Saint Luke’s Health System Thursday announced it was closing two of its community hospitals in Overland Park — one at 75th and Metcalf and the other at 159th Street and 69 Hwy.
The locations are set to close December 30, 2020.
In a statement, Bobby Olm-Shipman, Saint Luke’s South and East Region CEO, said that while the health system’s Community Hospital model has performed “remarkably well” overall, the two Overland Park locations have seen lower patient volumes.
“Our community hospitals have been incredibly well-received by patients,” said Olm-Shipman. “Though two locations are closing—and may be utilized as sites for future service offerings—the Community Hospital model is successful and here to stay.”
Skepticism before opening
Saint Luke’s expanded its Community Hospital model in 2018 and opened seven “mini-hospitals” throughout the Kansas City metro, including the one at 75th and Metcalf. These hospitals are small — typically offering only a handful of beds — and are designed to offer patients inpatient and emergency care closer to home.
But some local officials have expressed doubt about the need for such facilities in Overland Park. In 2016, the Overland Park City Council approved a special-use permit to allow a developer to tear down an existing retail structure at 75th and Metcalf in order to build a 17,000-square-foot microhospital that would eventually house St. Luke’s.
Two councilmembers, including then-Ward 1 councilman Dave Janson voted against the plan.
“I frankly don’t get this,” he said, at the time. “I mean, this community is littered with health care providers … and I would ask you to ask anybody in our community if they’re underserved, especially in this area. Just go down the street to Shawnee Mission Medical Center. It’s huge. We have urgent care all over the city.”
Other locations remain
Five other Saint Luke’s community hospital locations will continue to operate in the Kansas City metro, including three in northern Johnson County:
- Shawnee – Shawnee Mission Parkway and Lackman Road
- Roeland Park – Johnson Drive and Roe Ave
- Leawood – 132nd Street and State Line Road
Saint Luke’s said the decision to close the hospitals was made in order to streamline services and provide high-quality emergency care in areas that have the greatest patient demand.