Sunday, October 11, 2015

Since 2010, 58 rural U.S. hospitals have closed. The 58th is located in Independence, Kansas, home to an award-winning public library.

Where the population, along with the county in which it's located, experienced its greatest period of growth more than 100 years ago.

Population change since their 1930 peaks:
  • 28% - Independence
  • 34% - Montgomery County

Closing a Hospital, and Fearing for the Future.  (The New York Times, 10/8/2015)
Mercy’s problems attracted notice in Topeka, the state capital, as some lawmakers renewed calls on the state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a move that would have pumped an estimated $1.6 million a year into the hospital’s coffers. But Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, remained steadfastly opposed to the idea. Hospital officials said the Medicaid funds would have helped significantly but probably would not have ensured Mercy’s long-term survival. 
Reductions in Medicare payment rates are hitting many rural hospitals hard, because they serve older populations and operate on thinner financial margins than their urban and suburban counterparts.

Independence has an attractive public library facility

  • 1882.  Ladies Library Association founded.  (Collection made available in city council room in December.
  • 1883.  Collection  moved to a store.
  • 1884.  Collection moved again to Ebersole & Foster on Penn Ave.
  • 1887.  Moved to the home of Mayor Stich. Available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m. 
  • 1907.  November 18.  Opening of Carnegie Independence Public Library.
  • 1925.  Library remodeled and enlarged.
  • 2000s.  13,500-square-foot addition.
  • 2012.  Selected by Library Journal as the Best Small Library in America.

Montgomery County is located in southeast Kansas.

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