Archive for Thursday, February 6, 2014

KU Medical Center could lose accreditation without new health education building, supporters say

February 6, 2014

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— Supporters of an initiative by the Kansas University Medical Center to build a $75 million health education facility said Thursday that without help from the state, the medical school could lose its accreditation.

"It is absolutely essential that we build this," said Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka.

The issue came up during a meeting of the House-Senate Committee on State Building Construction.

For several years, KU has sought help from Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature to start construction of a facility that would produce more doctors and add new technologies and teaching methods for training medical students and health professionals. The current main medical education building is outmoded, in disrepair and can't be properly renovated, KU officials have said.

Brownback's budget proposal contained no funding to help retire a possible bond sale to cover part of the cost of the project.

During the committee meeting, Kelly sought to put in $1.4 million in the budget for the project in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, with the goal of adding $1.4 million per year for 15 years.

But Republicans on the committee balked, except the chairwoman, state Sen. Kay Wolf, R-Prairie Village, who said she didn't support Brownback's decision not to include funding for the facility.

Lindsey Douglas, director of state relations for KU, said the proposed facility, in addition to helping the state produce more doctors, would avoid troubles with maintaining accreditation.

Several Republicans on the committee then said they would like to know more about the project.

"I just need to learn more about it," said state Rep. Mark Hutton, R-Wichita.

The committee decided to hear from a representative of the medical center at its next meeting on Feb. 11.

"The KU Medical Center has made an excellent argument for the need, up to and including losing accreditation if they don't improve their facilities, and the medical building they have now just can't be retro-fitted," Kelly said.

She said if the medical center lost its accreditation, or was put on probation, the school would have difficulty recruiting students. "That would just add significantly to the medical professional shortage in the state of Kansas," she said.

Comments

Gerald Kerr 1 year, 2 months ago

Of course, Sen. Laura Kelly D-Topeka, of course we must spend 75 million dollars. Hurry, hurry spend, spend it before we lose our accreditation! OMG the sky will fall if we don't borrow and spend more money.

Senator Kelly, we spend enough already. Every day Kansans must decide what to do without, what to cut for their families because of taxes, economic depression, profligate public sector spending, and hidden inflation that goes underreported in order to keep up the lie that all is well.

We've got to keep the public trough filled with slop. Politicians must eat out the substance of the middle class there. As they spend. And tax. Agrandizing themselves in the process. Meanwhile we empty our wallets and swallow our pride. All for heavier chains.

Beator 1 year, 2 months ago

Senator Kelly, we spend enough already. Every day Kansans must decide what to do without, what to cut for their families because of taxes, economic depression, profligate public sector spending, and hidden inflation that goes underreported in order to keep up the lie that all is well.

At least we no longer need to worry about "Job lock"

Larry Sturm 1 year, 2 months ago

Giving the rich tax breaks does not fund schools. BROWNBACK AND REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE ARE BAD FOR KANSAS. Maybe the billion air Koch brothers can build the medical building and fund public schools.

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