In 2015, the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees made a strategic decision to purchase a 13-acre property located near Wannamaker and 6th Street in Topeka known as "Healing Hill." The property was formerly home to the Menninger Foundation (1959-2002) and, before that, the Security Benefit Association (1892-1954).
Earlier this year, Sunflower Foundation began work to restore and renovate two buildings on the former Menninger campus for the purpose of establishing the new Sunflower Foundation Powerhouse Center. This project represents a significant investment for the nonprofit sector in Kansas.
Inspired by the power of learning and collaboration, the campus will build on the Foundation’s legacy work in capacity building and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector. The campus will be the permanent home for the Foundation and will offer shared office space for and be open to nonprofits, charitable organizations, and public agencies whose work aligns with the Foundation’s mission to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of all Kansans.
From the beginning, Sunflower Foundation wanted this project to be connected, in some way, to the rich heritage around health innovations that began in Kansas. We are committed to honoring the legacy of those pioneers who cared and advocated for better care for those who are sick and in need. The Nonprofit Center will include a museum dedicated to documenting the history of Healing Hill and explaining its importance in shaping health care.
This new campus will also create opportunities to carry that work in the area of health care into the future. It has been encouraging to have so many others eager to walk with us — to not only celebrate and preserve our history but to focus their energy on a shared vision to improve the health of all Kansans.
The History of Menninger Hill
The Sunflower Foundation believes the restoration and renovation of the former Menninger campus is a unique and symbolic way to invest in the Topeka-metro community while having an impact that spans the state. The campus is a historic landmark that reminds us of the innovation and pioneer spirit that is so much a part of Kansas heritage. It also represents the significant investment made in the health and overall well-being of Kansans.
Menninger Hill has a long history of innovative and comprehensive health care that has served not only Kansans, but people from across the country (see A History of Healing Hill: A Historic Location in Health Care below). Though abandoned more than 15 years ago, re-imagining Healing Hill as a collaborative space for learning and innovation is exciting.
Thank you for your interest in the Sunflower Foundation Powerhouse Center.
General inquiries and requests can be made using the form below. For more information about partnering with the Sunflower Foundation on this initiative, please contact Billie Hall, President & CEO at 785.232.3000.