Harvey  County,  Kansas


98 Years of Quality Health Care Continues

Halstead Hospital/Hertzler Clinic
Community Owned---Not-for-Profit

♦   1895  Dr. Hertzler arrives in Halstead to begin his medical practice.

♦   1902  Halstead Hospital opens in a 2-1/2 story building with room for 10 patients.

♦   1905  Halstead Hospital School of Nursing opened.

♦   1915  Hospital was enlarged to include two operating rooms and diagnostic x-ray equipment was added.

♦   1926  Work began on the new Agnes Hertzler Memorial Clinic. 

♦   1929  Further additions increased the size of the hospital of 200 beds and the dormitory to room for 100 nursing students.

♦   1933  Dr. Hertzler sold his hospital to the Sisters of St. Joseph for the sum of one dollar.  He retained ownership of the Hertzler Clinic.

♦   Dr. Hertzler died.  Ownership of the clinic passed to five of his associates.

♦   1947  The School of Nursing building was completed.

♦   1948  The Hertzler Research Foundation was chartered as a living memorial to Dr. Hertzler.

♦   1958  The hospital began a $2 million remodeling and construction project.

♦   1968  The first and second floors of the dormitory building were remodeled to house the clinic psychiatric outpatient clinic.

♦   The hospital added an inhalation therapy department.

♦   1969   A Seven-bed intensive care/coronary unit opened in the hospital.

♦   1975  Ground breaking ceremonies were held for the new $10.5 million construction and renovation project for Halstead Hospital.

♦   1978  In October, the new Halstead Hospital was dedicated.

♦   1983  An outpatient "Guest Unit" opens in Halstead Hospital for patients undergoing diagnostic and treatment procedures.
      It is the first of its kind in the nation.

♦   1985  Halstead Hospital opens the "Hospital Inn", an efficiency motel providing affordable, convenient lodging for patients and families.

♦   1987  The "Halstead Hospital Buggy" van services hits the road providing transportation for both urban and rural Kansans seeking hospital care.

♦   1989  The Heart/Vascular Catherization Laboratory opens with new Hospital addition.  Also included in the addition is the Radiation Oncology Treatment Facility.

♦   1992  The Radiation Oncology Treatment Facility adds a treatment simulator with treatment planning computer, giving full capabilities to the department.

♦   1993  The Sisters of St. Joseph sells Halstead Hospital to Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation.     

♦   1996  Paracelsus Healthcare Corporation sells Halstead Hospital to Columbia/HCA, Inc.

♦   1999 -- Columbia/HCA completes spin-off of 33 rural hospitals to a new corporation, LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.

♦   2000 -- The Hertzler Research Foundation purchases Halstead Hospital from LifePoint Hospitals, Inc.

♦   2000 -- August, Valley Hope Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation leases space from Halstead Hospital and opens unit at Halstead Hospital.

♦   2000 -- December, Halstead Hospital Center for Rehabilitation opens for patients.

♦   2001 -- January, Psychiatric services are expanded as Halstead Hospital Center for Behavioral Health announced.

We are pleased to announce the merger of Halstead Hospital and Hertzler Clinic in 2001!

We've brought together these two outstanding establishments to better serve you and your loved ones.  Of course, we still offer the outstanding service and courtesy you'd expect, but now with more support than before.

Join us in this celebration of our rebirth.
(Hutchinson News ~ Sunday ~ January 14, 2001)


HALSTEAD --- A New York-based health care management company has purchased a small-town hospital that has seen three other potential buyers back out in as many years.

Azzy Reckess, president of Paz Health Care Managemet Inc., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., closed on the building Tuesday, said Andrea Cavgalar of Prudential Dinning-Beard Realtors of Wichita.  She said the sale price for the 264,738-square foot building was near the $1.9 million asking price, but she declined to release the exact amount.

The hospital purchase also includes the downtown Townsman Hotel, which will be renovated to include a full-service coin-operated laundry.

Halstead Mayor Bill Ewert said potential options for the former Halstead Hospital include a specialized Alzheimer's unit and housing of a national medical billing company.

"We anticipate most of the building will be related to medical service, thoug not like the hospital and clinic we've known in the past.  It will be support-type services to the medical field, Ewert said.

Halstead Hospital, in deb for about $4.5 million, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2002 and closed several months later.

The hospital's former chief executive officer, Barry Nelson, pleaded guilty in March 2005 to misappropriating funds deducted from employee paychecks.

Valley Hope, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation agency based in Norton, bought the building at a bankruptcy sale for about $425,000 in 2003 but didn't want to be a long-term owner.  The agency has used about one-third of the building for a clinic, which will receive a new entrance as part of a remodeling effort.

PAZ Healthcare Management Inc., which is owned and operated by Reckess and his wife, Paula, runs five assisted-living facilities and a licensed home care agency.
(Topeka Capital-Journal ~ Wednesday ~ September 20, 2006)


The site of the former Halstead Hospital, vacant for more than a decade, is now at the center of a dispute between the building's owner and a consultant he hired.  Travis Heying--Eagle file photo

The latest effort to revitalize the former Halstead Hospital has run smack into a personal dispute between the owner of the property and a consultant he hired.

The 265,000-square-foot hospital and adjacent Hartzler Clinic had formed the heart of Halstead for decades before closing in 2002.  The hospital has been vacant for more than eight years, while the clinic building hosts a small call center operation.

Owner Azzy Reckess, president of PAZ Health Care Management of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has owned the hospital, clinic and several associated properties since 2006.

He has accumulated $440,000 in unpaid county property taxes, and the property is in foreclosure.  After losing at lower levels, he is appealing the back taxes to the Kansas Court of Appeals and his most recent property valuation to the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals, according to his attorney, Alan Rupe of the Wichita firm Kutack & Rock.

In an attempt to sell the property or recruit a tenant, last spring Reckess brought in a California medical property developer named Cindy Ogden, who has a record of turning shuttered hospitals in California into going concerns.  Reckess allowed her to stay in a house on the site while she worked to drump up a buyer.

At some point, they entered negotiations for Ogden to buy the complex herself, with borrowed money.  But things between them went sour and, last week, Reckess filed suit to evict Ogden from the house, according to Rupe.

Reckess did'nt return calls for comment.

Ogden has publicly criticized Reckess and his caretaking of the property and said that eviction is a negotiating tactic.  She said that all of her money is tied up in another lawsuit and she doesn't have the money to stay in the area on her own.

She called on the city of Halstead and Harvey County governments to help her in wresting the hospital complex away from Reckess.

She said the two sides tentatively agreed to $3 million for all of Reckess' property in Harvey County, which includes a number of other properties not associated with the hospital.  Reckess, she said, later rejected the offer and came back with a demand for $6.5 million.

Local officials said they want the hospital building renovated and full but that they are in the midst of legal proceedings against Reckess and are unable to help Ogden.

Ogden said this week that she will try to hang on in Halstead as long as possible, until Reckess either agrees to sell at the lower amount of runs out of time and loses the property in a sale following a tax foreclosure.

"I want Azzy to come to his senses or the tax sale, one of the two," Ogden said.

The clinic and later the hospital had been part of Halstead for 100 years.  Around 240 jobs wer lost when the hospital and adjoining Hertzler Clinic closed in 2002.  Hospital and clinic employment peaked around 450 in the 1980s.

Efforts to keep the building open has attracted all kinds of interest -- but not much funding -- and Halstead has seen plenty of stops and starts as it has worked to market the property.
(Wichita Eagle ~ October 15, 2014)


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