A shot of adrenaline in the form of a $2 million grant will help in the relocation, and expansion, of the Salina campus of the KU School of Medicine. The Dane G. Hansen Foundation awarded a $2 million grant to the Salina Regional Health Foundation to assist in the remodeling of the new medical education building for the school.
A vacant downtown property will be renovated, and will become the new home of the KU School of Medicine Salina Campus. The new building will be located at 138 N. Santa Fe and will provide more than twice the square footage of the current school. It has space to accommodate a possible expansion of class size from 8 to 16 students per year and will provide better space for a new medical school curriculum that focuses more on group work.
The new facility will provide 40,251 square feet of space to accommodate new curriculum changes for the school that go into effect in 2017. The new ACE Curriculum emphasizes Active Learning, Competency and Excellence, which requires a need for more small-group meeting space, clinical instruction and simulation labs and less space for large lecture halls. Once construction is complete the new campus will continue to be owned by the Salina Regional Health Foundation.
KU–Salina is currently based out of the Braddick Building at Salina Regional Health Center. The 16,000 square foot building was formerly a nursing school dormitory on the hospital’s Santa Fe Campus and repurposed to accommodate the medical school.
The Salina campus is the smallest four-year medical school campus in North America, and Salina is the smallest community in North America to be the site of a full, four-year allopathic medical school. When it opened, the concept was that the Salina campus would attract medical students with a desire to train in a rural environment, with the hope that they would want to practice primary care in rural Kansas.
The model is working. KU School of Medicine-Salina students are graduating with strong test scores and are moving on to preferred residencies and fellowships. Several graduates have indicated they plan to practice medicine in rural areas. At least two KU graduates are planning to practice in the Hansen service area.
The Hansen trustees recognize that the Salina Campus is an excellent avenue to bring physicians to Northwest Kansas to live and practice. The Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Northwest Kansas. Access to medical care is an important aspect of that mission.
“Mr. Hansen cared deeply about the people of Northwest Kansas. We see this grant as a way to continue his legacy of working to provide where he saw a need,” said Cy Moyer, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Hansen Foundation. “We have been pleased with the work of the School and Dr. Cathcart-Rake.”
The grant is another show of support for the work the Salina medical school as a conduit for physicians practicing in rural Kansas. The Hansen Foundation has been a significant supporter of the school since it was established.
The Foundation awarded the school $100,000 to assist with initial remodeling and start-up needs in 2011. An additional $75,000 has since been awarded for capital needs.
The Hansen Foundation has also provided $175,000 in scholarship assistance. Scholarship recipients are determined by the Dean of the Salina campus and are reserved for students who express a desire to practice in the 26-county service area of the Hansen Foundation.
In October of 2015, the Foundation created an endowed professorship at the school, a commitment of $50,000 a year for 20 years. The professorship can be used to support salary and educational enhancements.
“The Hansen Foundation has been incredibly supportive of the Salina Campus since inception,” said William Cathcart-Rake, M.D., KU School of Medicine–Salina Dean. “This major gift is just further recognition of the value KU School of Medicine–Salina has toward fulfilling their mission of providing for the health care needs of citizens in northwest and northcentral Kansas.”
The grant from the Hansen Foundation will be applied to the Salina Regional Health Foundation’s Blueprint for Rural Health Campaign goal of $7.5 million. It is the largest gift received for the campaign to date.
“We are overwhelmed with the support and generosity of the Hansen Foundation,” said Tom Martin, Executive Director of the Salina Regional Health Foundation. “The vision and foresight the Hansen Foundation Board of Trustees exhibited in making this gift will result in greater access to medical care for people in rural areas of Kansas.”