Big changes, challenging times

It's been one year since the Allen County Regional Hospital came under a lease to Saint Luke's Health System. Local officials and Saint Luke's representatives talk about some of the challenges they've faced, especially making a major change to health care in the midst of a global pandemic.

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July 23, 2021 - 1:59 PM

Elmore Patterson is the administrator for Allen County Regional Hospital and will take over at Anderson County Hospital on Aug. 1. Courtesy photo

A global pandemic isn’t the most ideal time for a community to make a major change to health care.

But that’s exactly what happened in Allen County, as the Allen County Regional Hospital began a lease agreement with Saint Luke’s Health System on July 1, 2020. The Kansas City-based health system took over all services and operations, including management of employees.

It happened just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when the hospital was closed to visitors and services were limited. The hospital had been gearing toward that change for about two years, but the pandemic made the transition even more challenging. 

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