Building a Healthy Future Celebration

Guests at the celebration listen intently to information regarding the Building a Healthy Future Celebration Monday, September 11.


September 11th is a momentous day that Americans will forever remember. As the Building a Healthy Future Celebration kicked off, a moment of silence was held to pay our respects and to honor those who lost their lives 22 years ago. Many times, the work of our emergency personnel, including law enforcement, fire, EMS, and emergency management workers goes on without any public accolades or recognition. The tribute to our local first responders recognized the various departments for their dedication to our community. 

Sabetha Police Chief, Robert Wahwasuck began by sharing information about his department and their dedication to our community through not only the patrol officers, but also those who work in the communications department. Following Chief Wahwasuck, Doug Brammer, Director of Sabetha EMS provided brief information about his trained professionals and how closely they work with other agencies, especially Sabetha Community Hospital. Fire Chief Jim Johnson took time to praise the community of Sabetha for their generous donations over the years. With donations from the community the department has been able to upgrade equipment and purchase equipment to aid other agencies such as a boat and ATV for search and/or rescue purposes. 

Mayor Cody Bletscher commended the first responder agencies representing the City of Sabetha and discussed the importance of Sabetha Community Hospital in our community. Following the Mayor, several individuals spoke on behalf of the hospital. Those included SCH Board of Directors Norm Schmitt; Kathy Simpson, Sabetha Community Health Foundation; and Jerre Lauer, SCH Guild. 

In the 1990’s Rita Buurman and the SCH Board of Directors embarked on a plan to modernize healthcare in Sabetha. This plan included four phases with phase one being completed in the early 2000’s which is our current hospital inpatient wing. Other phases of that plan included creating a healthcare campus which encompassed bringing the rural health clinic to the campus and eliminating the oldest portions of the remaining facility. Dr. James Longabaugh, CEO then presented the proposed Building a Healthy Future building project which includes an addition and renovation of the 2004 structure. 

As healthcare transitions to an outpatient model, the building project will allow for the expansion of outpatient services such as in the rehabilitation department, the outpatient clinic, surgery, and the rural health clinic. This project will benefit generations to come. 

Vern Henricks from the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation commended those who have donated to the Building a Healthy Future Campaign and encouraged others to consider donating. As part of the USDA loan, SCH must show community support through fundraising. The total project cost is just over 50 million and the initial fundraising goal is eight million dollars. To this date, the employees of Sabetha Community Hospital have pledged nearly $160,000 and the total fundraising campaign is at just over three million dollars.

For more information on the Building a Healthy Future Project, you can visit the hospital website at 

Sabetha Fire Chief Jim Johnson commends the community for their generosity over the years during the celebration, Monday, September 11.
Dr. James Longabaugh shares information regarding the expansion and remodel at Sabetha Community Hospital during the celebration, Monday, September 11.
Community members were given tours of the 1910 structure by hospital employees during the celebration, Monday, September 11.
Police Chief Robert Wahwasuck shares how his department impacts the health and wellbeing of our community during the celebration, Monday, September 11.
Sabetha Mayor, Cody Bletscher speaks to the crowd about how vital the hospital is to our community during the celebration, Monday, September 11.













The Sabetha Herald1928 Posts

The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.

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