New KU Hospital project gets $2 million donation from Sunderland Foundation

The Sunderland Foundation, which for 69 years has donated to many causes throughout the Kansas City area, has made the largest donation in its history to support the construction of a new hospital for The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

The $2 million dollar grant will go toward Cambridge North, a new 92-bed hospital on the Kansas City, Kan., campus to support surgical oncology and neurosurgery.

The gift was announced by Kent Sunderland, president of the Sunderland Foundation, and Charles Sunderland, who is chairman of Ash Grove Cement. Kent and Charles Sunderland were also honorary co-chairs of the hospital’s major fund raising event Treads and Threads in 2013. Charles Sunderland has been a long time member of The University of Kansas Hospital Authority Board.

“I have watched this hospital grow into a national leader in quality patient care and an economic force in the Kansas City area. Patients need access to the leading edge services The University of Kansas Hospital provides and the Sunderland Foundation is pleased to do our part to support this community asset,” Charles Sunderland said.

The University of Kansas Hospital has seen patient volume grow 30 percent in the last five years, a spokesman said. Its fastest growing services – neurosciences and surgical oncology, which include many ear, nose and throat procedures – have grown nearly 40 percent over that period. Those specialty areas will move into Cambridge North, which will be located on the northeast corner of 39th and Cambridge Street.

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

Deanna and Greg Graves announced a $1 million personal donation to go along with the Burns and McDonnell Foundation’s $2.5 million gift.

“It is the record of the hospital itself that is building the momentum for Cambridge North,” said Greg Graves, chairman and chief executive officer of Burns and McDonnell. “Community leaders are expressing interest in the hospital’s plans. Deanna and I are working hard to turn that interest into philanthropy for this project.”

Graves said William H. Dunn Sr. and Phil Kirk Jr. have agreed to be honorary chairs for the effort to support Cambridge North.

“It is no surprise to anyone in Kansas City when the Sunderland family comes forward to support a worthwhile project in Kansas City. But we will need many other community leaders and organizations to step up to make Cambridge North a reality,” said William H. Dunn Sr., chairman emeritus of J.E. Dunn Construction.

The hospital receives no state or local tax appropriations since it became an independent state authority in 1998.

To see a KU Hospital video about this donation, visit

– Information from KU Hospital

Schlitterbahn goes for another Guinness World Record June 20 with world’s largest swimming lesson

Want to be part of the world’s largest swimming lesson?

Schlitterbahn Waterparks and the YMCA of Greater Kansas City are participating in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Friday, June 20, to promote the importance of water safety.

The swim lessons will take place at hundreds of locations around the world, including at the four Schlitterbahn Waterparks simultaneously, at 9:30 a.m. June 20. It is a coordinated attempt to break the Guinness World Record.

Schlitterbahn and the Y are hoping to promote the importance of teaching children to swim at a young age to prevent drowning.

Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, at 32,450 participants representing 13 countries across five continents.

The swim lesson on June 20 to break the record is free. Participants must register before 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, to participate. Event participants may purchase discount admission to Schlitterbahn on June 20 in advance or immediately following their lesson. For more information, see

Injury-accident reported on I-70 at 78th

A Mercury Villager van struck the rear of a Ford truck on westbound I-70 near 78th Street about 4:43 p.m. June 9.

The Ford truck had slowed for traffic. According to the Kansas Turnpike Authority trooper’s report, the driver of the van, a 24-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man, was injured and taken to a hospital.

The driver of the Ford truck, a 34-year-old Lawrence, Kan., man, had a possible injury, according to the report.