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Rawlins County Hospital began as an idea that originated in the Atwood Rotary Club through the untiring efforts of Dr. C.E. Henneberger, M.D. The facility opened in 1950 as Rawlins County Hospital. The hospital was leased to and operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph until 1969 when Rawlins County Hospital, Inc., a private, non-profit corporation was formed for the purpose of leasing and operating the hospital.

In 1989 the status of the hospital was changed to a public, county owned operational hospital under the direction of a nine member elected board, an act which also placed the hospital in full compliance with the County Hospital Act, K.S.A 19-4601 - 19-4625.

In 1992, the hospital board of directors entered into a management agreement with Great Plains Health Alliance allowing access to many professional consultants as well as group purchasing benefits. In 1997, the name of the hospital was changed to Rawlins County Health Center to reflect the partnership between the hospital, the rural health clinics and the new Prairie Plaza Retirement Community.

The Rawlins County Hospital Foundation (established in 1988) is an affiliate (since 2002) of the Area Community Enrichment (ACE) Foundation; a non-profit 501(c)3 organization located in Atwood, Kansas formed to facilitate donations and grant funds.

In 1998, the hospital was converted to Critical Access Hospital status. The hospital maintains a full service Emergency Room with adjacent Radiology and Laboratory departments and is open 24/7, 365 days per year. The health care facility maintains two rural health clinics; one based in the health care facility in Atwood. RCHC provides a specialty clinic area within the hospital complex offering local patients with the services of out-reach specialists who fly and drive into Atwood to serve their patient base.

In 2010 RCHC began the renovation and expansion of the 60 year old facility. Through a Kansas Department of Commerce Tax Credit Award and a Community Development Block Grant Stimulus Award, new cardiac rehab and physical therapy departments, new patient parking areas and a new front entrance and admissions area were completed. RCHC also received a $7 million dollar USDA loan for the construction of 10,170 sq. ft. patient wing, ER, lab and x-ray plus the renovation of 10,000 sq. ft. of existing hospital space.

The Open House for the newly constructed areas was held in January 2012. Construction continued within the facility as the Rural Health Clinic was moved into the former patient wing. Future plans include the renovation of the Specialty Clinic areas and the development of a new surgical suite.

Rawlins County Health Center has applied for several grants for critical medical equipment during the past few years. Several private foundations have awarded these applications and assisted with the purchase of a new radiology system and a new internal voice communication system and more. RCHC is actively moving into the field of electronic medical records with nursing documentation, lab, dietary and financial applications "live" at this time. RCHC has received grants for computers for department managers and nursing staff making internal communications much easier and HIPAA compliant.

RCHC is dedicated to providing professional services to all patients through the medical practices of local physicians, out-reach specialists, physician assistants, advanced nurse practitioners and more than 70 employees.

RCHC is one of the top three largest employers in Rawlins County.


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