Manhattan Surgical Hospital Appoints Melissa Wescott as New CEO

April 13, 2021
Melissa WestcottMANHATTAN, Kan. – The Board of Directors of Manhattan Surgical Hospital (MSH) has selected Melissa Westcott as the new Chief Executive Officer.

Westcott has spent the last two years serving as Manhattan Surgical Hospital's Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, Westcott worked for Partners Medical Consulting, serving as the Director of Accounting. Westcott's connection to Manhattan Surgical Hospital dates back nearly a decade, as she served as a trusted financial consultant through Partners Medical Consulting & ValueHealth. Westcott is Certified as a Public Accountant and graduated Summa Cum Laude from DeVry University, earning a Degree in Business Administration, with a focus in Accounting.

"Our Board has witnessed Melissa's executive talent on many occasions throughout the last ten years. She has insight and talents that surpass her years, a competitive nature and determination that cannot be beat, and has earned the respect of everyone at MSH. Westcott will continue to guide Manhattan Surgical Hospital in its commitment to patient satisfaction and care.", commented MSH Board Chairman, Dr. Jamie McAtee.

"It is a privilege to work with such talented surgeons, physicians, and staff", Westcott said in a statement. "The hospital has excelled in quality and outcomes year-over-year. The dedication Manhattan Surgical Hospital's physicians and staff have to quality, safety, and patient care is unmatched".

MSH has served the region for more than twenty years with high-quality surgical, inpatient and outpatient medical services. The hospital is recognized nationally for patient satisfaction, receiving five-star hospital awards from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in both 2019 and 2020. Because the hospital's owners are surgeons, there is a disciplined focus on safety and a total commitment to the care and comfort of patients and their families, resulting in excellent surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

An update from the MHK Clinical Task Force about COVID-19 in our community

November 16, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – To The Community:

As of November 12, 2020:
5,672. The number of people in Kansas who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours.
810. The number of people in Kansas currently in the hospital with COVID-19.

We have arrived at the point we had hoped to avoid. Record numbers of cases in our offices, urgent cares, hospitals, and nursing care facilities in Manhattan, the Flint Hills, throughout Kansas, and our nation. Hospitals in the region and state are at capacity, leaving smaller hospitals like Via Christi Manhattan, Wamego and Geary County without the ability to transfer even the sickest patients. And the upward trend show no signs of halting.

You're tired; so are we! These past several months have been hard on all of us. But we are in this together! What EACH of us does over the next few weeks and months will determine how well our community fairs. We have to UNITE to weather this storm.

PLEASE, wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick. Avoid indoor gatherings with those not in your immediate family or "bubble". Get tested if you have COVID symptoms, quarantine until results known. Limit crowd interaction, quarantine when told, and cooperate with contact tracers. Get your flu shot.

You have heard it before, but now more than ever it is important. This is not political, it is not affected by your age, or whether you live in a rural or urban area; it is real and so are the techniques we use to prevent its spread. WE see the lives affected and those who are lost. They are your family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Please do your part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

We recognize the holidays are upon us and you want to see family and friends. Find alternatives for time with family — outside or online with smaller groups of people and activities that allow you to keep your mask in place. If you have to think twice about participating in an activity because you are worried about potential exposure, it's best to avoid.

As healthcare providers, we stand united in our commitment to care for the health, well-being and safety of our communities. We will be here for you when you need us. But, please, be there for us and Manhattan.

The MHK Clinical Task Force Executive Committee
Hank Doering, MD - General Surgeon, Surgical Associates
Kate Dove, DO - Pediatrician, Pediatric Associates
Matt Floersch, MD - Internal Medicine, CenterPointe Physicans
Kyle Goerl, MD - Family & Sports Medicine, Lafene Health Center, Kansas State University
Cary Herl, MD - Family Medicine, Candlewood Clinic
Ryan Knopp, MD - Family Medicine, Stonecreek Family Physicians
James Lehman, MD - Emergency Medicine, Ascension Via Christi Hospital-Manhattan
Segen Chase, MD - Internal Medicine, CenterPointe Physicians

Manhattan Surgical Hospital Continues FIVE STAR Performance

August 21, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Manhattan Surgical Hospital has been recognized as a Five Star Hospital for patient experience by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

CMS, the federal administrator of the nation's major healthcare programs, released new patient experience star ratings July 31, giving only 266 hospitals a rating of five stars nationally.  Only 10 hospitals in the State of Kansas received Five Stars.

CMS assigned a patient experience star rating to a total of 3,478 hospitals based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems collected from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.

"Our staff and leadership are honored to be recognized for performing at the highest levels of patient satisfaction.  All of our teams make every effort to develop and embrace a culture that consistently makes the patient experience a priority.  Staff and Medical Staff take a personal interest in how our patients feel about the care they receive," said Chris Stipe, Chief Executive Officer.

In early 2019, the Manhattan Surgical Hospital received a Five Star rating for overall performance from CMS.  This rating included other performance measures in addition to the patient experience. 

Manhattan surgical hospital delivers inpatient and outpatient surgery, endoscopy services and pain management services to the Manhattan region.

Changes to visiting hours beginning August 11th

August 11, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – MSH continues to be vigilant with monitoring and managing the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to continue protecting our patients and team members we will be restricting access to the hospital.

Effective Tuesday August 11, 2020, Manhattan Surgical will continue to limit one visitor per patient during our visiting hours from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. for INPATIENTS only. Visitors may not rotate through in order to reduce exposure (for example, the visitor that the patient brings on the day of surgery will be the only visitor that patient will be able to have in the facility for their entire stay at MSH). Visitors must be 18 years or older.

All other OUTPATIENT Procedure visitors will be restricted.

Each person will be screened by answering health questions, travel history and temperature checks. If they are symptomatic, they will be sent home. Anyone entering our hospital is required to wear a mask.

We understand this change may be difficult for our patients and their families, however, we believe this decision is necessary given the current circumstances.

There are some exceptions to this policy:

  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have 1 visitor, must be parent or legal guardian.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, must be parent or legal guardian.

Upon registration, staff will obtain visitor phone number and instruct them to return to their car. Once surgery is complete, surgeon will contact family and provide surgical consultation.

Again, thank you for cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.

Updated Visitor Policy beginning July 13th

July 9, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – COVID-19 pandemic. In order to continue protecting our patients and team members we will be restricting access to the hospital. Effective Monday July 13th, MSH will no longer allow visitors in our hospital except in our inpatient department. Manhattan Surgical will limit one visitor per patient during our visiting hours from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. for INPATIENTS only. Visitors may not rotate through in order to reduce exposure (for example, the visitor that the patient brings on the day of surgery will be the only visitor that patient will be able to have in the facility for their entire stay at MSH). Visitors must be 18 years or older.

All other OUTPATIENT Procedure visitors will be restricted.

Each person will be screened by answering health questions, travel history and temperature checks. If they are symptomatic, they will be sent home. Anyone entering our hospital is required to wear a mask.

We understand this change may be difficult for our patients and their families, however, we believe this decision is necessary given the current circumstances.

There are some exceptions to this policy:

  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have 1 visitor, must be parent or legal guardian.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have 1 visitor, must be parent or legal guardian.

Upon registration, staff will obtain visitor phone number and instruct them to return to their car. Once surgery is complete, surgeon will contact family and provide surgical consultation.

Again, thank you for cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.

Manhattan Surgical Hospital Offers New Spine Surgery Services to Manhattan Area

June 29, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Manhattan Surgical Hospital is now offering spine surgery as a part of its growing list of surgical specialties. The hospital's partnership with Stormont Vail Health has resulted in bringing two Cotton O'Neil physicians to Manhattan to regularly hold clinics and complete back and spine surgical procedures at the Surgical Hospital.

Michael L Smith, MD
Michael L Smith, MD

Matthew J Wills, MD
Matthew J Wills, MD

Dr. Matthew J. Wills, M.D., Neurosurgery, and Dr. Michael L. Smith, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, are two talented physicians who will be performing back and spine procedures at Manhattan Surgical Hospital.

"We feel this is the first of many opportunities to expand the services available to the region through our new partnership with Stormont Vail Health. Local access to minimally invasive spine surgery is a huge win for Manhattan," said Chris Stipe, Chief Executive Officer.

"I'm excited to be able to hold clinic in Manhattan and provide services to the community," said Dr. Wills. "Through the partnership between Stormont Vail and Manhattan Surgical Hospital, patients will be able to receive their minimally invasive spine surgeries closer to home, closer to their families."

"This partnership allows us to meet with patients in a setting where they are comfortable," said Dr. Smith. "Our goal is to get each of our patients back on their feet as quickly as possible. The ability to complete these surgeries in their community will ensure that patients are comfortable and have the support system they need to make a full recovery."

You might consider a consult with one of these new physicians if you have been living with back or neck pain. Both Dr. Wills and Dr. Smith will hold regular clinic office hours on a rotating schedule at the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center, 1600 Charles Place, Manhattan. Call (785) 354-9591 for an appointment or ask your primary care doctor or specialist if you could benefit from a neuro or spine consult.

A Message from the Manhattan Medical Community

June 26, 2020

To the Community:

Riley County has seen alarming rates of increase in COVID-19 cases locally over the last week.  We have had over 23 positive cases last week, and 29 cases over the weekend.  As of June 22, there are 61 currently active cases of 132 since the start of the virus locally.  Last week saw an increase to 12% positive rate for testing, compared to 2-3% the weeks before.  These rates are not sustainable for our community and the healthcare that is provided in the community.  Of these positive cases, over 14 are in Kansas State athletes, at this point in time.  The majority of new cases are in the 18-24 year old age group.  This creates even more rampant spread since this group tends to be active in employment and social exposures in our community.  Research has shown that each positive COVID-19 test will infect at least two additional people.  Despite the age group, increase in COVID-19 continues to place a strain on healthcare resources and puts the local economy in a vulnerable state. 

New data was published from The Lancet on June 1, 2020 after conducting a meta-analysis showing that face mask use, cloth or surgical, was beneficial in decreasing spread of virus droplets.  Another research article in the Proceedings of the Royal Society scientific journal this month showed immediate and universal adoption of face masks by the public decreased virus transmission.   This study from Cambridge, England, identifies the "R value", the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to.  R values of more than one lead to exponential growth.  Routine face mask use in the general population in the scenarios of this study reduced COVID-19 spread to an R less than 0.5 and subsequently significantly assisted with disease mitigation. Finally, a recent study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences comparing Wuhan, China, Italy, and New York City demonstrated that COVID-19 is spread most in airborne transmission via respiratory droplets.  This study calculated that by using face coverings, 66,000 infections were prevented in New York City and 78,000 in Italy in a month!  While social distancing continues to be an important part of mitigation, these recent studies demonstrate that wearing a face mask in public corresponds to the most effective way to decrease and prevent inter-human transmission of COVID-19.  The data speaks for itself, this is not a political issue, it is a public health issue!

As Kansas State University has mandated universal mask wearing on campus, the MHK Clinical Task force recommends USD 383 require masks in school facilities for students and staff.  We recognize that there may be a small subset of students that this is not feasible with, but if the majority of students were able to comply, this would have immense positive benefits in decreasing virus transmission and keeping our children in the classroom in the 2020-2021 academic year.  The Children's Mercy Hospital system in Kansas City has mandated masking for all patients over the age of 2 and has observed the ability for patients to be compliant.  Adults and older children can be role models in this behavior!  This is key to opening and keeping our schools open in the fall to prevent viral transmission of COVID-19 and a host of other respiratory transmissible diseases—strep throat, influenza, mononucleosis, etc.  In order to keep the economy open, masking in businesses is imperative as well, especially with the transient nature of our community and the many people that visit our town regularly.  Mask wearing should be especially stressed to these younger individuals in public settings where social distancing is not adhered to and there are several individuals gathered—at house parties, bars and nightclubs, restaurants, etc. as these are the places we are seeing the largest increase in cases.

Hong Kong is a city of 7.5 million people and has had 4 COVID-19 deaths.  Taiwan, with 24 million people has had seven deaths from COVID-19.  New York City, a city of 8.3 million people has had 17,000 dead from COVID-19.  The difference is abundant testing, social distancing, contact tracing, patient isolation, and the most important—universal mask wearing in East Asia.  Researchers have shown that when 80% or more of the population is wearing masks, the spread of COVID-19 was significantly reduced.  Hong Kong reported 98% mask wearing in their population.  Medical masks are ideal, but cotton masks have been shown to reduce emission of droplets by as much as 99%.  More than one hundred countries now require masks in public, but just 15 states in the United States.  Europe has significantly slowed their increase in COVID-19 cases while the United States has continued to increase cases exponentially.

Riley County did a good job initially with stay at home orders, but we have seen a troublesome decline in our awareness over the last few weeks.  In order to work to keep mitigating COVID-19 presence in our community, the MHK Clinical Task Force would recommend universal masking for individuals over 2 years of age when inside public buildings or outside when unable to appropriately observe six feet of social distancing from others, when medically possible.   

The fact that wearing a face mask has become a political issue is tragic.  We legislate seatbelt use for personal safety and have made laws about public smoking since it affects the health of others.  This is the same principle.  The recommendation of universal face mask wearing is based on scientific evidence which has the best interest of the health of the public at its core and allows us to be part of the solution, not propagate the virus.  Implementing policies (or failing to implement policies) that are not based on science can be catastrophic for our nation and our county.  COVID-19 doesn't select just the elderly, it infects and affects all ages.  We have heard countless cases of otherwise healthy, young individuals (even in our own community) who ended up on ventilators for weeks, with a lung transplant after this ruthless virus, or worst of all-- lost their life. 

Wearing a mask or face covering is not difficult, it is a simple act to keep you or someone around you from being hospitalized or having to be on a ventilator fighting for their life.  Wearing a mask respects your family, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and is considerate.  Wearing a mask respects human life.

MHK Clinical Task Force


A letter from Manhattan physicians to the community

March 23, 2020

To The Manhattan Community:

We are writing on behalf of the entire medical community in Manhattan to inform the public about efforts that have been underway for the last two weeks for collaboration and organization to prepare our community for COVID-19.  The health of our community, patients, staff, and families are our top priority. 

In the last week, an unprecedented collaboration of the independent medical offices in Manhattan, Ascension Via Christi Hospital- Manhattan, Manhattan Surgical Hospital, Lafene Health Center/KSU, and Riley County Health Department has come together multiple times to discuss how we care for people in an effective and efficient manner during this pandemic.  In this process, we have created a MHK COVID-19 Command Center that has representatives from the institutions mentioned above as well as each primary care office in town, anesthesia and subspecialty groups, emergency room physicians, dental offices, K-Stat, Irwin Army Hospital, and Meadowlark Hills Retirement Community.  The goal is to help coordinate the emergency plan that each of these groups has with the county emergency management process led by the Riley County Health Department, and coordinating with local and regional government and other resources.  The group is led by Dr. Hank Doering, general surgeon, and Dr. Matt Floersch, internal medicine.  This group has met via video conferencing twice weekly and is in constant email and text communication among providers.  The goal is to have a central location for distribution of information to medical providers in town.  There is a vast amount of information to be distributed efficiently and it changes quickly from minute to minute.  Discussion in the group includes, but is not limited to, processes for evaluation and testing patients, turn-around time for lab tests, monitoring daily in a living document the number of available test swabs, personal protective equipment (masks, gowns, gloves, eye protection), hospital beds, ventilators, etc. between the facilities and offices so that if one group is in need we can efficiently work together to address this as best we can.  We are working to share processes in our individual offices where applicable.  We hope to be able to work with our local government officials to share perspective, guidance, and advice with how we can keep our community as safe as possible during this time.

We urge the public to heed the direction of the CDC, KDHE, RCHD and diligently practice social distancing and self quarantine when directed based on exposures or travel.  We support strict, stay at home orders as enforced in the Kansas City metro area and other communities.  This disease affects ALL AGES and many people are asymptomatic carriers.  For this reason, avoiding contact with others is of the utmost importance.   These measures are critical to decrease the spread of Coronavirus.  We must strictly adhere to these guidelines as our resources will be limited if stretched too thin.   Please practice frequent hand washing, avoid touching your face, stay home if you are ill, cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue and dispose of the tissue.

If you are ill, we request you call your primary care doctor's office first for advice on what you should do.  It is important to call before entering a medical office, urgent care, or hospital, to minimize risk of exposure for others.  There is a screening hotline 785-323-6400 through the Riley County Health Department that is answered by medical providers and nurses in the community to help answer general questions about COVID-19 and help patients determine where they need to go if needing medical attention.  For general information about COVID-19 the public can call to the Kansas Department of Health & Environment 1-866-534-3463.

Finally, we want to remind our community that our offices and local hospitals are open.  We recognize that there are many other medical issues people continue to experience daily.  We have gone to great lengths to assure safety of our patients and staff during this time so patients with other medical problems can continue to receive care.  In some cases, we are screening patients in different areas, and some offices are offering telehealth options depending on the patient needs.  Please do not hesitate from seeking care due to concerns for contracting the virus at your local hospital or doctor's office!

In the past several weeks we have witnessed extraordinary volatility in the health of our nation—physically and emotionally.  Know that your local health care providers and leaders are working diligently to keep Manhattan and the surrounding Flint Hills area in a position that we "flatten the curve" and use our resources in the best way possible.  Some areas of the United States are already experiencing devastation from COVID-19, we are in a critical period to make a tremendous difference and avoid this devastation.  Please work with us in keeping our community healthy, safe, and united.

Segen Chase, MD
Hank Doering, MD
Matt Floersch, MD
Ryan Knopp, MD


Corona-Virus (COVID-19) Update

March 15, 2020
MANHATTAN, Kan. – We apologize for any inconvenience.  Manhattan Surgical Hospital continues to closely monitor the outbreak of the Corona-Virus (Covid-19).  We are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care and are working with CDC, KDHE and local health departments to keep up to date with the latest developments.

Symptoms include FEVER and lower respiratory illness (cough, difficulty breathing). COVID-19 is spread by droplet and or direct/close contact with an infected individual.

If you are experiencing these symptoms and have an upcoming elective surgery or procedure, please stay home and contact Manhattan Surgical Hospital at (785) 776-2535.  We will provide further guidance at this time. 

Manhattan Surgical Hospital, LLC Visitor Policy: 

  • Visitors will be limited to one at any given time.
  • Visitors who have flu-like symptom, cough, fever and/or shortness of breath should stay home and will not be allowed to visit patients.
  • Anyone who has traveled to and from (including layovers), or has been around anyone who has traveled to and from (including layovers) a country or state within the last 14 days that the CDC has designated as high risk for Covid-19 will not be allowed in the hospital. 

Patients scheduled for upcoming surgeries will be screened for Covid-19:

Within the past 14 days:

  1. Have you been around anyone who has traveled to or from (including layovers), or have you traveled to or from (including layovers), anywhere that there is risk of exposure to COVID-19?
    • China
    • Italy
    • South Korea
    • Iran
    • Japan
    • California
    • New York
    • Washington

  2. Have you had contact with anyone in the past 14 days who has been quarantined or placed on home or self-monitoring or has become ill with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing due to possible exposure to COVID-19?

  3. Are you experiencing any lower respiratory symptoms that include any of the following?
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

If the patient answers YES to any of the questions above, the patient should contact their surgeon and Manhattan Surgical Hospital at 785-776-2535

Good prevention practices include:

  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

Due to the highly contagious nature of coronavirus, we ask anyone with symptoms to stay home and avoid public gatherings. This will help protect those most vulnerable in our communities and keep us safe and well.


Practice Administrator, Erin Plummer, Achieves Board Certification In Medical Practice Management

December 11, 2019
Erin PlummerMANHATTAN, Kan. – Erin M. Plummer, RN, BSN, CMPE, Practice Administrator, Blue River Family Medicine and Central Kansas Cancer Center, has earned the professional designation of Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) by the American College of Medical Practice Executives, the certification entity of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

The designation of CMPE demonstrates that Plummer has achieved board certification in medical practice management. Through industry-leading board certification and Fellowship programs, ACMPE examinations that assess knowledge of the broad scope of medical practice management skills sets as outlined in the Body of Knowledge for Medical Practice Management. These include business operations, financial management, human resource management, information management, organizational governance, patient care systems, quality management and risk management. The individual must also earn a minimum of 50 continuing education credit hours.

Today, MGMA membership is comprised of more than 6,600 individuals who have attained CMPE or ACMPE Fellow status or who seek certification.

Erin Plummer has worked for Manhattan Surgical for the past 15 years, previously as the team leader and manager of the operating room. In 2018, she made the move to practice administration when Manhattan Surgical Hospital acquired Central Kansas Cancer Center and formed the new family practice group, Blue River Family Medicine.


Blue River Family Medicine Welcomes New Family Practice Physician, Dr. Rey

Stormont Vail HealthAugust 13, 2019
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Blue River Family Medicine recently welcomed a new family practice physician to the medical staff.  Dr. Del Rey received his secondary education undergraduate degree at Wichita State University. He received his masters in school leadership/administration from Friends University, Wichita KS and attended the University of Kansas Medical School.

Dr. Del Rey completed his residencies at UMKC Truman Medical Center and Wesley Family Medicine prior to practicing a number of years in Haysville, KS. 

Dr. Rey is now accepting new patients at Blue River Family Medicine, 8301 Positano Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502.


Manhattan Surgical Hospital and Stormont Vail Health announce new partnership

September 30, 2019
TOPEKA, Kan. – Manhattan Surgical Hospital and Stormont Vail Health have finalized partnership agreements. Through this partnership, Manhattan Surgical Hospital, its members, including Stormont Vail Health will continue growing and strengthening health care services in Manhattan and the surrounding area.

Stormont Vail HealthManhattan Surgical Hospital is a physician-owned surgical hospital that opened in 2001 and offers care across a variety of surgical procedures. "Manhattan Surgical Hospital and its physician partners are very excited to finalize this new partnership," said Jamie McAtee, MD and Chairman of the Board. "Stormont Vail Health has a longstanding history of providing best in class care in Manhattan and we're looking forward to leveraging this partnership to strengthen current services and bring new services to the community."

"We are committed to providing access to care close to home for those we serve," said Robert Kenagy, M.D., CEO and president, Stormont Vail Health. "Manhattan Surgical Hospital has an excellent reputation and has served the Manhattan community for almost 20 years. This opportunity will offer many advantages to the patients we serve including enhanced access and experience." 

Manhattan Surgical Hospital performs more than 10,000 procedures annually in multiple specialties, invests in the latest technologies to ensure the highest quality of care and is an active and integral organization in the Manhattan community. They acquired the Central Kansas Cancer Center in June of 2017, offering cancer patients in the area the ability to receive the highest level of Radiation Therapy for their treatment in their own community. Manhattan Surgical Hospital also responded to the urgent needs of the community for access to Primary Care and opened the Blue River Family Medicine practice in July of 2018.

"This will be a great collaboration, with a shared goal of improving the health of our community," said Chris Stipe, CEO Manhattan Surgical Hospital. "Riley County and the surrounding areas really have something to look forward to through this partnership."

Manhattan Surgical Hospital Welcomes New Gastroenterologist, Dr. Disbrow

Stormont Vail HealthAugust 8, 2019
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Manhattan Surgical Hospital recently welcomed a new gastroenterologist to the hospital's medical staff.  Dr. Molly Lindquist Disbrow received her undergraduate degree at Kansas State University. She received a Master's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences and attended medical school at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Disbrow completed her Internal Medicine Residency and was Chief Medicine Resident at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dr. Disbrow is now seeing patients at Gastro-Intestinal Consultants of Manhattan at 1213 Hylton Heights Road, Suite 101.  She is also scheduling procedures at Manhattan Surgical Hospital.


Manhattan Surgical Hospital

Blue River Family Medicine Moves to New Location in East Manhattan; Announces arrival of new physician in August

April 22, 2019
MANHATTAN, Kan. – In July of last year, the Manhattan Surgical Hospital responded to a local shortage of primary care physicians by opening Blue River Family Medicine.  Since July, the family practice clinic has operated at a temporary location in West Manhattan.  Today, Blue River Family Medicine is announcing its planned relocation of the clinic to a new building on May 13th 2019.

The new, permanent office location will be, 8301 Positano Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502. The location is directly east of Manhattan, across the Big Blue River bridge, just off of Highway 24 on the north side of the highway, across from the Heritage South business district. 

At the new location, Blue River Family Medicine plans to house at least four family physicians and a number of physician assistants and nurse practitioners.  The current line-up of providers includes family physicians Dr. Karen Graves and Dr. Steffen Shamburg, as well as Physician Assistant, Myra Wilson.  This summer, the practice will add another family physician, Dr. Del Rey, who is relocating from the Haysville, Kansas area.

"What an outstanding moment for the Blue River physicians and staff, and their patients," said Chris Stipe, Chief Executive Officer, Manhattan Surgical Hospital.  "The new clinic is absolutely beautiful, as well as functional for patients.  We look forward to the continued growth of the medical practice as more patients get to know our talented providers and staff at this permanent location," Stipe added.

The new clinic building offers approximately 10,000 sq feet of space, with 19 spacious patient exam rooms.  The new office will allow the practice to offer additional services to patients, including an expansion of lab services, including blood draws, and the addition of x-ray services.  The clinic represents an investment of over three million dollars in the community. 

Clinic Administrator, Erin Plummer, BSN, commented, "We aim to improve the patient experience in this new, state-of-the-art facility while continuing the same personal service that our patients have come to expect from Blue River Family Medicine.  We are looking forward to seeing our patients in our new home!"

If you are currently a patient of Blue River Family Medicine, the clinic will close its offices in West Manhattan at 3pm, Wednesday May 8th. The office will remain closed to visitors until Monday morning May 13th at 8am, when Blue River Family Medicine will open for the first time at the new location.  The clinic phone number will remain the same, 785-587-0570.  The clinic is currently accepting new patients.

For more information, visit the website,, or call 785-587-0570.

Manhattan Surgical Hospital (MSH) Recognized Nationally with "Five Star" Rating from Medicare

March 20, 2019
MANHATTAN, Kan. – For the second time in less than a year, Manhattan Surgical Hospital has received national recognition for its quality of patient care.  This time, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designated the hospital as a "Five Star" facility in its latest rankings released last month.  The recognition puts Manhattan Surgical Hospital in the top 8% in the country for its overall hospital-level quality. (see graphic below*) 

The Overall Hospital Rating from CMS provides consumers with a simple star rating generated by combining multiple dimensions of quality into a single summary score.  Star rankings are based on 62 quality measures across seven categories: effectiveness of care, efficient use of imaging, mortality, patient satisfaction, readmissions, safety and timeliness of care.  

According to the CMS web site, the goal of the star rating system is to improve the usability and interpretability of information posted on Hospital Compare, a website designed for consumers to use along with their healthcare provider to make decisions on where to receive care. Only seven Kansas hospitals received five stars in the latest rankings

Stormont Vail HealthAccording to Chris Stipe, the hospital's Chief Executive Officer, "This means patients are getting best care in the country right here in Manhattan!  Why would you choose to go anywhere else?" 

Additionally, last fall, Manhattan Surgical Hospital was rated as a "High Performing" hospital for total knee replacement by U.S. News & World Report.  This designation indicates a hospital was significantly better than the national average in a given procedure or condition.  

"Manhattan Surgical Hospital has always been dedicated to the highest level of clinical care and the best patient experience.  These two prestigious recognitions are a culmination of many years of hard work, and they reflect our constant pursuit of excellence," said Dr. Jamie McAtee, Board Chairman.

These rankings are likely not a surprise to the patients that have trusted their care to the physician-owned, Manhattan Surgical Hospital over the last eighteen years.  "Our dedicated staff really makes it happen each and every day for their patients," Stipe added.

For more information call 785-776-1500.

For hospitals rated in February 2019 data release. Of these…

  • 3,665 received a star rating in December 2017 with ratings not available for 1,119.
  • 3,724 received a star rating this month, with 1,060 not available.

Source: CMS
Courtesy of "Modern Healthcare"

Stormont Vail Health and Manhattan Surgical Hospital announce new partnership

February 1, 2019
TOPEKA, Kan. – Opportunities to improve community health are central to a new partnership agreement between Stormont Vail Health and Manhattan Surgical Hospital. The Kansas health care entities have signed a letter of intent to partner in which Stormont Vail Health will be a minority owner in Manhattan Surgical Hospital, LLC, and will work with Manhattan Surgical Hospital to strengthen health care services in Manhattan and the surrounding area. The transaction is expected to be finalized over the next 90 days.

Stormont Vail HealthManhattan Surgical Hospital is a physician-owned surgical hospital that opened in 2001. Chairman of the Board James R. McAtee, M.D., said the partnership will focus on strengthening current services and bringing new services to the community. "Manhattan Surgical Hospital and its physician partners are excited about this new partnership. We look forward to the work ahead with Stormont Vail Health and the increased opportunities to enhance and expand high-quality care to our patients, and to the Flint Hills region," said Dr. Jamie McAtee, Chairman of the Manhattan Surgical Hospital Board.

In 2012, Stormont Vail first expanded into Manhattan with an investment in Medical Associates of Manhattan, now Cotton O'Neil Manhattan. "With Cotton O'Neil clinics in Manhattan and Wamego, we have continued to expand our services and recruit providers to meet the growing needs of Riley and Pottawatomie Counties," said Randy Peterson, President and CEO of Stormont Vail Health. "This partnership is the next step in our plan to support our patients and the community by expanding care delivery in Manhattan. This will include developing a new medical office space and recruiting additional providers." 

Scott Coonrod, M.D., Cotton O'Neil Internal Medicine, said the partnership makes sense for a growing Manhattan. "The Manhattan Surgical Hospital has an excellent reputation and has been an integral part of the medical community for almost 20 years," Coonrod said. "The opportunity to partner with the hospital and through that partnership, collaborate with several physician groups, further strengthens health care here in Manhattan which benefits our patients."

Manhattan Surgical Hospital (MSH) Recognized as High Performing Hospital by U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

August 15th, 2018
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Each year U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT endeavors to rank hospitals across the country.  Their report on "Best Hospitals" is intended to help patients decide where to receive care. 

"This is one of many ways patients can evaluate where to get their care," said Chris Stipe, Chief Executive at MSH.  Stipe continued, "These days patients can find themselves on information overload, so it is helpful for them to be able to turn to a name they know and trust in U.S. News & World Report."

Manhattan Surgical Hospital was rated as a "High Performing" hospital for total knee replacement.  According to U.S. News, an overall rating of high performing indicates a hospital was significantly better than the national average in a given procedure or condition.  In each procedure and condition, 10 to 20 percent of the evaluated hospitals in a condition or procedure typically fell into the high performing tier and another 10 to 20 percent were rated below average.

U.S. News generates hospital rankings by evaluating data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties, 9 adult procedures and conditions and 10 pediatric specialties. To be nationally ranked in a specialty, a hospital must excel in caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients. The ratings in procedures and conditions, by contrast, focus on typical Medicare patients. Hospitals that do well in multiple areas of adult care may be ranked in their state and metropolitan area.

"Our medical staff is more than pleased with this recognition and what it says about our staff and the level of care we are delivering to our patients in Manhattan.  Our culture at Manhattan Surgical Hospital remains strong in supporting the best patient care," said Dr. Jamie McAtee, MSH Chairman.

Blue River Family Medicine Opens Primary Care Clinic in Manhattan

June 28, 2018
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Blue River Family Medicine is opening a primary health care clinic July 11 in Manhattan. The new practice was formed by Manhattan Surgical Hospital to help fill a need left by a shortage of primary care providers in the area. The clinic will offer a wide range of services for patients of all ages, from newborns to seniors.

"We're thrilled to offer more primary health care options for our growing community. In addition to treating our patients, we hope to become a home for family medicine practitioners wanting to serve Manhattan, Wamego and the entire region," said Chris Stipe, CEO of Manhattan Surgical Hospital.

The practice's physicians include Dr. Karen Graves, D.O., and Dr. Steffen Shamburg, M.D. Dr. Graves earned her degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and has been practicing in Manhattan since 2004. Dr. Shamburg joins the practice from Hiawatha Community Hospital, where he has been practicing since 1999. Both doctors are certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. Graves is also certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. Myra Wilson rounds out the clinic staff as the physician assistant. Myra obtained her training from Wichita State University in 2017 and has been practicing in Topeka. The clinic plans to add more providers after its opening.

Services include general wellness and Medicare wellness visits; school, camp and sports physicals; work physicals; worker compensation visits; drug and alcohol screening; immunizations and vaccinations; injections, lab specimen collection and X-rays; annual obstetrical visits; and same-day acute visits.

The clinic participates in most major health insurance networks and plans.

"The Manhattan Surgical Hospital board and investors were extremely proud to make this strategic decision to expand primary care capabilities in the area. We look forward to providing direct health care, as well as prevention and wellness services and information to our community," Stipe said.

The clinic will operate at 1133 College Avenue, Building A, Suite 213, until construction is finalized at its permanent building on Highway 24 next year. For more information, visit their website at or call 785-587-0570.

Hospital Welcomes New Chief Executive

Feburary 22, 2018
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Manhattan Surgical Hospital (MSH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher R. Stipe as its new Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Stipe has worked in health care for twenty years, and has nearly fifteen years of experience as a CEO.  His education includes a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Kansas.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Mr. Stipe was pleased to be bringing his family back to Kansas.  Both he and his wife Tiffany graduated from high school in the Kansas City area.  "Returning to Kansas certainly feels like coming home to our family.  And as a KSU Alum, the opportunity to live and work in Manhattan is priceless," said Stipe.  

Chris StipeMr. Stipe's most recent experience includes more than nine years as CEO of Clarinda Regional Health Center in Clarinda, Iowa.  His accomplishments included the planning and opening of a $28M replacement hospital, and the development of a world-class total joint replacement program, as well as the recruitment and retention of more than a dozen primary care physicians and mid-level providers. 

"Our Board felt that Chris has exactly the right depth and breadth of talent to continue our pursuit of excellence.  He is a good fit culturally and he has a proven track record of executing on strategic opportunities in cooperation with physicians, boards and the public," commented MSH Board Chairman, Dr. Jamie McAtee.

MSH has served the region for more than seventeen years with high quality surgical, inpatient and outpatient medical services.  The hospital is recognized nationally for patient satisfaction.  MSH is currently investing in improving access to care for the region with the development of primary care.

When making his decision to take on his role at MSH, Mr. Stipe was impressed by the hospital's focus on patient satisfaction, and the dedication of its physicians and staff to patient care, "MSH has benefitted from strong leadership and has built a great deal of trust in the community.  Quality, safety and customer service are clearly priority one for the staff and that has positioned the organization well for the future," said Stipe.

Chris Stipe started his new role with MSH February 26th.

Manhattan Surgical Hospital – a commitment to patient satisfaction and care