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Midnight Celebration Marks 20th Anniversary

October 01, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — At 12:01 a.m., The University of Kansas Health System recognized the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Public Health Authority that marked the beginning of the hospital, now health system's, unprecedented turnaround.

The celebration time marked the exact moment hospital executives were given a check by then-University of Kansas Executive Vice Chancellor Don Hagen for approximately $23 million – the equivalent of 10-20 days' operating cash at the time. On that day, the future was the hospital's to make, but the status was bleak with low-quality care and patient satisfaction and many questioning whether the hospital would continue to operate.

Fast forward to today – 20 years later – and the health system has transformed from a struggling hospital to a nationally ranked academic medical center and a growing health system.

  • From 206 patients on Oct. 1, 1998, to 726 on Sept. 26, 2018
  • From 407 beds in 1998 to 910 licensed beds today
  • From 1,103 total discharges in 1998, to 5,574 through August 2018
  • From 2,086 emergency room visits in October 1998 to 5,337 in August 2018

The health system's relentless focus on achieving a higher standard for quality, patient satisfaction, safety and outcomes has earned it numerous recognitions, including the best hospital in the city and state and among the top 1% of hospitals in the nation.

With no state or local funding over the past 20 years, the health system has supported its growth through philanthropic giving and results. Today, The University of Kansas Health System continues to partner with hospitals and providers across the state and region to ensure high-quality care close to home.

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