Via Christi

Wichita Eagle

Health care workers in Wichita were among the first in the state to get the new COVID-19 vaccination.

Five employees of the Ascension Via Christi health system received shots at St. Francis Hospital Monday.  The hospital says a critical care nurse, a housekeeper for a COVID-19 unit and a respiratory therapist were among those who were vaccinated.  Frontline health workers at other Ascension Via Christi facilities in Kansas will receive the vaccination later this week.

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A rare condition in children that doctors say stems from COVID-19 is now showing up in Wichita as doctors diagnosed a 12-year-old girl with a multisystem inflammatory syndrome, also known as MIS-C.

According to the CDC, only a little more than 1,000 children have been diagnosed with the condition in the United States. Less than 10 of those cases have been in Kansas.

"I was beginning to think, 'Oh my god, oh my god, I’m going to lose my daughter,'" Jessica Rains said, referring to her daughter, Adalyn.

Last week, doctors told Rains that her daughter has MIS-C.

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Most health experts continue to advise people to stay home to avoid catching Covid-19, or to maintain social distancing when out in public.

Lynn Hutchinson doesn’t have those options.

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Wichita hospitals and dental offices are making plans to end their coronavirus pause and begin a return to full operations.

Wesley Healthcare CEO William Voloch says elective surgeries and imaging will resume Monday on a limited basis.

"We’re not going to go full-scale," he says. "We are not going to be doing everything that we were doing, but this is a way for us to start."

He says the hospital group has enough capacity and ventilator supply to serve a greater number of patients. Wesley also plans to reevaluate its restricted visitation policy.

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Via Christi Hospital St. Francis is the first hospital to perform a minimally invasive heart valve treatment as part of a national clinical study.

The procedure will allow doctors to replace damaged mitral heart valves without open-heart surgery.

People with mitral regurgitation face a life-threatening disease in which blood flows backward into the left atrium of the heart. If left untreated, the disease can cause stroke, heart failure or death.

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Via Christi Health is again offering a day of free health care services this weekend to anyone in need.

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The company that owns Via Christi Health, which provides health care services in Wichita and central Kansas, says that they’re working to fix issues raised in a federal audit earlier this month.

Federal regulators have ordered Via Christi Health in Wichita to suspend a senior care program because of "severe" deficiencies.

The program, Via Christi HOPE, is designed to help senior citizens in Sedgwick County stay in their homes by offering a complete health care plan involving primary care, specialists and nurses.

The Joplin Globe reports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said program should not enroll new clients because it was not providing participants with medically necessary services.

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Via Christi is partnering with the city of Wichita to host a day of free health care services on April 8.

The event will take place in Fairmount Park and will offer a number of services, such as medical care and testing; dental, vision, and hearing screenings; and foot care for diabetics. All care will be free, and is available for adults and children.

Speaking at the mayor’s briefing Thursday, Peg Tichacek, Via Christi’s Chief Mission Integration Officer, said she has invited hundreds of health care professionals to volunteer.

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Wichita's Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph is under construction.

St. Joseph is undergoing a $50 million renovation plan. The hospital, located in southeast Wichita, is converting its medical-surgical units to private patient rooms on the 5th, 6th and 7th floors.

This follows the renovation of their New Life Center, which now has large private delivery rooms.

Laurie Labarca, the hospital's president, says the plan also includes location changes for some of the mental health services.

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