Via Christi Health System, Wichita, Kan., signed a letter of intent to lease and manage Labette County Medical Center, Parsons, Kan., under a long-term contract. Financial terms and other details weren't disclosed. The 70-bed hospital would remain county-owned. The deal is expected to close around June 2006, pending completion of due diligence. Labette reported patient revenue of $66.8 million in 2004. Its addition would strengthen six-hospital Via Christi's presence in southeast Kansas, officials said. Less than a month ago, Via Christi announced plans to sell its last facility outside Kansas -- 97-bed Oklahoma Regional Medical Center, Ponca City -- to Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn. Via Christi sold 148-bed St. Rose Hospital, Hayward, Calif., in late August. The system was formed in 1995 when the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita merged their healthcare ministries. -- by Laura B. Benko
Kan. system to add seventh hospital in long-term lease
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