FT. SCOTT, Kans. — After nearly a year, officials in Bourbon County are getting a look at the key that could potentially reopen a former hospital.

“You are two times more likely to die from a heart attack in Bourbon County than anywhere else in the state of Kansas. That’s data that will take you aback a little bit. We do need a hospital in the community,” said Robert Harrington, Bourbon County REDI Exec. Director.

This got government officials dedicated to reopening the former Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott, which closed its doors back in 2018.

Last year, Noble Health Corporation was hired to conduct a feasability study to see how this could potentially happen.

“The County Commission and REDI have been working collaboratively with the City of Fort Scott on this for the last 10 months, and we finally got the data and it’s very telling,” said Harrington.

According to the study, the need is great. By 2030, almost 40% of Bourbon County will be 65 years or older.

“So we really need to start right now concentrating on how do we house those individuals. We need more senior housing. We need more assisted living facilities. Geriatric health and elderly health is going to be an issue that we need to tackle and so having a hospital is a key point in that,” said Harrington.

Discussions are currently underway with different healthcare systems across the country to help bring the hospital back once again.

“Giving that feasibility study to those organizations so they can see the numbers. They can see the data and we’re just right now taking our time and trying to read through it ourselves to know the right direction for what’s best for the people of this county,” said Harrington.