$75 Million Hospital to Be Built Near Wichita

Sep. 7--Plans include an ER, birthing rooms The Via Christi Wichita Health Network will build a $75 million, 72-bed community hospital in west Wichita, the first major hospital expansion into one of the fastest-growing areas of Sedgwick County...

Wesley Medical Center staked its presence on the west side when it opened the $14.5 million Wesley West Emergency & Diagnostic Center last November at 13th and Tyler Road. That facility also offers medical office space.

Focus on service

Via Christi officials, who once considered building a specialized surgical hospital out west, said the new full-service hospital will stand out by offering high-quality, patient-centered services that are convenient and comfortable.

Patient rooms will be private amid a rich customer service environment, Schumacher, Via Christi's president, said.

"This is a hospital for the future," he said. "It will be very different from what is currently available in this market."

Howard & Helmer Architecture in Wichita and Leo A. Daly of Omaha were hired as the architectural team. A general contractor has not yet been finalized, Via Christi officials said.

Lead architect David Riffel of Howard & Helmer said the challenge is merging the complexities of an acute-care hospital with the demand for customer service.

"It's like a city within a city," Riffel said. "We have to merge the concepts of hospitality with all the infrastructure and communication of a complex health care facility."

Reach Andi Atwater at 316-268-6642 or aatwater@wichitaeagle.com [mailto:aatwater@wichitaeagle.com]

Copyright (c) 2007, The Wichita Eagle, Kan. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.