Following the closure Tuesday of Horton Community Hospital, Governor Laura Kelly extended assistance from her administration and highlighted the critical importance of community hospitals in rural Kansas.
“I’m devastated for the community of Horton as they face the serious loss of their local hospital,” Kelly said. “This is becoming a far too frequent occurrence in our state. Local hospitals are key to the health of Kansas families and are often one of the largest employers in a small town. Elected leaders must work together to do more to support our local hospitals.”
Three rural hospitals have closed in the last three months. The Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott closed on December 31, 2018. Oswego Community Hospital closed in February. And Horton Community Hospital closed its doors Tuesday, after not paying staff and utility bills.
“I’ve directed our agencies to coordinate support for hospital staff during this challenging time,” Kelly said. “A closure of a hospital has ripple effects through the community and region. Our KANSASWORKS team will be in Horton Thursday to assist hospital staff with filing for unemployment benefits, as well as job applications and re-employment services.”
The Governor’s Office, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Department of Labor are working to provide support to employees of the hospital, ensure unemployment benefits applications are streamlined, and re-employment opportunities are available. The Kansas Attorney General’s Office has also been heavily involved.
In response to Tuesday’s closure, KANSASWORKS will be hosting Rapid Response Informational Meetings Thursday in Horton in conjunction with the Community Outreach Event at the Horton Public Library.
Efforts to assist affected hospital employees will include Rapid Response Informational Meetings at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday at the Horton Public Library, 809 1st Ave E. No registration is required. Information will be shared about KANSASWORKS, Workforce Center employment and training services and how to file unemployment insurance benefits.
Also, the KANSASWORKS Mobile Workforce Center will be at the Horton Public Library from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to provide additional re-employment services. Workforce Center staff will be available to help with registering on KANSASWORKS.com, creating a resumé, job search assistance and filling out job applications.
The Rapid Response team was also sent to Oswego following the closure of its hospital last month.
Any questions about KANSASWORKS should be directed to the Department of Commerce:
Agency Newsroom, Business and Community Development Newsroom, Workforce Services
For media inquiries, contact Ryan Brinker.