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KU Endowment 101 – Regional Leaders Advocate for Healthy Communities
Lydia Allen and Krista Allen

Access to quality health care for people of all ages is vital for communities to thrive. Fortunately, our regional academic medical center — comprised of the University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Health System — is one of the best in the country. It positively impacts the people in our region and offers more options for patients with serious conditions because of the expertise and leadership in medical research and education. Two of the volunteer organizations that support the academic medical center and serve as champions for its transformative impact are the KU Advancement Board and The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Cancer Funding Partners council.

The Advancement Board is an advisory group of civic and business leaders from the Kansas City region and beyond that serves as a powerful advocate for the academic medical center. It builds awareness and partnerships and bolsters philanthropic efforts in support of education, research and patient care.

The full board meets twice each year, with committee meetings and board-hosted events held throughout the year. Recent educational programs hosted by the board include programs on mental health and resilience, cancer prevention, how to fall safely and rural health outreach initiatives.

KU Cancer Center’s Cancer Funding Partners council has a similar focus on fundraising, education and outreach. It is made up of volunteers who provide leadership and support of philanthropic initiatives deemed the highest priority by the director of KU Cancer Center. Members serve as advocates for the cancer center in the community, promoting achievements and aspirations. They focus on identifying and educating others who may have an interest in supporting cancer research and patient care at the only National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprehensive cancer center in the region.

The Cancer Funding Partners has been instrumental during the course of the last 10 years in helping KU Cancer Center achieve NCI designation and then comprehensive designation. With the Cancer Funding Partners leading the charge, more than $155 million has been raised to support our efforts since 2012.

Many members of both organizations have experienced the excellent care provided at the academic medical center and KU Cancer Center, either personally or through loved ones and cite this as one reason for their involvement. They also enjoy the educational, networking and advocacy opportunities and firmly believe the Kansas City region is better because of the exceptional health care resources we have here.

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