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KVC Health Systems

Children’s Mercy and KVC Health Systems Form Joint Venture to Build New $53 Million Mental Wellness Campus

Groundbreaking photo of Children's Mercy Olathe and KVC Health Systems Camber Mental Health Mental Wellness Campus for Youth and Adults - Gov. Laura Kelly U.S. Senator Jerry Moran U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids Sunderland Foundations Former House Speaker Ron Ryckman

(Pictured: U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids; Randy Vance of the Sunderland Foundation; Kent Sunderland; Jason Hooper, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems; Kansas Governor Laura Kelly; Paul Kempinski, President and CEO of Children’s Mercy; U.S. Senator Jerry Moran; and Former Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman)

OLATHE, KS, Jun. 29, 2023Children’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.

Olathe mental wellness campus Children's Mercy KVC Health Systems Camber Mental Health

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.

Jason Hooper, President and CEO, KVC Health Systems, parent organization of Camber Mental Health

Jason Hooper

“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 step 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.

Paul Kempinski Children's Mercy Kansas City - KVC Health Systems Joint Venture Mental Wellness Campus Olathe KS

Paul Kempinski

“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.”

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Gov. Laura Kelly

“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.”

Kent Sunderland - Sunderland Foundation gift to KVC Health Systems Children's Mercy joint venture Olathe mental wellness campus Kansas

Kent Sunderland

“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.

For more information about this project and mental health statistics and resources, visit,, and

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.

About Children’s Mercy

Founded in 1897, Children’s Mercy is a leading independent children’s health organization dedicated to holistic care, translational research, educating caregivers and breakthrough innovation to create a world of well-being for all children. With not-for-profit hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, and numerous specialty clinics in both states, Children’s Mercy provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21. U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly ranked Children’s Mercy as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.” For the fifth consecutive time in a row, Children’s Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to only about 8% of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. More than 850 pediatric subspecialists, researchers and faculty across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and education of the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. Thanks to generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s Mercy provides hope, comfort and the prospect of brighter tomorrows to every child who passes through its doors. Visit Children’s Mercy and the Children’s Mercy Research Institute to learn more, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, TwitterInstagram and YouTube for the latest news and videos.

About KVC Health Systems and Camber Mental Health

KVC Health Systems is a family of private, nonprofit organizations that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and help people achieve mental health wellness. The KVC network has over 2,400 employees across 60 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and is proud to be in the top 1% of employers nationwide with a high 79 Work Wellbeing Score on Indeed. While KVC was founded in 1970, it also carries forward the legacy of many children’s charities founded as early as 1832 like the St. Louis Orphan’s Asylum and Kansas City’s Niles Home for Children that have since become part of KVC. Camber Mental Health, a subsidiary of KVC, is a leading regional provider of children’s mental health services with a network of nonprofit hospitals and residential treatment centers. Camber has spent over 30 years developing unique behavioral health therapies and is an internationally recognized educational resource for healthcare providers, first responders, school districts, and community partners. KVC is recognized as a leader in child welfare, behavioral health, and inpatient mental health treatment. KVC and Camber Mental Health are accredited by The Joint Commission, considered the gold standard in healthcare. Learn more at and, and follow us on Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn, YouTube, and X/Twitter.

This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP 1176, awarded to the State of Kansas by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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