As part of Adventist Health System, Shawnee Mission Health places a special emphasis on whole-person care. The commitment of caring for the physical, mental and spiritual health of our patients and members of the community is at the heart of everything we do.

SMH staff constantly look for ways to improve the whole care experience of patients, and this is especially important for those facing a cancer diagnosis.

Since opening in 2014, the Shawnee Mission Cancer Center has focused on treating the whole person—body, mind and spirit—and offers several support services and amenities, including a single point of contact for care and complementary therapies like massage and music therapy. Designed with patients in mind, the Shawnee Mission Cancer Center continues to offer a higher level of whole-person care each year.

On Nov. 15, 2017, SMH became a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, the top ranked cancer center in the nation. As Kansas City’s only affiliate of the network, SMH is raising the standard of cancer care, providing a higher level of therapies, technology and clinical expertise.

The Shawnee Mission Cancer Center is designed to give Kansas City area residents comprehensive outpatient care at one convenient location. By collaborating with MD Anderson, SMH is able to offer renowned cancer care at the local level by providing treatments that align with MD Anderson care guidelines and by giving physicians the opportunity to consult with Houston-based subspecialists on especially rare or complex cases. Patients now benefit from the combination of SMH’s whole care experience and MD Anderson’s 76-year history of cancer care expertise in one place close to home.

“MD Anderson Cancer Network and Shawnee Mission Health joining together in collaboration enhances an already excellent program here. We can bring MD Anderson’s expertise and innovative approaches to more patients in the Kansas City area and raise the standard of care throughout the region,” said William A. Murphy, Jr., MD, chair of the board, Physicians Network.

For many patients, the opportunity to receive advanced cancer care focusing on mind, body and spirit in the city where they live is invaluable. Charlene Biles chose the Shawnee Mission Cancer Center because it was close to home and she quickly came to appreciate the doctors and staff for the wonderful care she received. “The staff are very caring,” said Biles. “They would talk with me, answer all my questions and make me feel at ease.”

Fearful after his cancer diagnosis, Charlie Wilburn will never forget how the doctors and staff at the Shawnee Mission Cancer Center helped him and his family work through their fears. “The Cancer Center staff come out, give you a hug and genuinely tell you they are glad to see you,” said Wilburn. “That’s something people need. Getting to know you and being personable is one of the healing tools to help you get better.”

Another patient, Tony Gray, believes part of God’s plan was to introduce him to the doctors at the Shawnee Mission Cancer Center.

“I felt love by the whole staff; they just cared,” said Gray. “I like the spiritual side of Shawnee Mission Health. I like the quotes on the wall and the fact that I’ve had staff say they will pray for me. That may or may not mean anything to most people, but it really means a lot to me.”

To learn more about Shawnee Mission Cancer Center and watch videos of patient stories, visit

Jackie Woods, Writer, Shawnee Mission Health.