Private donors provide millions to LMH West project

photo by: Nick Krug

Bike racks will be located outside the east and west entrances to LMH West. They are pictured on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020 at LMH West.

Private donors and foundations played a major role in funding the construction of the approximately $100 million LMH West facility in northwest Lawrence.

Approximately 30 donors provided $5 million to the new state-of-the-art health care facility that features everything from an outpatient surgery center to doctors’ offices for family medicine practices.

The broad scope of the center was a major reason donors got behind the project, Earl Reineman, major and planned gifts manager at the LMH Health Foundation, said.

“The West Campus will enhance the delivery of medical care to our community members,” Reineman said. “It will also strengthen the hospital in ways that help sustain the mission-driven care it provides, such as charity care, community outreach and crisis care for mental health and substance use.”

Fundraising for the project, which broke ground in the summer of 2018, has been ongoing by the LMH Health Foundation. Here is a look at some of the highlights from that campaign.

Women’s Center mammography

The West Campus will host a new women’s health center that is focused on being a convenient, consumer-friendly and patient-first environment. This will include a new breast center with 3D mammography and ultrasound equipment, an on-site breast nurse-navigator, an on-site breast surgeon, plastic surgeons and reconstructive services, an OB-GYN presence and a pelvic health clinic.

A generous gift from Jeff and Mary Weinberg and the Jedel Family Foundation supported the purchase of 3D mammography machines. Studies have found that 3D mammography, the newest type of breast imaging, helps radiologists find more cancers than a standard digital mammogram.

“We know this hospital is an important resource for our community,” said Jeff Weinberg, a member of the LMH Health Foundation Board of Directors. “When we learned of the plans for the west facility, we decided immediately that we wanted to help the new breast center.”

This imaging equipment ensures the most powerful and up-to-date methodologies for early cancer detection and diagnostics are available at the breast center.

“Over many years, our family has benefited from extraordinary care at LMH Health,” Jeff Weinberg said. “Places like LMH Health provide so much to the people who live in the Lawrence area, and we are pleased to support these efforts in any way that we can.”

Richard Orchard, an LMH Health ophthalmologist for 33 years, and his wife, Georgia, also made a gift to support the breast health center. The couple felt compelled to donate in gratitude for Georgia’s breast cancer treatment in 2014.

“Georgia received excellent care from Dr. Sherri Soule and the surgeons, radiologists, nurses and even the volunteers — they all just did a great job taking care of her,” Orchard said. “We’re lucky to have a top-notch community hospital in Lawrence.”

Before his retirement, Orchard served as chief of staff at LMH Health and as a member of the LMH Health Foundation board of directors for six years.

“I’ve always felt that physicians need to work with the hospital with regard to development of health care in the community,” Orchard said. “Physicians, hospitals and even private enterprises need to work together.”

Orthopedic and sports medicine

The LMH Health West Campus will also have a strong focus on orthopedic and sports medicine. This is a large section of the new campus and will include surgical capabilities and a full outpatient therapy area for traditional and sports-oriented services.

H&S Holdings, led by local businessman Rodger Henry, made a $1 million gift in 2018 for the orthopedic center. Henry says he and his wife, Sheryl, made a gift through H&S Holdings after deliberating about the future of Lawrence and what seems best for LMH Health.

“Our community is at a crossroads, and I think it is important to keep moving to the next level of excellence in medical care,” he said. “I am thankful LMH trustees and CEO Russ Johnson are leading LMH Health in construction of the LMH Health West Campus. The emphasis on outpatient care and same-day surgery is an emphasis on the new best practices in orthopedic care, and Sheryl and I are glad to support that excellent care in our community.”

Additional community support

Gratitude for exceptional care is a common reason why community members donate to LMH Health. Bud and Sheryl Jacobs made a gift in support of the LMH Health West Campus for this reason.

“We are pleased that we are able to support LMH Health,” said Bud Jacobs, a retired pediatric dentist. “The hospital has been good to us in so many ways. It is a great hospital with an outstanding medical and support staff. We feel fortunate to live in Lawrence and appreciate the medical care that is available to us.”

In 2019, the LMH Health Foundation was awarded a $2 million grant from the Kansas City-based Sunderland Foundation to support the LMH Health West Campus. This is the largest gift in LMH Health Foundation history.

The Sunderland Foundation has partnered with LMH Health previously, supporting a number of important projects including the renovated heart catheterization lab and a recent behavioral health initiative.

“There’s a caring, proactive approach to healthcare at LMH — rooted in excellence and aimed at continuous improvement,” said Rebecca Smith, executive director of the LMH Health Foundation and vice president of strategic communications at LMH Health. “The Sunderland Foundation’s gift signals understanding and support for that approach and affirms a remarkable and enduring relationship, one that ensures LMH Health can fulfill its newly envisioned purpose as a partner in lifelong health.”

— LMH Health is a major sponsor of the Lawrence Journal-World’s health section.


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