One Year Later: Fort Scott community reflects on health care a year after local hospital closes


One year ago, Mercy Hospital closed its doors in Fort Scott. Amy Budy remembers that day pretty vividly.

“Nerve wracking,” Budy explained. “Just scared in regards to what type of job I was going to find to provide for my family.”

Mercy Hospital served Fort Scott residents for more than 100 years and its closure came as a surprise to many, including Amy. As an employee to the hospital and a resident in Fort Scott, Amy began to wonder about the future of health care in her community.

…As many doctors were taking their services elsewhere.

“The biggest part of it was we had other people going other places versus staying local,” Budy added.

But now that the community health center has stepped up, she has some peace of mind.

“Had community health center not acquired Mercy Clinic, we would not have had a clinic in Fort Scott, other than the ER. So, it’s a huge blessing to our community,” said Budy.

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas says they have seen an increase in patients coming through its doors, which has led to them to increasing the amount of services they offer to help serve a growing clientele.

“There were other services that we were able to keep with — mammograms, and then we also have ultrasounds. We do have extended hours, which we did not have previously,” said Budy.

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is already planning on expanding its services next year. The health care organization plans to build another clinic right behind their current one in Fort Scott and it will offer dental care and behavioral health services.

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