From one city block in 1955 to a 31 acre campus in 2008, Rooks County Health Center (RCH) commemorates the 10th anniversary of the opening of the current hospital campus with an open house celebration, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, September 22, 1210 N. Washington Street, just off US HWY 183 north of Plainville.
The public is invited to attend and enjoy free refreshments of brisket, potato salad, cake, sno cones, popcorn and beverages. Free entertainment for the open house includes, bounce houses, Sunflower Clydesdale wagon rides, Nex-Tech train rides, human foosball, fly-in and tour by Eagle Med, an ambulance tour and a tour of the Rooks County Transportation Van. Tours of the hospital require a reservation as groups are limited to 10 people at a time. To reserve a time for a tour of the RCH campus, call Eric Sumearll 785-688-4428. Door prizes will be awarded during the open house with the Rooks County Healthcare Foundation’s 50/50 raffle drawing concluding the day’s activities.
“Change was hard when we look back 10 years ago. There were a lot of different concerns about building a new facility,” recalled Kathy Ramsay, retired RN and Vice President of the Rooks County Healthcare Foundation. Formerly, Ramsay was RCH’s Communications & Development Director before, during and after the transition. “Today those concerns have subsided, and the biggest blessing is the facility helped to bring the county together, strengthening relationships between our small rural communities so we can continue to survive.”
Ralph and Geraldine Arnold donated the land for the original Plainville Rural Hospital in 1952 with the hospital officially opening in 1955. When ADA compliance and a number of other factors required numerous upgrades at the original facility, plans began for building, not only a new facility, but a forward thinking, state of the art rural health center. It was at this time the name was changed from Plainville Rural Hospital to Rooks County Health Center. The site of the new hospital was chosen as a median point between Stockton, Palco and Plainville relative to Hays for direct transport in cases of emergency.
“These physical changes and the addition of the Stockton Medical Clinic helped to unify the county’s health care system to one that draws patients from neighboring counties,” explained Ramsay. “Without this facility we may not have the doctors we have today, Rooks County industries requiring access to medical services might have left or been unable to move here. With this facility, we have seen stable growth and an increased list of hospital services provided by visiting professionals who come because they love RCH and the staff.”
Since opening, RCH experienced a boost in young families utilizing the hospital with its Doctors Without Delay Walk-in Clinic and two labor and delivery suites. Growth led to expansion, the construction of a new MRI and Nuclear Medicine suite completed in 2017. And ground has already been broken for a new wing of the hospital dedicated to therapy services. Tours and displays of both expansions will be part of the open house.
September 22 marks the 10th year of the dedication ceremony officially opening the current campus. At the ceremony, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran bestowed RCH with an American Flag which had once flew over the Capitol building and Governor Kathleen Sebelius presented RCH with a Kansas State Flag. Immediately upon opening, RCH received national acclaim for its Kansas inspired design. Next week in New York City, RCH crosses another national threshold. RCH will be receiving a national award from the Sepsis Alliance for its services regarding the education and treatment of Sepsis, which is the body’s life-threatening response to infection. RCH will be one of five honored as a 2018 Sepsis Hero and will be the first critical access hospital in the nation to receive the honor.
“Even though we are celebrating the last 10 years, many individuals contributed to this point over the 63 year history of RCH. As you attend the open house you’ll be able to see and share in all their stories as memorialized on the walls of the current facility,” reflected Ramsay.