Archive for Wednesday, March 8, 2000

Lawrence hospital expresses interest in Tonganoxie area

March 8, 2000

Tonganoxie is among communities that have caught the attention of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, as the care provider considers its future in northeast Kansas.

"We're looking at a lot of different areas," said Gene Meyer, who's served for the past three years as Lawrence Memorial's chief executive officer. '' Tonganoxie is an area of growth and opportunity. So it's something we think we should take a look at."

Meyer emphasized that nothing has been decided, but said LMH officials are exploring a variety of options.

"You have, currently, excellent physicians serving your community," Meyer said. "We don't want to do anything to disrupt that, but if there's a way to add to that that would be beneficial to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, we think it's prudent to look at it."

That examination has sparked some interest among property owners in Tonganoxie.

"We've talked with several people that have discussed land, but it's been very preliminary," Meyer said. "People have suggested, 'We have property here, we have property there,' but we haven't done any more detailed work than that."

Owners of Eagle Valley subdivision in south Tonganoxie have talked with hospital officials about a commercial tract in the development that is at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 24-40 and 12th Street.

"I have talked with them," said Lawrence banker Terry Sutcliffe, one of the partners. "I'd like to have them there."

Any move the city-owned hospital would make outside of Lawrence would require consideration by the Lawrence City Commission.

"We would consider discussing with the city the options that would allow us some flexibility in our development," Meyer said. "That's not necessarily a Tonganoxie issue. It's flexibility we would need in today's health-care environment."

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