WNH awarded community service tax credits

Courtesy photo

Nanci Richardson, LPN II, answers a call at the nurses station from a patient’s room.


William Newton Hospital will receive funding through the state of Kansas Community Service Tax Credit program in the amount of $197,500 toward the purchase and installation of a new call system, offering improved communication and increased efficiency of patient care.

The hospital is among 26 Kansas nonprofits receiving $4 million in Community Service Tax Credits in order to improve and enhance fundraising efforts for education, healthcare, childcare and housing projects.

“The Community Service Tax Credit program is an excellent tool we can use to support our state’s nonprofits and strengthen the essential services they provide to their communities,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a July 16 news release.

William Newton Hospital has a long history of success with the program. The William Newton Healthcare Foundation successfully raised the maximum tax credits awarded in 2009, 2016 and 2019.

Most recently, the Cardiac Care in Our Heartland project helped to fund new equipment for the cardiovascular catheterization lab which opened in 2020. The “cath lab,” located within the H. L. Snyder Medical Foundation Surgery Center, diagnoses and treats many cardiac patients that would otherwise have to go to Wichita.

“Our cath lab increases accessibility to necessary cardiovascular care in Winfield and the surrounding areas and has the potential to save lives,” William Newton Hospital CEO Ben Quinton said.

The 2021-22 project titled, “Calling for Quality Care: WNH Nurse Call System” will ensure patient needs are met through timely and efficient communication technology. The tax credits will provide $335,750 of the total project budget of $457,904.

The current call system was put in place more than 16 years ago, with a few modifications over the years to improve performance. However, hospital staff say it’s time for a replacement.

“The functionality of the system has been breaking down. There are no alternative solutions. It simply needs to be updated,” said Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Marrs, BSN, RN.

The new system will connect all nursing units, improving communication, accountability, efficiency and patient safety throughout the hospital. To help nurses and aides respond from wherever they are, staff will have individual wireless phones instead of calls routed to a central line. The estimated number of beneficiaries among three nursing units, Med/Surg, OB, and ICU, would be more than 1,100 patients per year.

William Newton Healthcare Foundation Director Annika Morris said the most notable impact will be on staff responsiveness.

“It’s simple. Our nurses need the right tools to provide the best care. This project will not only ease the burden on our dedicated caregivers, but help thousands of patients and families,” Morris said.

Nursing staff and information technology will work together to ensure no disruptions to patient care during implementation. Target completion for the entire project is Dec. 31.

Community members in Cowley County and the surrounding counties can help by contributing at least $250 through Dec. 31, 2022. These 70 percent tax credits are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis. To contribute, call the foundation office at (620) 222-6275.

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