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Hall Family Foundation gift supports comprehensive cancer center designation

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — An $8 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation will enhance The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s pursuit of an NCI Comprehensive cancer center designation.

The KU Cancer Center currently is a National Cancer Institute-designated center and seeks to take that designation to the next level. Comprehensive cancer center designation is the highest recognition for an academic cancer center, opening doors to expanded research funding and related economic benefits, and bringing the most advanced cancer care to patients.

Out of 5,000 cancer centers in the country, just 69 are NCI-designated and of those, only 45 have achieved comprehensive designation. The KU Cancer Center will apply for comprehensive designation in September.

Bill Hall, president of the Hall Family Foundation, said the opportunity to support advancements in cancer care was an inspiration behind the gift.

“The KU Cancer Center provides local patients the assurance they are receiving the most advanced cancer treatments and availability to clinical trials,” Hall said. “We are pleased to join with so many others who have supported the KU Cancer Center and particularly the voters who approved the Research Triangle Tax.”

Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center, expressed his appreciation for the gift.

“We are very grateful for the Hall Family Foundation’s ongoing support. This generous gift will support our efforts toward meeting the amplified criteria for NCI Comprehensive cancer center designation,” Jensen said. “The cancer center will face a rigorous evaluation process after our application is submitted in September. This gift ensures that the KU Cancer Center will be ready.”

The gift will provide $4 million to support recruitment of a director of medical oncology at the KU Cancer Center. Recruiting top physician scientists to the team is a high institutional priority.

It will provide a $2 million matching gift for the recruitment of a researcher specializing in hematological malignancies and immunotherapy, in concert with Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Lastly, it will contribute $2 million in support of the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, which aims to change the standard of care for patients through its mission to discover and develop pharmaceuticals and diagnostics with a clear path to market.

The Hall Family Foundation has supported several disciplines at KU, including life sciences, business, biology and humanities. The foundation’s support was instrumental in KU’s achievement of National Cancer Institute designation, as well as the establishment of the Hall Center for the Humanities.

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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