Shawnee Mission Health Breaks Ground on B.E. Smith Family Center
New facility will serve growing needs of children and
families in the community.
Merriam, Kan. – Shawnee Mission Health, in partnership
with The Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, today held a
groundbreaking ceremony for the B.E. Smith
Family Center. Demolition and excavation of the site is underway, with
construction beginning soon.
Two years ago, Doug and Nan Smith pledged a lead gift to
The Foundation for SMMC, igniting a campaign to raise $24.5 million to build
the B.E. Smith Family Center – a new home for the Lee Ann Britain Infant
Development Center (Britain IDC) and SMH Early Learning Center (ELC). The new
building replace the outdated facilities where the centers currently operate and
enhance their therapeutic treatment and educational offerings
The Britain IDC provides therapeutic treatment and early
education with a unique, family-involved approach to children ages birth to six
years with a variety of developmental challenges, including Down syndrome,
autism spectrum disorders, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and
other conditions. Individualized programs are crafted for each child by a team
of physical, occupational and music therapists, speech language pathologists,
early childhood special education teachers, behavior analysts and social
workers. Currently, the program serves over 200 children each week.
The ELC provides faith-based child care and education to
children of the physicians and associates of SMH. Through its nearly 40-year
history, the ELC has played a vital role in helping SMH attract and retain
top-quality care givers – resulting in better care for patients. The ELC serves
over 600 children each year.
“We are thrilled to break ground today on the new
facility – one that will deliver care for children in a new, intentionally-designed
environment,” said Doug Smith. “Nan and I hope the B.E. Smith Family Center
will allow children to benefit from the enhanced programming and will alleviate
some of the financial burdens their families may be experiencing, in addition
to providing affordable, Christian-based child care for the associates of
Shawnee Mission Health.”
The new facility, planned as a two-story, 67,950 square-foot
building, will include an expanded aquatic therapy unit, made possible by a $1
million gift from the Tom W. Olofson Family Foundation, and an expanded space
for the Britain IDC’s autism program. Designed to provide a modern learning
environment for children of all ability levels, the Center will foster
collaboration and connection between children, families and staff, and promote
understanding and inclusion of children with special needs.
“Shawnee Mission Health has a long history of
giving back to the community,” said Ken Bacon, president and CEO of SMH. “By
bringing these two programs together under one roof, we are creating a unique
community, promoting an environment of inclusion, understanding and acceptance.
The B.E. Smith Family Center will allow us to impact the lives of more of our
community’s young children as they learn and grow in a modern environment with
the most advanced technology.”
In January, the Foundation for SMMC received a $1
million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation for the B.E.
Smith Family Center project. Other significant gifts have been received from
the Sunderland Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation and Gary and Stephanie
“This is a truly exciting day for The Foundation
and the children and families we serve. Generations of community children will
have a bright future because of the generosity of our donors and philanthropic
community,” said Lou Gehring, senior executive director of The Foundation for
SMH is partnering with Turner Construction Company and SVPA Architects
of West Des Moines on the project. The project is expected to be complete in
Shawnee Mission Health
Shawnee Mission Health includes Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Merriam, Kan., a 504-bed facility with more than 22,000 inpatient admissions and more than 200,000 outpatient admissions annually; SMH – Prairie Star; SMH – Overland Park and Centra Care Shawnee Mission Urgent Care and physician practices located throughout Johnson and Leavenworth Counties. SMH is the only certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Kansas City. SMH employs more than 3,200 local residents and supports an exceptional staff of nearly 700 physicians. SMH is part of Adventist Health
System, the largest not-for-profit, Protestant
health care organization in the nation. Visit us online at ShawneeMission.org.