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On January 1, 2017, the KHI News Service became part of KCUR public radio’s new initiative, the Kansas News Service. The Kansas News Service will continue to cover health policy news and broaden its scope to include education and politics. All stories produced by the former KHI News Service are archived here. Stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to

Olathe Medical Center breaks ground on $25M cancer center

By Dan Margolies, HEARTLAND HEALTH MONITOR | October 06, 2016

Olathe Medical Center breaks ground on $25M cancer center
Photo by Olathe Medical Center This rendering depicts Olathe Medical Center's $25 million cancer center, scheduled to be completed in late 2017.

As part of an ambitious $100 million-plus expansion plan, Olathe Medical Center broke ground Thursday on a new $25 million cancer center.

The 25,000-square-foot facility, expected to be completed next year, will consolidate the hospital’s currently fragmented cancer outpatient services in one place.

It’s the latest project in a frenzy of construction at the hospital’s 250-acre medical campus near 151st Street and Interstate 35. The last year has also seen the opening of a new hospice house and the start of construction on a neonatal intensive care unit.

“It furthers our continuum of care on our campus, Olathe Medical Park, so basically our concept is to have a continuum of care from birth to death,” said Frank H. Devocelle, Olathe Medical Center’s president and CEO.

The new cancer center will have plenty of nearby competition. Farther north along the I-35 corridor, Shawnee Mission Medical Center and the University of Kansas Cancer Center boast state-of-the-art cancer facilities.

The hospitals are meeting a growing need: The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly half of all males and nearly a third of all females in the United States will develop cancer.  

“In our service area — primary and secondary service area — there are at least 3,200 cases annually that are diagnosed, cancer-related, and we feel those people should have the opportunity to be cared for close to home,” Devocelle said.

Olathe Medical Center’s primary and secondary service areas embrace Johnson, Miami, Franklin and Linn counties.

The hospital’s cancer services currently are fragmented among the various medical buildings on its campus. The new building will bring together medical oncology, radiation oncology and chemotherapy suites under one roof.

— Dan Margolies, editor of the Heartland Health Monitor team, is based at KCUR.