Harry is out, St. Joseph is in at Via Christi

WICHITA — CEOs often have to be the bearer of bad news, but Jeff Korsmo had an especially good time announcing a change at Via Christi Health this week.

The president and CEO personally went to see the sisters at the Congregation of St. Joseph, one of Via Christi’s founding congregations, to announce a name change that is making a lot of people happy.

“It was time to do a relook at the brand,” Korsmo says.

Several years ago, each of Via Christi’s three hospitals were renamed for the streets they are on. The names for Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis and Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa didn’t change much, but the hospital that traditionally was known as St. Joseph became Via Christi Hospital on Harry.

It will now be known as Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph. The others will be Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and Via Christi Hospital St. Teresa.

“This change was really there to reflect the founding congregation’s name and heritage in the name of the hospital,” Korsmo says.

“It was a very joyful celebration,” he says of getting to share the news.

Korsmo says one sister said, “I didn’t know if I would live long enough to see this day.”

“It wasn’t just the sisters,” he says. “The employees were ecstatic about it.”

Most of Via Christi’s exterior signs say “Via Christi Health,” so they won’t have to be changed.

“We didn’t want to do anything that would be really costly, and this won’t be costly,” Korsmo says.

He says people’s reactions were an affirmation that the change was the right decision.

“You would have thought … the home team in the football game just scored the winning touchdown,” Korsmo says.

“It was a very joyful day for me as well and will probably always be one of the highlights of my time here.”