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Archive for Wednesday, January 20, 1999

LMH MULLS NEW CENTER FOR SURGERY

January 20, 1999

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Lawrence Memorial Hospital board members might decide today to forge a partnership to open an ambulatory surgery center at Sixth and Maine streets in August 2000.

Lawrence Memorial Hospital trustees will vote this morning on whether to join a long-term agreement with a group of Lawrence surgeons to open an ambulatory surgery center.

Hospital leaders first expressed an interest in such a venture almost two years ago, and the nine-member board will likely approve a lease agreement with the building's owner.

Board members will vote during their monthly meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. today in the hospital's auditorium, 325 Maine.

Rodger Henry, owner of five Raco Car Washes in Lawrence, said he hopes to begin construction in early May on the $7 million building that will house the ambulatory surgery center. Henry and Roger Sevedge, Kansas City, Kan., control H&S Holdings Inc., and Henry Sevedge said the company will close on the purchase of the Lawrence Medical Plaza at the end of this month. The ambulatory surgery center will be on the second story of a 36,000-square-foot addition to the building, at Sixth and Maine streets.

LMH President and CEO Gene Meyer said doctors did 5,028 inpatient and outpatient surgeries at the hospital in 1997, and that number jumped by 614 in 1998. About 70 percent of the operations were outpatient surgeries, and patients didn't have to stay overnight at the hospital.

Outpatient surgeries, many of which would be shifted from the hospital to the new center, include arthroscopic surgery, eye surgery and plastic surgery, said Janice Early-Weas, director of community relations for the hospital.

"This is following a national trend, with more and more surgeries being done on an outpatient basis," Meyer said.

Details of the lease weren't final Tuesday, but Meyer said talks should be completed this morning.

Stephen Segebrecht, a Lawrence doctor who is selling his interest in the Lawrence Medical Plaza and joining nine other surgeons and the hospital to open the surgery center, said plans call for four operating rooms there.

"There is a sentiment among patients that an outpatient setting is less threatening than going to a hospital to have surgery done," Segebrecht said. "With more operating rooms available, it gives us a greater opportunity to have the surgeries performed in a more expedient fashion and during daylight hours."

H&S Holdings will own the building, but Segebrecht said the hospital will own more than half the surgery center. The doctors will own the remaining interest in the business.

The hospital and doctors' group will also have to equip the center.

Henry said the first floor of the building will house a physical therapy practice and an orthopedic surgery practice.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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