MATT RESNICK 

Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center is one of many hospitals in the state slated to receive allocations under Governor Laura Kelly’s $50 million Frontline Hospital Retention Plan.

The money will be divided between the hospitals, with NMRMC in line for a payout of $139,290. The allocation amount is based on the number of licensed, acute and intensive care unit beds in each facility. NMRMC has a total of 25 beds — 20 non-intensive care unit and five ICU. The largest sum of money, approximately $7.5 million, will be distributed to Ascension Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc., which has more than 1,400 total beds. 

In a press release Monday, Kelly said the allocations will greatly aid in the retention of frontline workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For over 18 months, our healthcare workers have risked their lives every day to protect Kansans from COVID-19,” Kelly said. “It’s our responsibility to make sure they have the support they need to continue. In the meantime, I encourage all Kansans to do their part to beat this virus by getting vaccinated immediately.”

NMRMC CEO Dennis Franks said he values funding that prioritizes frontline workers. 

“Anything that we can do for our frontline workers, and all of our workers for that matter, matters to us,” he said. “It’s not a huge chunk of money, but anything we can get is a help.”

Franks noted that each NMRMC staff member is valued as a frontline worker.

“At a rural hospital, that’s what it seems like,” he said. 

Franks said his administrative team is reviewing the criteria for what’s considered a frontline worker under Kelly’s plan, and that he does not yet know how many NMRMC employees will be categorized as such.

“And from that there’s several different formulas that tell us who and how much, and those kinds of things,” he said. 

“We’re running through that now, and as soon as they send us the money, we will put that out.” 

Other area hospitals listed as receiving allocations are Labette Health, 93 non-ICU beds, 6 ICU — $441,751; Wilson Medical Center, 15 non-ICU beds — $59,696; Allen County Regional Hospital, 25 non-ICU beds — $99,493; and Coffeyville Regional Medical Center, 40 non-ICU beds, 7 ICU — $242,764. 

Kelly’s press release noted that awards will be made on a rolling basis following application review, with the application deadline set for Oct. 29.

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