KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — A $25 million lead gift from the Hall Family Foundation is a catalyst for the University of Kansas Medical Center to move forward on plans to construct a $75 million health education building in Kansas City, Kansas.
The building’s total construction costs will be made possible through a combination of state bonds, university funds and private philanthropy. Last month, the Kansas Legislature approved $25 million in bonds for construction. KU will provide $15 million, and the remaining $10 million will be raised by KU Endowment.
“We are pleased to partner with the state of Kansas and university to build a state-of-the-art health education building,’’ said Don Hall, chairman of the Hall Family Foundation. “We applaud the governor and Legislature for their support, and we particularly thank Fred Logan and the Board of Regents for their leadership.
“This building is key to realizing the vision of Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Executive Vice Chancellor Doug Girod, and hospital President and CEO Bob Page to create a leading educational, research and clinical health care enterprise.
“The University of Kansas Hospital is nationally recognized in numerous clinical areas, and National Cancer Institute designation confirms KUMC’s research strength. This new building will provide unparalleled interprofessional health education for the physicians, scientists and nurses who will build on this momentum.
“Congratulations to all those who are making this project a reality,” said Hall.
Fred Logan, chair of the Kansas Board of Regents, said, “The Regents’ number one priority this year was to obtain funding for construction of a new health education building at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The Hall Family Foundation’s extraordinary gift makes construction possible. It lifts the entire state.”
The chancellor expressed her appreciation. “The generosity of the Hall Foundation is once more helping KU achieve its bold aspirations by elevating the quality and stature of our university,” she said.
The KU School of Medicine is the only medical school in Kansas and is nationally recognized for training primary care and rural physicians. The new building will facilitate the education of a greater number of physicians and other health care professionals to meet the state’s needs. Currently, 89 of the state’s 105 counties are medically underserved, and it is estimated that 30 percent of the current physician workforce will retire or otherwise leave their medical practices within the next decade.
“This new building will allow us to continue increasing our School of Medicine class size across all three campuses to address the state’s physician shortage,” said Girod, M.D., executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center.
KU trains 211 medical students annually across all of its campuses in Kansas City, Kansas, Wichita and Salina. With the new health education building in Kansas City, the School of Medicine proposes increasing its class size across all campuses by 50 students.
“We will now be able to train future doctors, nurses and health care professionals in state-of-the-art facilities appropriate for the modern health care education curriculum,” said Robert Simari, M.D., executive dean of the School of Medicine.
Over the years, the Hall Family Foundation has provided generous support for several disciplines at KU, including the life sciences, humanities, business and biology. The foundation’s support was instrumental in KU’s achievement of National Cancer Institute designation, as well as the establishment of the Hall Center for the Humanities.
The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.
The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.