Jackie Kindred, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, 816-627-3443, email@example.com
Barbara Pruitt, Kauffman Foundation, 816-932-1288, firstname.lastname@example.org
Initiative to bolster region's medical innovations
(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Feb. 9, 2009 — The establishment of the Kansas City Life Sciences Fund, which has received an initial contribution of $1.5 million from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will enable donors across the region to help Kansas City recruit top medical research talent focusing especially on cures for cancer and diabetes.
The Kansas City Life Sciences Fund is a breakthrough because it is the first vehicle to encourage community participation in "Time to Get It Right," a study commissioned by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. The study serves as a roadmap for strengthening the region's competitiveness in the global economy. Donors plan to establish several additional funds to support the region's life sciences initiatives, validating the Kansas City Life Sciences Fund's approach. The Fund expects to receive charitable gifts ranging from $25 to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"We are very pleased to seed this fund and thus build momentum around it," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, which, in December, gave a grant to the University of Kansas to establish the Institute for Advancing Medical Innovation, a unique life science proof-of-concept model aimed at moving medical innovations from the lab to the market. "The Kansas City Life Sciences Fund is another step toward advancing medical innovations by stimulating ongoing support for life science initiatives in the region and providing oversight to ensure that the dollars raised are being used to achieve maximum value."
The Kansas City Life Sciences Fund, established at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, is advised by a committee of scientific experts. The names and credentials of the committee members can be found at www.kclifesciences.org. The fund advisors have recommended that one of the initial grants from the fund support the University of Kansas Medical Center's recruitment of a highly acclaimed researcher in the field of diabetes. In addition to strong momentum in cancer, KU is establishing a national reputation in diabetes research and care.
"We are pleased that the philanthropic community is as excited as we are about the future," said Barbara Atkinson, M.D., executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center and executive Dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
A regional effort around diabetes has emerged in the formation of the Midwest Diabetes Coalition, a collaborative effort of diabetes researchers and care givers from KU Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke's Health System, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and many other key stakeholders.
"Diabetes is one of the most challenging epidemics our country faces and it affects all ages and ethnicities," said Atkinson. "With an additional world-class recruit to the Midwest Diabetes Coalition, we will ensure that the Kansas City region is a leader in cutting-edge research and treatment."
The Kansas City Life Sciences Fund enables donors to rally together and bolster support for the cause they care about. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations are encouraged to contribute to Fund. The Fund ensures that every gift makes a difference and that every donor has the opportunity to engage in and learn about this important sector.
"Ewing Kauffman personified innovation and entrepreneurship," said Anne D. St. Peter, Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) board member and chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. "This gift embodies his spirit and is an investment in recruiting and developing the next generation of Kansas City innovators and entrepreneurs."
To donate, please make your check payable to the Kansas City Life Sciences Fund and mail it to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, 1055 Broadway, Suite 130, Kansas City, MO, 64105. Or donate online at https://gkccfonlinedonations.org/gkccf/kcals.asp.
"The Kansas City Life Sciences Fund demonstrates an increasingly strategic approach to securing philanthropic dollars to support this region's top life sciences priorities," said Bill Duncan, president & CEO of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute.
The Kansas City Life Sciences Fund was established in partnership with the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI). KCALSI has relocated its offices to 1055 Broadway, Suite 130, Kansas City, Mo. For additional information about KCALSI, the organization responsible for coordinating and overseeing the region's life sciences initiatives, visit www.kclifesciences.org.
The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation has fulfilled charitable dreams through the power of giving for 30 years, improving the quality of life in our region. The Community Foundation, including its affiliates within the Greater Kansas City area, ranks among the top ten largest community foundations in America and is recognized as a national leader in making sure every philanthropic investment returns the greatest emotional, civic and financial benefit possible. Since its establishment in 1978, the Community Foundation and its donors have given more than $1.25 billion in grants. For more information visit www.gkccf.org.