KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas Health System announced Tuesday a $100 million gift and its plans to build a new cancer center in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Sunderland Foundation made the historic donation, the largest in the University of Kansas and KU Health System history.
“We believe the University of Kansas Cancer Center is poised to change cancer research and care for generations,” Charlie Sunderland, trustee of the Sunderland Foundation, said in a news release.
“Giving people the opportunity to receive such a high level of quality cancer treatment close to home is a gift like no other. I’m grateful for the foundation’s role in making this possible.”
The Sunderland donation comes in addition to $43 million that U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran secured in federal funding to help plan and build research aspects of the new facility.
The new building will centralize research and as much outpatient care as possible while still maintaining locations throughout the Kansas City region for treatment like infusions.
“This new building is more than a building; it is about taking a bold step to say ‘we believe we can transform the way cancer research and care is provided in our region, across this country and around the globe,'” said Bob Page, KU Health System president and CEO.
“We not only will save more lives, we will change more lives and our community for the better.”
The health system will build the new KU Cancer Center on its current campus at 39th Street and Rainbow Boulevard.
KU Health System said crews plan to break ground in fall 2024 at the earliest with the new center being built in phases.
Tuesday’s news comes almost one year after the National Cancer Institute designated the KU Cancer Center as one of just 54 comprehensive cancer centers in the country.
Patients who receive treatment at a NCI comprehensive cancer center are 25% more likely to survive than if they receive care elsewhere.
“In addition to the comprehensive designation, the new state-of-the-art cancer center will expand the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s capabilities to recruit the best doctors from around the world, research new cures and offer the most innovative treatments to its patients,” Moran said.
“More broadly, by strengthening KU Cancer Center, this funding elevates the entire university and strengthens KU’s position as a leading national research institution and proud member of the Association of American Universities,” KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said.