Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa turns 12 | Ascension

Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa turns 12

Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa turned 12 on Aug. 11, marking a dozen years of growth and service, improved access to care for west Wichitans and the surrounding communities, culminating this Spring with a Leapfrog "A" Hospital Safety Grade.

Located on a 120-acre campus west of 135th and 21st, St. Teresa features 68 private patient suites, including eight dedicated to intensive care; a pediatric-friendly and geriatric-accredited full-service emergency department; four state-of-the-art operating rooms and a heart catheterization lab; an ambulatory infusion center; diagnostic imaging and laboratory services; an on-site pharmacy; and outpatient rehabilitation care.

As west Wichita's only full-service hospital, St. Teresa was originally established to provide those living in and around west Wichita with the same close-to-home access to care as that enjoyed by those living in east Wichita.

"Today, our patients come from all over Wichita and throughout Kansas for care and services," says Laurie Labarca, hospital president for Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa and Ascension Via Christi Rehabilitation Hospital.

Kevin Strecker, St. Teresa's first hospital president, today serves as Ascension Via Christi's chief executive officer, and his successor, Claudio Ferraro, as chief operating officer for Ascension Medical Group Via Christi.

Labarca, Strecker and Ferraro were among the more than 100-member team that helped develop plans for the first new full-service hospital to be built in Wichita in more than half a century.

"It was a generational opportunity to be involved in such a project," says Strecker. "Today, as we look at the growth, high level of service and the key role the hospital has played during the pandemic, it is rewarding to see how our initial vision has taken shape and evolved over time to respond to the needs of our community."

With each passing year, the hospital and surrounding campus has continued to expand its scope of services, adding inpatient dialysis and expanding its cardiovascular services to include a heart catherization lab and its orthopedic service line to include a full complement of elective procedures, and the latest in imaging technology.

Additionally, St. Teresa now offers specialty services not available anywhere else in the region, such as its Center of Excellence for Hernia Surgery developed under the leadership of surgeon Ragnar Peterson, MD, who offices in the attached medical office building. It also was the first area hospital with an accredited geriatric Emergency Department.

Two years ago, the hospital added an outpatient heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease clinic and Solutions for Life weight management program.

Ascension Medical Group Via Christi moved from leased space at Eberly Farm to the medical office building almost four years ago. Today, it is fully occupied, housing both Ascension Medical Group and other outpatient medical practices representing a broad spectrum of family and specialty care.

It also continues to receive recognition for the quality of its care and the personalized service it provides to patients and families.

In addition to its top rating from Leapfrog, the hospital recently was recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as a high performer in its treatment of hip fractures and its outpatient Physical Therapy department received a PRC Five Star Excellence Award.

It was re-accredited by The Joint Commission for the third time in 2019, with a greater than 99 percent passing grade.

"Dedication to excellence is part of our DNA,” says Brenda Carroll, St. Teresa’s vice president of Nursing. "I’m incredibly proud of our team and everyone’s commitment to each other and the patients and families we serve."

Labarca says she is, too, noting, "Year after year, St. Teresa has received awards and accolades for the personalized care and healing environment our team provides and we plan to keep that way.”

Click here to learn more about Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa.