NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with essential news and information.
Your donation today keeps local journalism strong.
Health

Annette Bloch Donates $10 Million To KU Hospital For Expansion Project

North_Cambridge_Tower_rendering_0.JPG
University of Kansas Hospital

The University of Kansas Hospital announced this afternoon that civic leader Annette Bloch will contribute $10 million toward a $279 million expansion to accommodate the hospital’s fastest growing specialties.

The 92-bed addition, which was announced earlier this year, will be located north of the hospital on the northeast corner of 39th and Cambridge streets in Kansas City, Kan. It will house surgical oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, and ear, nose & throat services.

Bloch structured the donation in the form of a challenge grant that must be matched by June 2016.

At a news conference Wednesday, KU Hospital President and CEO Bob Page said the hospital had already raised $1.37 million toward the match and $34 million altogether, including the $10 million grant. The grant will go toward construction and technology for the surgical oncology unit.

Speaking via video, Bloch said she “hopes and expects the community to step up and support this important issue.”

“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,” she said. “And in your lifetime, if you can even save one life, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to do.”

Bloch, the widow of H&R Block co-founder Richard Bloch, donated $20 million to the hospital in 2008. In 1980, she and her late husband founded the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, which provides free information and assistance to people diagnosed with cancer. 

The hospital kicked off its fund-raising campaign for the building addition in February. Burns & McDonnell Chairman and CEO Greg Graves and his wife, Deanna, pledged $1 million and the Burns & McDonnell Foundation pledged $2.5 million.

The fund-raising campaign coincides with another ambitious project by the University of Kansas Medical Center to raise $75 million for the construction of a new medical education building. In May, the Hall Family Foundation announced a $25 million donation, giving the medical center most of the money it needed for the project.

KU Hospital and KU Med Center are separate institutions, each with its own organizational structure. The hospital receives no tax dollars from the state; the med center, which graduates doctors, nurses and other health professionals and also trains medical residents, does receive tax appropriations from the state.