In an effort to increase patient services for Atchison and surrounding area communities, Amberwell Health will begin a surgical and clinical expansion project at Amberwell Atchison in May. In addition to the site expansion, multiple non-clinical positions will be moving from the 800 Raven Hill location to new office space in downtown Atchison by mid-summer to utilize as much space as possible for expanding patient care. Employee population and patient volumes have grown steadily in recent years, producing a strong need for an investment in the future of local healthcare for Amberwell and surrounding communities.
Increased patient volumes and employee population
Amberwell Atchison has seen an increase in patient volumes as a result of improved access to care over the past few years. Many additional primary care providers have been hired since 2019, which enables Amberwell to provide same-day appointments for acute illnesses, and appointments in days rather than weeks for routine visits. Seven new surgeons, physician assistants, and anesthesia providers have also joined Amberwell over the past three years, allowing more patients to have surgical procedures close to home and without extended waits.
According to Kansas and Missouri Hospital Associations’ data, Amberwell market share of Kansas healthcare patients has increased over the past several years. Patients are now recognizing Amberwell healthcare options across the northeast Kansas area and seeking care closer to home. Amberwell Health currently includes two multi-care locations and five clinic locations in Atchison, Hiawatha, Horton, Highland, Leavenworth, and Troy with numerous additional locations under consideration.
With the growth in the number of patients has come a growth in the number of caregivers caring for them. The Amberwell employee population has grown by over 30% since 2019, adding nearly 100 local healthcare jobs. Amberwell Health employs nearly 700 healthcare staff across the entire system, and over 360 employees work at the Amberwell Atchison location.
Extending building and converting space
The current Amberwell Atchison facility was adequate at the time of construction in 2010. It was built with little unused space in order to be as economical as possible for such a large capital project. The facility is now at capacity, with no space to add the additional services and staff that are needed to continue caring for the increasing healthcare needs of area communities.
To free as much space as possible for patient care at the main campus, Amberwell recently purchased a building at 705 Commercial Street in Atchison to use as office space. Supporting the local economy is important to Amberwell Health and purchasing the downtown location solves space needs of the organization while bringing an estimated 20-40 lunch goers and downtown shoppers to the heart of the Atchison community. The building is currently being remodeled, with plans for completion in July.
The building expansion project at Amberwell Atchison is scheduled to begin on May 16th. The project will include a new building connected to the back of the current facility to house the materials management department and the conversion of current office space into two surgical procedure rooms and five recovery bays. Additional construction plans are being finalized. The project is expected to take a year to complete.