Former Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth donated to county by health system

The now-closed Cushing Hospital in Leavenworth, Kan. has been donated to the county by its previous owner, Saint Luke’s Health System. Officials with the county reveal potential uses include expanding existing health services, offering space to non-profits and more.

The building that housed Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital is no longer receiving patients, though its recent donation by Saint Luke’s Health System will help keep it running.

On Wednesday, October 28, the Leavenworth County Board of County Commissioners formally accepted the donation of the former hospital building from Saint Luke’s to Leavenworth County. The offer to donate the building came from the Saint Luke’s Cushing Foundation after the hospital permanently closed on October 1.

“We are so pleased that we’re able to gift this piece of history to Leavenworth County,” said Adele Ducharme, CEO of Saint Luke’s North Region. “The hospital has been here for more than 120 years and we’re grateful to know that the building will continue to serve the community in a new form.”

“We can’t thank all the parties involved enough,” said Leavenworth County Commissioner Vicky Kaaz. “The cooperation and generosity cannot be overstated. This donation will benefit our county for many years to come.”

Cushing Memorial Hospital was founded in 1894 by Harriet Cushing – a renowned philanthropist, suffragist, and champion of health care in Kansas – and originally owned by the city of Leavenworth. Saint Luke’s Health System began managing its day-to-day operations in 2001 and the local board officially authorized the transfer of ownership to Saint Luke’s in 2006. In 2019, Saint Luke’s announced Cushing Hospital would transition to a Community Hospital model with a focus on emergency care. It then closed permanently in October 2020 due to financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Leavenworth is committed to making certain that the legacy of Harriet Cushing will live on by using the facility that bears her name to serve the residents of our county,” Kaaz said. “Potential uses include moving existing county services to the building, expanding services for our aging and youth populations, expanding health services, and offering building space to other organizations.”

Saint Luke’s Health System retains ownership and ongoing operations of the Cushing Medical Plaza facility located at 7th & Marshall Street across the hospital.