It’s been a busy few months for The University of Kansas Health System, formerly known as The University of Kansas Hospital.
Its new $100 million hospital at 107th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park opens Monday following two years of construction.
That comes on the heels of its acquisition of the Environmental Protection Agency building in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.
And that came shortly after it purchased St. Francis Health in Topeka as part of a joint venture with Ardent Health Services.
All of which followed the completion late last year of its $360 million, 92-bed Cambridge Tower A on the system’s main campus in Kansas City, Kansas.
Size bestows certain advantages, and with more than $2.2 billion in operating revenue in 2017 and millions more in philanthropic gifts and pledges, the KU health system has the financial wherewithal to expand to meet growing demand.
The new Overland Park hospital, completed at a cost of $100 million, features 34 private patient rooms and eight operating rooms. The structure connects to the existing Indian Creek surgical building, which was taken over by KU in 2012.
The new hospital is KU’s only other in-patient facility in the metro area outside its massive 780-bed hospital in Kansas City, Kansas.
Many of the services offered will be connected to women’s oncology. That’s because the expanded facility is the fulfillment of a long-held dream for Dr. Jamie Wagner, breast surgery division chief at KU.
“This is a great entry point for patients now to come and see the entire team of specialists that they need to give them the integrated treatment plan that is tailored to their specific cancer,” Wagner says.
The three-story structure boasts an ambulatory clinic with a focus on women’s cancer services. It will also offer gynecological oncology services, a first for the health system in the Johnson and Jackson county areas, according to Wagner.
“When you put those two specialties for women together, we have really expanded our knowledge on how we should be approaching and treating all women with these cancers, but also their families,” she says.
The facility will also offer genetic testing for mutations that could put patients at risk for specific types of cancers, including breast, ovarian, colorectal and gastric.
Wagner calls the facility “a dream that I always had thought about.”
“I am very passionate about breast cancer and women's cancer and women's health,” she says.
The hospital accepts its first patients on Monday. Work continues on the original building, which will become an outpatient ambulatory surgical facility and is expected to open in early 2019.
Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies