Hospital OKs clinic in city
Office could open by late summer
After more than two years of discussion and study, Lawrence Memorial Hospital's board of trustees has committed to constructing a clinic in Tonganoxie. Initially, one family practice physician would staff the clinic.
Last Wednesday, the trustees agreed to move forward with acquisition of land from First State Bank and Trust. The negotiated price was $75,000 for a one-acre tract, just west of the bank's building on U.S. Highway 24-40.
Gene Meyer, LMH president and CEO, said the hospital currently has a market share of 16 percent to 18 percent.
"We believe we can increase our market share in this community," he said.
Plans call for the hospital to search for a physician to staff a new 2,500-square-foot building, at a cost of just over $300,000, bringing the total investment in Tonganoxie to about $375,000.
Meyer said he's heard from two residents who would graduate next summer and who are interested in locating in Tonganoxie.
In addition, another student, who would be available in three years, has contacted him. It's possible, Meyer said, depending on the response of the community, that the hospital would add a second physician to the clinic in coming years.
If land were acquired soon, Meyer said, it's possible the building could be ready by late next summer. Hospital officials have not decided whether to retain ownership of the building or sell it to an investment group.
"We're really excited about Tonganoxie and the opportunities that present themselves up there," Meyer said.