Cheryl Lockton Williams, widow of Lockton Companies founder Jack Lockton, has donated $10 million to support the new Cambridge Tower A at the University of Kansas Hospital. Announcement of that gift came this morning at the hospital near Midtown.
Officials said the fifth level of the 11-story tower would be named the Jack and Cheryl Lockton Intensive Care Patient Unit in recognition of that gift, which came after she saw the new building under construction.
“When I toured Cambridge Tower, I was amazed. The cutting-edge technology, the design and the architecture are world class,” she said in news release from the hospital. “When I learned the nurses, doctors and care providers worked with the architects to design it, I was even more impressed. What’s most exciting of all is that this incredible facility–and these great care providers–are right here in Kansas City.”
Jack Lockton, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2004, founded Kansas City-based Lockton Companies in 1966. Today, it’s the world’s largest privately held independent insurance brokerage.
“Twenty years ago, you had to leave Kansas City to find the most advanced cancer care. We were able to travel to M.D. Anderson for the latest treatment options for Jack, but unfortunately most people didn’t have that option,” Cheryl Lockton Williams said. “Today is much different. The very best care is available right here at The University of Kansas Health System. No one needs to leave our city for outstanding care.”
Bob Page, president and CEO of the University of Kansas Health System, called the scope of Williams’ gift humbling. “Because of Cheryl’s belief in our organization’s mission and her gift to the future of academic medicine, thousands of patients who are the sickest of the sick will be able to receive the most advanced care in our new tower,” he said.
It was one of the largest single donations ever made to the health system, which set a fund-raising goal of $100 million for the new tower project, and has raised $57.7 million to that end.
“Jack Lockton was a legendary businessman who was passionate about his company, his clients and our city. Cheryl Lockton Williams has continued his legacy as a civic leader and advocate for Kansas City,” said Greg Graves, chairman of the health system’s board of directors and co-chair, along with his wife, Deanna, of the Cambridge Tower Campaign. “Her generosity to the University of Kansas Health System to support patient care will be a lasting tribute to the incredible contributions Cheryl and Jack have made to benefit our entire community.”
The Locktons also developed a web site to help other patients facing cancer diagnoses, funded a chair in pancreatic cancer research, provided funds for grant-matching and targeted therapies at M.D. Anderson, and Cheryl Williams continues to support various pancreatic cancer research around the country.
The first 92 beds in the tower open next month, including 28 ICU and 64 acute/telemetry beds, with 32 more opening in the spring.