$10 million gift to new KU Hospital building announced

A $10 million gift was announced today to the University of Kansas Hospital from Cheryl Lockton Williams.

The gift will be used for equipment and furnishings for the new Cambridge Tower A building at the hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, a spokesman for the hospital said.

The fifth level of the new tower will be named the Jack and Cheryl Lockton Intensive Care Patient Unit in recognition of Cheryl and her former husband, Jack.

At the announcement today, an audible gasp went through the group when they heard the $10 million figure, the hospital spokesman said. The group had anticipated a gift more along the lines of $1 to $2 million.

The Locktons were in the reinsurance business in the Kansas City area.

Cheryl Lockton Williams said she made the decision to support Cambridge Tower A after seeing the new building under construction.

“When I toured Cambridge Tower, I was amazed. The cutting-edge technology, the design and the architecture are world class,” she said, in a news release. “When I learned the nurses, doctors and care providers worked with the architects to design it, I was even more impressed. What’s most exciting of all is that this incredible facility – and these great care providers – are right here in Kansas City.”

Cheryl’s husband, Jack Lockton, founded Kansas City-based Lockton Companies in 1966. He lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer in 2004.

“Twenty years ago, you had to leave Kansas City to find the most advanced cancer care. We were able to travel to M.D. Anderson for the latest treatment options for Jack, but unfortunately most people didn’t have that option,” Cheryl Lockton Williams said. “Today is much different. The very best care is available right here at The University of Kansas Health System. No one needs to leave our city for outstanding care.”

“We are incredibly blessed to have Cheryl Lockton as a supporter and friend of The University of Kansas Health System, and we are humbled by her generosity,” said Bob Page, the health system’s president and chief executive officer. “Because of Cheryl’s belief in our organization’s mission and her gift to the future of academic medicine, thousands of patients who are the sickest of the sick will be able to receive the most advanced care in our new tower.”

The gift, which is among the largest to The University of Kansas Health System, also marks a milestone in the health system’s Cambridge Tower campaign. Thanks to this gift, the health system announced it has raised $57.7 million toward its $100 million fundraising goal for the new tower.

“Cheryl’s amazing gift will enable The University of Kansas Health System to provide an even higher level of care. Cambridge Tower is raising the bar on healthcare not only in our region but also the nation, and Cheryl’s generosity is helping make it possible,” said Greg Graves, chairman of the health system’s board of directors and co-chair of the Cambridge Tower Campaign with his wife, Deanna.

“Jack Lockton was a legendary businessman who was passionate about his company, his clients and our city. Cheryl Lockton Williams has continued his legacy as a civic leader and advocate for Kansas City,” Graves said in the news release. “Her generosity to The University of Kansas Health System to support patient care will be a lasting tribute to the incredible contributions Cheryl and Jack have made to benefit our entire community.”

After he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Jack and Cheryl developed cancerbattleplan.com, a website designed to help other patients facing a cancer diagnosis. They funded a chair in pancreatic cancer research and provided funds for grant matching and targeted therapies at M.D. Anderson. They also supported a pancreatic research program at Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona led by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff. Today Cheryl continues to support various pancreatic cancer research around the country.

The announcement of this major gift comes just a few weeks before patients begin receiving care in the new tower. Ninety-two beds open in November, including 28 ICU and 64 acute/telemetry beds. An additional 32 beds open in spring 2018.

The first phase of the 11-level tower includes 11 operating suites and the region’s only interoperative MRI system. This advanced technology allows surgeons to more precisely remove tumors or other abnormalities during complex surgeries.

Cambridge Tower A will create an environment of healing and a welcoming atmosphere for patients, family members and visitors, while fostering teaching and academic medicine. From conception through construction, physicians, nurses and staff members collaborated with architects to design a space to help achieve the best patient outcomes and satisfaction in a way most efficient for healthcare providers, the news release stated.

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