SCKMC to Form New Clinic with Merger

First published May 30, 2014

(Cowley County, Kansas): South Central Kansas Medical Center announced today that Summit Clinic will be merging with the hospital to form a new medical practice, South Central Kansas Clinic, LLC. SC Kansas Clinic includes Dr. Kamran Shahzada, Internal Medicine; Dr. Rhonda Green, Family Medicine; Dr. Eric Thomson, Family Medicine; and Angela Ziegler, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.

Under the merger all of the above mentioned providers and their staff will become employees of or contracted with SCKMC. The medical center has been transitioning towards the hospital employed physician model for several months.

"It is a big move, however we are probably behind much of the rest of the State in terms of the employment of physicians. We are hopeful that this demonstrates our commitment to the healthcare of the community, and that we are interested in seeing growth and development of primary care services locally," said Steve Perkins, SCKMC's Chief Executive Officer.

Hospital officials have continually expressed growing concerns over the need to recruit additional physicians to the area. Perkins believes the merger is the next logical step in making the local medical community more attractive to outside physicians.

"We know that many physicians that come out of their residency training are looking for hospital employment versus employment in a practice that is independent of the hospital. We feel that by establishing this now we will have an option that has not been available in the past for primary care physicians in Ark City," Perkins said.

Hospital employment is being offered to physicians as an alternative to traditional physician group or private practice models.

"We have been working with our local clinics for many years to assist them in the recruitment of physicians to their practices. We continue to work with the Ark City Clinic in the recruitment that they have ongoing. However, we had found it to be difficult in recruiting at Summit Clinic because they operated as individual practitioners," Perkins said.

Dr. Thomson will begin seeing patients through SC Kansas Clinic starting June 23rd. Dr. Shahzada, Dr. Green, and Ms. Ziegler are all currently seeing patients, through the Summit Clinic transitioning to SC Kansas Clinic on July 1st. Patients may schedule appointments now with Dr. Thomson or any of the SC Kansas Clinic providers by calling the Summit Clinic at 620-442-4850.

SCKMC announced last month that Dr. Thomson would follow Dr. Tyson Blatchford and Dr. Perry Lin as the latest physician to become hospital employed.

"For a while we thought we might be leaving the area but in the end everything came together professionally and personally. My wife and I are both exceptionally happy to be staying here in Ark City," Dr. Thomson said. "In addition to getting to stay we are even more thrilled to be part of (SCKMC). I feel even more connected to the community - this is our hospital and my goal is to help make it the premiere hospital of its size in the State of Kansas."

SC Kansas Clinic will operate at the location of the current Summit Clinic, 515 N. Summit.