Hays Medical takes over operation of Larned hospital

Hays Medical Center has taken operational control of St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Larned, which had been in danger of closing.

The Larned hospital now is doing business as Pawnee Valley Community Hospital. The agreement between Hays Medical Center and the Pawnee County Commission is for five years; it calls for the county to retain all assets with Hays Medical Center leasing the building and equipment from the county. The agreement was effective beginning Monday.

"This is an exciting step forward for the entire community," said Hays Medical CEO and president John Jeter. "After months of work on the part of so many in Pawnee County it is gratifying to see those efforts come to fruition. Local ownership is truly key."