The Kansas Board of Regents Thursday unanimously approved the final affiliation agreement between St. Luke's Hospital and Kansas University Medical Center.
With their approval, and the approval in principle of St. Luke's that came last month, the agreement should be able to go into effect. The agreement includes a $1 millon payment each year from St. Luke's to KUMC for "unrestricted mission support" - money that can be spent at the discretion of KUMC Executive Vice Chancellor Barabara Atkinson.
"We do a lot of important things on this board. If I look at the past or even the future, I can't imagine anything that will have a greater impact on the quality of life of Kansas families," regents chairwoman Christine Downey-Schmidt said. "I'm hopeful and very glad to be a part of advancing this issue. I hope the continued delays and the political maneuvering and unjustified protests will fade away and we get along with finding cures."
The affiliation also includes a baseline expenditure of $15 million per year by St. Luke's for current clinical and research activities currently taking place at the hospital.
"I'd say we're very happy with the agreement, but we recognize we still have a long way to go," KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said.
The affiliation agreement, which was disclosed in draft form at last month's KU Hospital Authority board meeting, has generated a lot of angst among the hospital community. KU Hospital leaders are concerned that this affiliation could damage the hospital as it competes with St. Luke's for patients and in other clinical operations.
Hemenway and Atkinson, when probed by the board, said this agreement was the first step in providing more doctors to Kansas and more access to cancer clinical research trials.
"This agreement will expand our ability to train more doctors at KU, helping to meet the state's growing need for health professionals. It will also enhance research collaborations, which are vital to our effort to make new treatments available to Kansans," Hemenway said in a press release.
KU's full press release describing the agreement can be found here. KU has also released the full agreement with St. Luke's. More details as they develop.