Introducing a new chapter in cancer care for Kentucky
A historic $10 million gift will be used to help expand Markey’s physical footprint and enhance the patient experience.
Central Bank gifted UK HealthCare $10 million in February 2022 to support expanded patient care at the UK Markey Cancer Center. The gift is the largest in UK HealthCare history and launched an initiative to raise $90 million to improve cancer care in Kentucky.
At the end of 2021, the UK Board of Trustees approved a purchase agreement for $6.9 million to acquire residential parcels across from UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital on South Limestone for the construction of a new outpatient cancer treatment center and advanced ambulatory complex. The new $10 million gift will be used toward developing and building this new complex.
“Kentucky leads the nation in cancer incidence and mortality,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “As such, we are determined to meet this moment – to channel our fierce resolve and address this stubborn and heartbreaking challenge. No Kentuckian should have to leave the state to receive the highest quality care.
“Luther Deaton, Joan Kincaid and the whole team at Central Bank recognize what it means to serve Kentucky,” Capilouto said. “We are deeply grateful for this generous gift that will help us build a better tomorrow.”
Kincaid, owner of Central Bank, first gave to the UK Markey Cancer Center – then known as the McDowell Cancer Network – in 1979. Cumulative Kincaid/Central Bank giving to UK exceeds $20 million.
“Too many Kentucky families have been devastated by cancer, and it is our hope that this gift will help future generations of Kentuckians avoid this terrible diagnosis,” said Deaton, chairman/president and CEO of Central Bank.
Since Markey Cancer Center became a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center in 2013, the center’s outpatient clinic visits have increased by 57 percent, including more than 120,000 patient visits in fiscal year 2021. Additionally, cancer-related research funding has increased by 109 percent since 2012; as of June 30, Markey researchers held more than $59.3 million in grants.
“Markey is the go-to cancer center in the state and that is evident by the growth we have seen on all fronts, including patient volume, basic research, population science research and clinical trials,” said Dr. Mark Newman, executive vice president for health affairs at UK HealthCare. “While this growth is tremendous, we need to increase our physical footprint to continue expanding our potential, and most importantly, to further enhance the experience and care for our patients.”
The proposed complex – with an estimated 260,000 square feet for cancer services – includes space for other advanced ambulatory clinics and structured parking as well as capacity for services such as outpatient operating rooms, procedure rooms, diagnostics and imaging services, pharmacy and lab services, and room for meetings and support services.
“It is our hope that this gift will help future generations of Kentuckians avoid this terrible diagnosis.”
“This building is a dream come true and will be hugely transformative for our state,” said Dr. Mark Evers, director of the Markey Cancer Center. “Currently, our facilities are spread out and our patients oftentimes have to go to multiple buildings to see their physician and obtain laboratory studies and treatments, which can be quite stressful. This new building will allow our patients to be dropped off at the front door, see their physician, and obtain their lab work, X-rays and treatments, all in one place. It will be a tremendous help and asset for our Markey patients.”
A new cancer care/clinical research facility is part of a larger strategy to elevate Markey’s national reputation by achieving NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status. The NCI has awarded this designation – its highest – to only about 50 cancer centers in the U.S., and none within a 200-mile radius of Lexington.
Because NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers have expanded access to Phase I and II clinical trials, Markey patients would be able to receive best-in-class care as close to home as possible. Given that Markey and its partners treat half of all the cancer patients in the Commonwealth, the impact of NCI comprehensive status would be significant, especially since Kentucky has the highest rate of cancer incidence and death in the nation.