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Labette Health Opens New Facility Delivering Emergency Medical Services to Rural Kansas

Spencer Fane is proud to announce its involvement with the opening of Labette Health’s Independence Healthcare Center in Independence, Kansas. For the first time since 2015, about 20,000 people who live in Southeast Kansas have access to critical emergency medical care.

At the grand opening of the facility, Saturday, August 19, Labette Health President and CEO Brian Williams and Chief Nursing Officer Kathi McKinney were interviewed by Kansas City radio station KCUR. You can listen to the interview here.

The Spencer Fane Health Care team successfully represented Labette Health in numerous regulatory, financial, real estate, and local government negotiations to establish the $7.6 million project. Led by Blane Markley, Spencer Fane Health Care team members Laura Bond, Chad Cook, Katie Lee, and Mike Saunders guided the hospital through myriad regulatory compliance, corporate governance, contracts and licensing issues.

One in three rural hospitals is financially vulnerable, according to the National Rural Health Association. At the current closure rate, more than 25 percent of rural hospitals will close in less than a decade. Residents of Independence and the surrounding communities have been without emergency care services since Mercy Hospital closed in October 2015.

“We are proud to be a part of Labette Health’s efforts to provide people in rural communities the medical services they need,” Blane said. “This project is the result of Labette Health’s community-based leadership and community-focused mission.  Health care services are not only critical to those living in the community but also to the community’s economic stability and growth.”

The Independence Healthcare Center is designed to deliver time-critical emergency care to Southeast Kansans. It includes a trauma room, advanced imaging, comprehensive laboratory services and helicopter accessibility. Since this emergency department’s medical staff, electronic record systems, laboratory and imaging services are all integrated with Labette Health’s main campus, residents of the Independence area have closer access to the only nationally ranked hospital, Four-Star CMS Hospital and Level III Trauma Center in the county.

Blane Markley has negotiated numerous complex transactions with an overlay of health care regulatory requirements. His practice focuses on helping health care providers with regulatory compliance, corporate governance, contracts, medical staff and licensing matters. He chairs the Spencer Fane Health Care practice group