Health Care Checkup: Liberty Hospital begins renovation, Planned Parenthood faces investigation

The Health Care Checkup is a weekly rundown of the state’s top health care headlines.

Checking the Pulse

Missouri to investigate Planned Parenthood

Chris Koster, Missouri attorney general | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Chris Koster | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Missouri Democratic General Attorney Chris Koster and the Republican-led state Senate separately announced plans to investigate Planned Parenthood. The move follows the release of a video recorded by undercover anti-abortion activists, showing a national Planned Parenthood executive discussing the organization’s protocols for providing fetal tissue for research, and mentioning St. Louis as a possible location for obtaining fetal tissue. The video has caused a national uproar, and the abortion provider is now facing both federal and state investigations.

The attorney general said the video raised questions about Planned Parenthood’s practices. After Koster’s statement, Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, announced that he’s forming a panel to investigate the issue and deliver a report to the full Senate later this year.

Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis location, which is the only licensed location to provide abortions in Missouri, denied that it is participating in the donation of tissue to any programs.

Liberty Hospital begins renovation

Liberty Hospital has started an overhaul of its facilities. The renovation, which is expected to cost $4 million, includes the hospital main lobby, surgery waiting room, patient registration and lab waiting areas, gift shop, and some patient rooms and nursing stations. During construction, the entrance to the hospital’s doctors building will be closed.

Saint Luke’s names Northland CEO

Saint Luke’s Health System has named Matt Wenzel to lead Saint Luke’s North Hospital, which has locations in Kansas City and Smithville. Wenzel, who succeeds Kevin Trimble, is the CEO of Hedrick Medical Center, a Saint Luke’s Health System-owned hospital in Chillicothe. Wenzel joined Hedrick in 2006 as an information technology specialist. Saint Luke’s has started its search for a new leader at Hedrick. In the interim, Don Sipes, vice president for regional services for the health system, will fill in the position vacated by Wenzel and oversee the operations.

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