KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Olathe Health is now officially part of the University of Kansas Health System.
Leaders made the announcement Thursday after letters of intent to do so had been signed last fall.
Officials with the now-joined systems say the collaboration will mean more access to resources and comprehensive care closer to where patients live in the Olathe community.
“Now the legal documents have actually been signed,” said Tammy Peterman, MS, RN, FAAN and president of the Kansas City division of The University of Kansas Health System.
As of Jan, 1, “the University of Kansas Health System and Olathe Health are all one system.”
The change brings investments in Olathe Health facilities in technology and equipment.
“As far as patients go, day one, nothing will change. They will not have to switch insurance. We are still working through the integration,” said Jason Hannagan, interim CEO of Olathe Health.
Construction has already begun on new Olathe Health System facilities at 151st Street and Quivira Road, which will be one of the main focuses of expanded services to start.
“At the Quivira locations, with the help of The University of Kansas Health System, we’re going to expand OR services, diagnostic imaging, primary care and specialty clinic services,” Hannagan said. “And then also with the Cancer Center brand, we have a very intense focus on bringing an NCI (National Cancer Institute) level care to the Olathe community.”
Right now, the University of Kansas Cancer Center is one of only 53 “comprehensive cancer centers” designated by the NCI. Peterman added that they will also be focused on acquiring a Magnet designation as well.
Peterman, Hannagan and Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Health System, confirmed there are no plans to reduce their workforce or close facilities, instead planning to add staff and physicians.
“We know the most important asset we have is our people,” Page said. “This is about growth opportunities in this area and beyond, and it is going to take every person we can have to help provide the care and support to the patients that we believe will continue to come to Olathe to help in the future.”
There will be a name change for Olathe Health facilities, but specifics have not been decided yet.
“This was something that didn’t happen overnight, but rather because of a relationship that we’ve developed, developed over a number of years,” Peterman said. “This was just the right time for our organizations to come together.”
Next, teams from Olathe Health and The University of Kansas Health System are working on an integration plan. The hope is to finish by the end of March.