Tuesday, 19 February 2019
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$2 million gift from Crays to University of KS Health System

Cloud L. "Bud" Cray, Jr./Credit: MGP Ingredients

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The University of Kansas Health System has received a gift of $2 million from Cloud L. "Bud" Cray, Jr., chairman emeritus of MGP Ingredients in Atchison, KS, and his wife, the late Sally Cray. The gift is given in recognition of the exceptional care received by the Cray family from Dr. Charles Porter, cardiologist, and the staff of the heart program at The University of Kansas Health System. The gift will support the cardiomyopathy and heart failure program and the cardio-oncology program.

"I am very proud that Sally and my foundation will help foster advances in these two critical areas of cardiac treatment and care," said Bud Cray. "Many in our family have benefited from cardiac care at The University of Kansas Hospital and we continue to be impressed with the advances that have taken place within the entire health system over the past 15 years."

"We are so grateful to have Bud Cray and his late wife Sally as supporters and friends of The University of Kansas Health System," said Bob Page, the health system's president and chief executive officer. "Because of their belief in our heart program, their gift will help future patients who are the sickest of the sick receive the most advanced care."

Dr. Porter's relationship with the Cray family in Atchison centers around his nearly 25 years of practice at the Cardiovascular Medicine clinic in Atchison, formerly known as Mid-America Cardiology. "I'm humbled by their generosity. Over the years I told them The University of Kansas Hospital's story as it and its cardiovascular programs grew continuously. I never asked them for anything specific, they just recognized they could trust me and that the health system could do great things with their gift," said Porter. "The cardio-oncology program support is particularly special because it has not been recognized previously with any specific financial support. The program has developed over the last 10 years through the efforts of multiple cardiologists and oncologists who recognize the need for collaboration in order to provide the best possible cancer treatment results while minimizing adverse cardiac events that result from cancer therapy."

Cardiomyopathy describes an array of heart diseases that occurs when the heart muscle is abnormal. Cardiomyopathies can cause heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac death. Improved results for patients with cardiomyopathy will come through advances in genetic assessment, medical therapies, mechanical circulatory support and transplant.

The Cray family is no stranger to supporting health system patients and the University of Kansas Medical Center. The Cray Foundation provided the resources to open the Cray Diabetes Center in 1979 and has provided continual philanthropic support.

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