OLATHE, Kan. — Olathe Health is joining the University of Kansas Health System.

Leaders from both hospitals said the merger will improve access to healthcare for thousands of people across the region.

“We’re proud of what we have achieved as an independent health system over the past 70 years, and we are excited about joining a health system that complements our expertise and brings additional resources to better position our community for a brighter future,” Stan Holm, president and CEO of Olathe Health, said.

The two hospitals signed a letter of intent. It allows the two to work toward completing the details of a final agreement.

“We’re excited to extend our highly specialized provider network to the Olathe health service area including southern Johnson County and beyond,” President/CEO of The University of Kansas Health System Bob Page said.

The agreement is expected to include investments and enhancements to Olathe Health facilities, services and technology. It will also address the retention of Olathe Health employees.

“We’re signing a LOI (letter of intent) and that was a natural progression of our existing relationship,” President of the Kansas City Division of the University of Kansas Health System, Tammy Peterman, said. “The first step is this letter of intent which includes a summary of details. When Olathe \Health becomes a part of the University of Kansas Health System significant investments will be made over time in current Olathe Health services, facilities, infrastructure, and transportation.”

Olathe Health said the most important aspect is that patients and community will not notice immediate changes, but will see improvements in the coming months and years.

Meanwhile a due diligence period goes into effect. It’s when both hospitals review goals, business plans and other items. The two hospitals said the process can take as long as needed.

This letter of intent reflects a commitment to our patients, providers, associates and our community,” President of Olathe Health, Stan Holm, said. “It’s important to note nothing changes today for our patients and our communities. In the days ahead patients of both organizations will continue to see the same providers they know and trust.”

Olathe Health said it has 2,300 associates and 350 providers. Those employees will become a part of KU Health with senior leadership remaining in place.

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