Children's Mercy Kansas City and KVC Health Systems Form Joint Venture to Build New $53 Million Mental Wellness Campus
Children’s Mercy Kansas City, a leading independent children's health organization, and KVC Health Systems, a national leader in delivering specialized mental and behavioral healthcare, today announced they have formed a joint venture (JV) to expand inpatient pediatric and adult mental health treatment capacity and access in the greater Kansas City area and across the region. The new JV will open a $53 million 72-bed mental health inpatient hospital in Olathe, Kan. Target for opening is late 2024.
Children’s Mercy and KVC held a groundbreaking ceremony today with elected officials in attendance including Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, and Former Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, as well as other state and local leaders. The two healthcare CEOs – Jason Hooper of KVC Health Systems and Paul Kempinski of Children’s Mercy Kansas City – announced generous lead funding from the Sunderland Foundation and the State of Kansas SPARK Committee to kick off the project.
The JV will engage KVC’s subsidiary Camber Mental Health, which operates three children’s mental health hospitals currently, to operate the Olathe hospital for children and adults. Camber’s trauma-informed, neuroscience-driven inpatient mental health treatment model, combined with Children’s Mercy’s world-class pediatric care, research, and community engagement, will elevate mental health and community health outcomes for decades to come.
“We feel a sense of urgency to partner in new, transformative ways to expand help for children and adults experiencing acute mental health crises,” said Jason Hooper, KVC Health Systems President and CEO. “It’s been absolutely inspiring to see so many steps forward, including Children’s Mercy as our JV collaborator and the Sunderland Foundation and the State of Kansas as lead supporters. Mental health deserves our urgent action, and we want the community to know that there is hope and help for anyone who is hurting.”
The new hospital will serve as an inpatient mental health healing campus, which will include three separate 24-bed units – 48 pediatric beds and 24 adult beds, six private courtyards, walking paths, and dining and activity space. The design and healing environment are centered on staff and patient safety, supportive care and treatment spaces, patient wellness, and connection with nature.
“Our country is facing a mental health crisis. This collaboration demonstrates our joint commitment to providing resources and creating greater capacity across Kansas and Missouri to serve children requiring more complex care,” said Paul Kempinski, Children’s Mercy President and CEO. “We continue to see an increasing need for these services each year. In 2022 alone, Children’s Mercy provided care to nearly 3,000 children in our emergency department with acute mental health needs. This new hospital will take a significant strain off area emergency departments that are not well-suited to facilitate care for patients in mental health crisis by increasing access to acute inpatient care designed specifically for their needs.”
“The need to strengthen mental health services is a nonpartisan issue that affects all Kansans, rural and urban alike—and addressing the need pays dividends for everyone,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “A lack of psychiatric beds has been one of the largest barriers to providing mental health care in our state. When completed, this state-of-the-art hospital will take significant pressure off our health care systems.”
“We are honored to be part of creating this new inpatient mental health hospital,” said Kent Sunderland, Chairman, The Sunderland Foundation. “We have a long history of working with both KVC Health Systems and Children’s Mercy. This is the perfect partnership of two leading children’s healthcare organizations that will bring hope to thousands of families in our region.”
Additional private philanthropy is being secured for the $53 million project, which includes a
72,700-square-foot, state-of-the-art hospital. It will have capacity to care for more than 3,400 patients annually and will create approximately 150 new jobs.
Children’s Mercy and KVC are proud to partner with JE Dunn Construction as the design-builder and Hoefer Welker as the architect and interior designer on this innovative inpatient hospital and mental wellness campus.
Please note: Inpatient hospitalization is for individuals who are actively experiencing a mental health emergency and displaying unsafe behaviors that make them a threat to themselves or others. For immediate intervention in an active emergency, please go to your local emergency room or community mental health center right away or call 911. You can also call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. For Camber Mental Health youth admissions, call (913) 890-7468.