The University of Kansas Hospital plans to raise funds for $279 million project

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – An announcement Wednesday means the University of Kansas Hospital is one step closer to building a new tower dedicated to growing specialties and more advanced treatment.

Imagine being a cancer patient and worrying about your health and your treatment. Now imagine having to add travel to that list because you can’t get the type of care you need in your hometown. That’s a concern the University of Kansas Hospital hopes to eliminate for people with the planned Cambridge North Tower and the additional treatment offered there.

Civic leader Annette Bloch and her family announced Wednesday a $10 million donation, and she’s challenging the community to match her dollar-for-dollar. The project goal is $279 million, $100 million of which planners hope they can raise through philanthropy. The tower will house 92 beds and 12 operating rooms and will focus on several areas including surgical oncology and neurology. FOX 4 spoke with a physician who works at the hospital, who also has cancer. He makes a trip to Houston every three weeks for a specialized type of care he hopes this project will eventually bring right here to Kansas City.

“I’m in a phase one trial down at M.D. Anderson and they use a very specific catheter that they used to go through my arm and there’s only one guy there that can do it,” Tyghe Nielsen, M.D. said. “I would love to be able to have the funds to train doctors like that so I don’t have to go to Houston every three weeks. I’d rather stay here.”

By the time the Bloch family made its announcement, there were already matching donations of $1.37 million.

“There’s a wonderful feeling of power when you’re able to give and to give something that you know will help so many people and save lives,” civic leader and philanthropist Annette Bloch said.

University of Kansas Hospital President and CEO Bob Page said, “This is huge for our hospital. We’re so excited. The Bloch family has been a great supporter of our organization, not only philanthropically but also from a patient care standpoint and today is just another example of their commitment to our place.”