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Archive for Thursday, March 17, 2011

Salina hospital gives $1 million to KU medical school; eight students to start classes next fall in Salina

March 17, 2011

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A $1 million donation from Salina Regional Health Center will help Kansas University’s medical school campus in Salina become fully operational.

William Cathcart-Rake, director of the School of Medicine-Salina, said the donation was very well-timed.

“Certainly in these tight economic times, a gift of this magnitude to support a new venture like this is extremely helpful,” he said.

The campus will admit its first class of eight students this fall. KU has touted the campus as a way to generate more physicians working in the western part of the state. Once it gets its full complement of 32 students, the campus will be much more self-supporting, Cathcart-Rake said.

The campus is depending on private donations to help bridge the gap, he said.

The budget for the new program has been something of a “moving target all along,” he said.

Salina Regional Health Center has also supported the program in a number of other ways, including providing a space for the school, and defraying utility and maintenance costs, Cathcart-Rake said.

Other donations to the school have included a $75,000 from Russell physician and KU graduate Earl Merkel and his wife, Kathleen, and $225,000 from the Salina Regional Health Foundation.

The School of Medicine has also expanded its campus in Wichita from a two-year to a four-year medical program. The Wichita site will also welcome eight new first-year students this fall.

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