Sunderland Foundation donates $2 million to planned University of Kansas Hospital expansion

06/10/2014 12:08 PM

06/11/2014 8:55 AM

The University of Kansas Hospital has received a $2 million grant from the Sunderland Foundation to support the construction of a hospital expansion planned on the university’s main Kansas City, Kan., campus.

The donation is the largest in the foundation’s history, according to the announcement Tuesday by Kent Sunderland, president of the foundation and vice chairman of Ash Grove Cement Co., and his brother Charles Sunderland, chairman of Ash Grove Cement.

The Sunderland family primarily owns Ash Grove Cement, based in Overland Park.

The 92-bed tower is proposed for a section of a 14-acre site across 39th Avenue from the KU Hospital campus. The hospital bought the land — northwest of 39th Avenue and State Line Road — in 2005 and has long planned to build an addition there to accommodate growing demand for inpatient and surgical services.

The proposed building will accommodate neuroscience and surgical oncology services, which include many eye, nose and throat procedures. The facility, which is being called Cambridge North, would be home to 100 new physicians and provide 600 new patient care jobs, hospital officials have said.

“I have watched this hospital grow into a national leader in high-quality patient care and an economic force in the Kansas City area,” said Charles Sunderland, a longtime member of the University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board.

The announcement marks the third recent big pledge to support the proposed $250 million expansion project. Last month, the Burns & McDonnell Foundation pledged $2.5 million and Greg Graves, chairman and chief executive of the Kansas City-based engineering firm, along with his wife, Deanna, donated an additional $1 million.

The hospital has not disclosed a timetable for when construction will begin.

“The construction schedule will depend on philanthropy,” Bob Page, president and chief executive of the University of Kansas Hospital, said in a statement. “With leaders like the Sunderlands, joining Deanna and Greg Graves and others, we see a momentum growing for this project throughout the metropolitan area.”

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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