Amid rumors that Topeka’s St. Francis Health Center could be closed, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday spoke out on efforts to keep the hospital open.
Brownback’s comments came after a meeting Monday with Mike Slubowski, the CEO of SCL Health, the Denver-based parent company of St. Francis.
According to a news release, Slubowski told the governor there would be no closure announcement Tuesday and SCL will work with state officials to ensure the hospital remains open.
“I intend to hold Mr. Slubowski to his commitment and anticipate further negotiations in the coming days and weeks,” Brownback stated. “As I have said previously, St. Francis is an important local and regional health care provider, and a significant Kansas charitable asset that has long served its stated mission of improving the health of those who are poor and vulnerable.”
According to a release sent by SCL Health in March, Slubowski will step down as CEO in May.
The potential closure is said to be dependent on a buyer for the charitable, non-profit hospital.
When asked at a press conference Tuesday how long the state was given to help find a buyer, Brownback said “This was not on a long time frame, this was on a short, short time frame.”
Brownback did not elaborate on how long the hospital was given to finalize a deal.
During that press conference, Brownback said he will meet Tuesday afternoon with major stakeholders.
“The mayor, the county commission, the Chamber of Commerce, KU Med Center, Stormont-Vail, along with Mike Slubowski and his team of people.”
SCL officials met with St. Francis staff Tuesday morning regarding the hospital’s future.
A spokesperson for the hospital told WIBW News Now that SCL will issue a statement Tuesday.
Nick Gosnell contributed to this article