The University of Kansas Hospital Meets $10 million Fundraising Challenge From Annette Bloch

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Jill Chadwick

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             The University of Kansas Hospital announced it has passed a major milestone in fundraising for its Cambridge North Tower, currently under construction across from the main hospital.

            On September 29, 2014, philanthropist Annette Bloch announced a $10 million gift to support the cancer services in the new building but made it as a challenge for the hospital to match the $10 million with other contributions

            After months of fundraising, the hospital announced it has met the $10 million challenge ahead of the June 30 deadline. 

            “I knew the support for the hospital was so great it could meet this challenge,” said Annette Bloch.  “My hope is this success will add to the momentum of raising even more money to support the project.”

“This project is vital to expanding access to cancer services in surgical oncology, as well cancer and other services in neurosciences and ear, nose and throat. Demand in these areas is growing at a rapid rate and the hospital needs the facilities and technology to meet the needs of these patients,” added Bloch.

Annette Bloch gave $20 million to the hospital in 2008 to expand cancer services.  The main cancer care pavilion in Westwood, Kansas and the radiation oncology pavilion on the main campus in Kansas City, Kansas are both named for Richard and Annette Bloch.

She has also generously supported the Richard and Annette Bloch Heart Rhythm Center at the hospital.

 She and her late husband, Richard, established the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation in 1980. 

“A key way to honor Annette’s leadership is to meet our $100 million philanthropic goal for Cambridge North Tower.  We are at nearly $43 million now.  Meeting her challenge only motivates us to keep going to meet our goal,” noted Bob Page, President and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital.

The hospital has a goal of $100 million in philanthropy for the $350 million project announced in 2014 and expanded in 2015, now totaling 13 floors including a lower underground level and a mechanical penthouse. 

The Cambridge North Patient Tower is under construction at 39th and Cambridge Street, just northeast of the existing hospital buildings. In addition to housing the fast growing specialties of surgical oncology, neurosciences and ear, nose and throat, the building will also include imaging, lab and a pharmacy.  A 2,200-space parking garage is planned nearby.

The first section of the building will be finished in 2017, while the four floor expansion will be completed in 2018.  Current plans call for only one of the four floors in the expansion to be readied as a patient unit in 2018, with the other three floors available for future growth.