Our Story

A long history of caring

The story of CareArc has evolved over the years, but it is rooted in serving our community to make our friends and neighbors healthier and happier. We welcome all to CareArc, regardless of one's ability to pay. We have being treating our changing and diverse population with dignity since our earliest days.

CareArc is a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Federally Qualified Health Center with Patient-Centered Medical Home status providing a variety of services, including primary medical care, dental care, and behavioral health services. While the health center was formed in 1997, the story of how we came to be goes back much further

1884
St. Mary's Hospital of Emporia was first opened in 1884 by the Sisters of the Order of St. Francis at Lafayette, Indiana. For 40 years it was the only hospital in Emporia and  the only hospital between Kansas City and Wichita, and it was sustained not only by members of Sacred Heart Parish, but by residents of the entire Emporia area.

A postcard of the original St. Mary's Hospital. It stood on Exchange Street next to what would become Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

1923
The Lyon County Health Department is founded in 1923. From its humble beginnings, it grew from providing home visits and immunizations to offering more comprehensive public and personal health services.
1928
Due to an excess of patients, a new St. Mary's Hospital was built at 15th Ave. and State St.

A postcard from 1940 featuring the new St. Mary's Hospital on 15th Ave.

The new St. Mary's Hospital cost approximately $250,000 to build. Newspaper reports at the time described the state-of-the-art hospital as having "bright airy rooms for patients," and operating rooms with "some of the best equipment in the state."

1986
St. Mary's Hospital changes its name to St. Mary's Health Center. Around this time, they expand the building to the west.

The new addition introduced 24-hour emergency physician services, and 11-bed inpatient treatment center, and a 10-bed skilled nursing unit.

1991
St. Mary's Hospital closes its doors. The original building eventually becomes Hillcrest Apartments and the Lyon County Health Department would take over the expansion.
1997
The health department receives a grant to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and offer medical, dental and psychiatric services to everyone, including those with insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and the uninsured. As an FQHC, its service area includes Chase, Greenwood, Lyon, and Osage counties.
2002
The FQHC officially became Flint Hills Community Health Center, Inc. (FHCHC), and separated from the county. The health center still contracts with Lyon County to offer immunizations, public health, disease investigations and environmental health services.
2013
In 2013, the health center received a grant to open a new health center location in Eureka.
The exterior of the CareArc Eureka Health Center

The Eureka Health Center provides medical, dental and behavioral health services for the residents of Greenwood and Woodson counties.

2022
In 2022, Flint Hills Community Health Center becomes CareArc. The name change is part of a larger rebrand that represents the vision and promise we have for the future.

"The name change helps us show our patients who we really are as an organization. We are so much more than a ‘health department.' With all the services that we offer, we are striving to help people get back to living their best lives."

Renee Hively, CEO of CareArc

Today
Today CareArc is continuing our long legacy of making our communities healthier and happier by providing personalized, affordable healthcare for everyone, without exception.
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