Moran thanks local healthcare workers, urges Kansans to get vaccinated

Jordan Meier
Morning Sun
Sen. Jerry Moran

PITTSBURG, Kan. — On his trip back to Kansas for Easter, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) took the time to stop by Ascension Via Christi hospital in Pittsburg to thank the healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year now.  

“I know none of this could have been easy,” Moran said. “You had to have your own concerns about what's going on in your lives and your families, and so it is a reminder that there are still many people in this world who are willing to take risks and make certain good things happen.”  

Standing in the lobby of Pittsburg’s local hospital, Moran praised the gathered staff members for their dedication and hard work during these unprecedented times.  

“We talk a lot in today’s country, society, state, politics about how divided we are. What that really means is that we aren't respecting other people,” Moran said. “This place has demonstrated time and time again, that you have respect for people, for their lives, for their families, for their wellbeing. You have a respect for your community and that is worthy of highlighting so that Kansans and Americans know that there still is a lot of decency and respect that exists.” 

Moran, who said his first grandchild was born during the pandemic, urged all Kansans to continue to mask up while also urging them to get vaccinated when possible.  

“We got our first grandchild during covid,” Moran said, “and because of that my wife and I have been such advocates for people conducting themselves in a way so that we and others could hold their grandkids.   

“My job is to see that there is an adequate supply of vaccine in places across Kansas so that everyone who wants to be vaccinated can be vaccinated,” Moran said, “and in addition to that, encourage people who may be reluctant to be vaccinated to listen to their doctors and others and get the professional advice that would encourage them, in almost all instances, to get a shot in the arm so that we get someplace closer to normal.” 

Moran himself has received both doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. 

While Moran urged the public to remain diligent in mitigating the continued spread of COVID-19, he also said that people need to be able to get back to work, businesses need to be reopened and patients need to return to hospitals for their healthcare. 

“We provided sufficient, or not sufficient necessarily, but significant financial support for health providers across the country with taxpayer dollars and borrowed money,” Moran said, “but our country cannot afford to continue to pay for healthcare providers when what we really need is our patients to return to this hospital and generate the revenue that pays the bills and pays your salary.” 

In addition, to discussing Ascension Via Christi’s success in combating COVID-19, Moran discussed access to healthcare for rural communities, an issue that is plaguing the southeast and southwest parts of Kansas.  

“For a long time, I’ve recognized that if we’re going to have a future of a community, if Crawford County, if Pittsburg, if southeast Kansas is going to have a future it's going to be in part determined by whether or not our citizens have access to high-quality compassionate care,” Moran said. “So, the future of this community is in large part determined by what happens here at this hospital and the allied healthcare services that are provided in the community. 

“You're an important part of whether or not Pittsburg is going to have a bright future, so thank you for being the kind of people who care for others.”  

President at Ascension Via Christi Hospital Pittsburg Drew Talbott said they invited the senator to the hospital to discuss helping get Via Christi involved with the Rural Emergency Hospitals program.  

Moran also visited other rural hospitals on his trip to southeast Kansas, including the Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center, which received a $2.6 million grant in CARES funding to help construct the new SEK Impact Center.  

Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at jmeier@morningsun.net