When the numbers for Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa and the Ascension Via Christi hospitals in Manhattan, Wamego and Pittsburg are included, the significance of our combined service is clearly evident, says says Dr. Sam Antonios, chief clinical officer for Ascension Via Christi.
“Of note, our Wichita hospital numbers represent about 10 percent of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and, statewide, about 15 percent,” says Dr. Antonios. “I am proud of the part that we, along with other Kanas hospitals and health systems, continue to play in ensuring our communities’ access to care. I am particularly thankful for all the hard-working clinicians and other associates who have made this possible. They are our heroes.”
This is not the first time that St. Francis has stepped up in an impactful way to address a public health crisis.
During the influenza pandemic in 1918, the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, one of Ascension Via Christi’s founding congregations, set up a special section in the hospital for pandemic patients.
“Yet there were more patients than health care workers could handle, and a critical shortage of nurses occurred,” according to “A Tradition of Caring 1889-1989,” a book published in celebration of the hospital’s 100th anniversary. “Nurses at St. Francis and every other medical facility worked long hours caring for large numbers of patients.”
The takeaway, according to the book’s author, was that the community learned that in desperate times they could count on St. Francis, a modern institution “that helped people in need.”
“Today, we continue to rise to the challenge of meeting our community’s needs during unprecedented times,” says Dr. Antonios. “Unwavering in their commitment to the Mission established by our founding Sisters more than 130 years ago, our Medical Staff and associates continue to deliver excellent patient care. Like their predecessors, their response to this once-in-a-lifetime event will go down in history as having succeeded against all odds.”