JUNCTION CITY (KSNT) – Stormont Vail’s Flint Hills campus in Junction City is making progress. Since taking full ownership of Geary Community Hospital in January, Stormont Vail has been working around the clock to make much-needed improvements.

Stormont Vail Vice President Mary Martell told 27 News that without their involvement, the hospital would have closed altogether. She said she didn’t want this community to lose access to healthcare.

“We made very specific plans about what it would take to be successful,” Martell said. “And to make sure that the quality and the experience with that Stormont Vail logo on the door, that when people come into this facility, it’s just the same.”

She said Stormont Vail’s various campuses function as part of one, collective system. The expectation is that all facilities provide patients with the same level of accessibility and quality care.

Part of that quality care is keeping hospital facilities and equipment up-to-date. Stormont Vail has spent the last several months reinvesting into the Flint Hills campus, starting with the emergency department.

“We’ve worked a lot in that area on structure and making sure that it’s safe for our employees, but also our patients,” Regional Director of Nursing Tracy Duran said. “So that has really brightened the area and been great for staffing, and our patients have noticed that.”

Financial liabilities such as bonds, debts and lease obligations will remain the responsibility of Geary County, according to a Stormont Vail spokesperson.

Martell told 27 News she’s confident in Stormont Vail’s ability to keep the hospital stable. Stormont Vail has plans to reinvest millions back into the hospital over the next five years, which according to Martell, will boost the hospital’s long-term viability. However, the most important thing to Martell right now is making sure patients get the care they need.

“We are here to provide compassionate care to patients, to provide the very best care to patients,” Martell said. “And to do so in a way that we can balance the financial demands and needs and investments that it will take.”

To both Martell and Duran, quality healthcare is an essential part of any community.

“Our communities are built of three pillars: housing, education and healthcare,” Duran said. “Once you take away that third leg of healthcare and you have to go elsewhere for that, it really breaks down a community. And so we are here for the long term and we want to be that third pillar for this community.”

According to Duran, one big next step for the Flint Hills campus includes recruiting more care providers to take its health care to the next level.