Olathe & Southwest Joco

Foundation has pledged a gift of $4 million for Olathe Medical Center

This rendering shows the planned surgical suite expansion at Olathe Medical Center. The second floor will house a new pharmacy.
This rendering shows the planned surgical suite expansion at Olathe Medical Center. The second floor will house a new pharmacy.

$4 million donated for Olathe hospital expansion

The Sunderland Foundation has pledged a lead gift of $4 million for Olathe Medical Center’s surgery suite and pharmacy expansion, which is part of a $7 million campaign to enhance patient care at the hospital.

The Sunderland funds will support the expansion of technology, procedures and facilities at Olathe Medical Center, including state-of-the-art surgical suites. Four new operating suites, equipped to accommodate the latest minimally invasive techniques, will be added, as well as a hybrid operating room. The hybrid room will enable the medical center to perform more advanced vascular and interventional cardiology procedures.

Foundation president Kent Sunderland said the foundation likes to support local organizations that take care of patients close to home.

“Independent, community hospitals that make it on their own are a rarity. Olathe Medical Center exemplifies this model,” he said in a news release. “We have friends and family who have received great care at OMC, and we are pleased the new surgery suites will be able to accommodate even more patients needing a higher level of care.”

The two-story expansion, to be finished in the summer of 2020, will add 16,990 square feet to the south of the existing surgery space. The second story will include a modern pharmacy to replace the 32-year-old pharmacy that was part of the original Olathe Medical Center building. The pharmacy will accommodate new regulations for the preparation and handling of hazardous medications.

Other funds raised through the hospital’s From the Heart campaign will support the most needed services in the community, the hospital said, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Olathe Health Cancer Care and the Olathe Health Hospice House.

The Monte and Betty “Betsy” Tudor Trust has donated a lead gift of $100,000 for the NICU, and the Vicki Brubaker Memorial donated $100,000 for the cancer initiative.

State of the City speech coming up

Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland will give his annual State of the City Address at a luncheon on Oct. 4. It will feature video presentations and focus on what makes Olathe “ever better,” the city said.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, 10401 S. Ridgeview Road. Buy tickets through the Olathe Chamber of Commerce event calendar at olathe.org.

A simulcast will be available at OlatheKS.org/OGN.

Olathe students plan gala to benefit children

Eight high school seniors hope to raise more than $10,000 for KVC Health Systems by sponsoring a gala scheduled for Oct. 12.

The students, who are part of the Civic Leadership Academy at Olathe East High School, estimate that they have put in four to six hours daily to make their idea a reality.

Planning began in the second semester of the previous school year and continued over the summer. “At the first annual Grand Benefit Gala, there will be live music, silent auction, testimonials and dinner,” said senior Chloe Bauer. “Seniors in the Public Administration strand of the Civic Leadership Academy identified various needs in the community and decided to support the work of KVC Health Systems in the area of foster care and behavioral, mental health.”

The gala will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Ball Conference Center, 21350 W. 153rd St. in Olathe. Auction items include a Garmin fitness tracker and gift certificates. Sponsorships and tickets are available at civicleadershipgala.com. KVC serves more than 12,000 Kansas children and families by providing medical and behavioral health care, social services and education.

“Our goal is to bring attention to the good work of KVC and the children in their care,” Bauer said. “We’d like to prove that students can make an impactful change in society.”

Free fun at Lake Olathe Park

Olathe recently finished substantial renovations at Lake Olathe Park, and the city is inviting the public to celebrate the upgrades on the evening of Sept. 27.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., the free event will include activities at the Beaver Shelter and nature playground area, face painting near the beach and marina, goat rides near the sprayground, a photo booth, food trucks and the option to dine in the new Eagles Landing event space.

The evening will conclude with a sunset showing of Disney’s “Moana’‘ on the amphitheater lawn. Bring blankets or lawn chairs for the movie, which will begin about 7:30 p.m. The 170-acre lake and surrounding park are at 625 S. Lakeshore Drive.

National Merit semifinalists

Sixteen students from the Olathe and Gardner Edgerton school districts have been named National Merit semifinalists, because of their high scores on a qualifying test. The achievement puts them in the running for the prestigious National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded next spring.

Those qualifying:

From Olathe East High School: Sierra Smith and Anna Stovall.

From Olathe North High School: Eddie Dai, Nicole Manny, Mahathi Muralidharan, Ruby Onsongo, Naima Patel, Chinmay Patil, Lincoln Schick and Kylie Volavongsa.

From Olathe Northwest High School: Zoe Kulphongpatana, Renee Oswalt, Nicholas Saia and Kaiya Scott.

From Olathe West High School: Eleanor Wiltanger.

From Gardner Edgerton High School: Hyrum Harlow.

Learn about beekeeping

If you’ve ever thought about keeping bees to get the freshest honey, consider going to the Olathe Downtown Library for a Sept. 21 session on the topic.

At 3 p.m., Robert Burns, treasurer of the Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers Association, will outline the basic knowledge and materials needed to get started, potential threats to the hive, and how to connect with beekeeping organizations like his. He will answer questions after the presentation.

The library is at 201 E. Park St.