone from Pawnee County and the surrounding area.
The distinctive Pawnee Valley Hospital logo represents the local geography and history.
The two green hills represent the rolling land of agriculture in Pawnee County. The first green line presents Pawnee Valley. The second green line represents the ruts left behind by wagons on the Santa Fe Trail. The blue line represents the Arkansas River.
Haas, Pawnee County commissioner, said Matt Heyn, Pawnee Valley Community Hospital administrator, reminded everyone how 12 hospital employees has expanded to 115 employees.
“You talk about an economic development project,” Haas said. “That is really outstanding.”
Haas credited Murray Company, construction manager at-risk, for running a first-class construction project. Health Facilities Group served as the architect. Local sub-contractors included Haynes Electric, Chad Eakin Concrete, Bartz Plumbing, David Spare Landscaping, Weaver Construction and Ike Shaver Plumbing.
“Murray coordinated and brought the sub-contractors together,” Haas said.
HaysMed has served as a managing partner which has helped minimize costs and streamline business operations for Pawnee Valley Community Hospital.
“HaysMed has been a great asset,” Haas said.
Dr. David Sanger was recognized as chief of staff of the hospital. The Public Building Commission, which supervised the bond sales, was composed of Dick King, Tom Giessel and Tim George.
Haas recognized the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Auxiliary, the Community Hospital Organization, led by Harry Zielke; the Community Hospital Committee, led by Reed Peters; the cities of Larned, Rozel, Garfield and Burdett; Rep. John Ewy and Senator Mitch Holmes; Pawnee County EMS; Donna Pelton, Kathy Bowman and Atteberry, Pawnee County commissioners; John Settle, Pawnee County attorney; and Ruth Searight, Pawnee County clerk, for their contributions.
“I left one out,” Haas said. “That person wasn’t on my list. He kept his eye on everything that was happening. He’s been a pleasure to work with. He’s a great, great administrator. I want you all to please thank Matt Heyn. We are very fortunate to have a young man of that caliber leading our hospital.”