Gill Building Officially Opens

Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver or Amanda White

FACT SHEET

Photo of Linda and Jack Gill, and David J. Moliterno, M.D.
Linda and Jack Gill, and David J. Moliterno, M.D.

""

“Our goal at the University of Kentucky is to be a top-25 academic heart program in the United States. The new facility will help unify all components of cardiovascular medicine, bringing them together into state-of-the-art cath labs, diagnostic modalities, new clinics, classrooms and office space. The Gill Building reflects our commitment to outstanding progress in cardiology and assures cutting-edge care to Kentuckians.”

-- Michael Karpf,
executive vice president for health affairs,
University of Kentucky

""

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2004) -- A dedication ceremony was held today for the new University of Kentucky Linda and Jack Gill Building. The $25 million state-of-the-art facility is located on Rose Street, adjacent to UK Hospital, and houses the UK Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute and the UK Center for Advanced Surgery. The completion of the Gill Building defines an era and setting for the UK Chandler Medical Center and serves as a gateway to the University of Kentucky campus.

In December 1997, Linda and Jack Gill of Houston, Texas, donated $5 million to build the heart institute and establish three endowed chairs and 10 endowed professorships, all matched by the Research Challenge Trust Fund, for research and special programs. The gift is one of the largest individual gifts ever given to UK.

Additional funding for the five-story, 108,345-square-foot facility, came from university funds. Construction began in April 2000, and the UK Center for Advanced Surgery was opened for outpatient surgery patients in February 2004. The UK Gill Heart Institute opened for patients last week.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Kentucky ranks fifth worst in the nation in cardiovascular disease deaths,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., Ph.D. “One of our major goals at the University of Kentucky is to address this problem by developing new technologies that will benefit patients in Kentucky and the nation. The University of Kentucky extends our gratitude to the Gills for their personal concern for, and exemplary commitment to, this important health initiative.”

While the concept of the Gill Heart Institute has existed for several years at UK, its components were widely dispersed throughout the medical center, and a central facility was deemed essential. In addition, UK officials noted an increasing need to accommodate advanced surgical technologies. The Gill Building not only will provide the needed space for these two vital programs, but also will foster collaboration in patient care, research and teaching.

“Our goal at the University of Kentucky is to be a top-25 academic heart program in the United States,” said Michael Karpf, M.D., UK executive vice president for health affairs. “The new facility will help unify all components of cardiovascular medicine, bringing them together into state-of-the-art cath labs, diagnostic modalities, new clinics, classrooms and office space. The Gill Building reflects our commitment to outstanding progress in cardiology and assures cutting-edge care to Kentuckians.”

Kentucky, along with its neighboring states along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, has such a high rate of heart disease that the area has been designated the “Coronary Valley.” The clinical programs of the institute will target this unacceptable increased mortality. The research and teaching programs will advance cardiovascular care throughout the world, and attract grants and investments to Kentucky.

“Clearly, many important elements contributing to heart disease are present in Kentucky,” said Linda Gill. “It is a tobacco economy. There are generations of black lung disease from coal mining in Eastern Kentucky. Add sedentary lifestyles, a depressed economy, unhealthy nutrition, smoking and obesity, and you have all the reasons heart disease flourishes here. Jack and I felt that if somehow we could create an incentive to build a world class cardiovascular research, teaching and clinical care institute here at the University of Kentucky, this would rally my fellow Kentuckians to address these urgent needs.”

In 2000, heart disease accounted for nearly one-third of all deaths in Kentucky, according to American Heart Association statistics obtained from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services.

“The number of Kentucky residents who die each year due to heart disease is comparable to every person dying in an average 100-square miles of the state,” said David J. Moliterno, M.D., Gill Heart Institute co-director and professor and chief of cardiovascular medicine in the UK College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine. “At the UK Gill Heart Institute, our commitment is to provide world-class care to the Commonwealth, and to do this with the compassion and sensitivity that we would expect for our own families.”

“I see the Gill Heart Institute as a regional resource that addresses critical health care needs of Kentuckians,” said Victor A. Ferraris, M.D., Ph.D., Gill Heart Institute co-director, the Tyler Gill Professor of Vascular Surgery and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the UK College of Medicine Department of Surgery. “The Gill Heart Institute brings together community health care needs with cutting-edge technology, research and education. Surgical care provided at the Gill Heart Institute offers options that are much needed and are not available anywhere else in the region.”

Prevention programs will be initiated in communities where they are needed, emphasizing patient-focused care that is humanistic, caring and supportive of the
patient and family members. Additional benefits include improved communications with referring physicians to help them become an active part of the institute with quick, seamless access to all relevant patient clinical findings, ongoing educational conferences, and emerging findings from the institute’s research.

The institute provides a central focus for cardiovascular disease care, including clinics; non-invasive cardiac diagnostics; invasive cardiac techniques, such as cardiac catheterization, angioplasty and electrophysiology; and a base for the physicians providing this care. The institute will have a special focus on counseling cardiac patients and their families.

The Center for Advanced Surgery provides cutting-edge technology in an efficient, cost-effective outpatient setting. The center includes eight minimally invasive surgery suites with state-of the-art technology and equipment. The space is designed to change as technology changes. Most of the former operating rooms required major renovation for new technology, whereas the new suites are designed to accommodate change with minimal downtime.

A public open house for the UK Gill Heart Institute will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 23.


Back to Campus News Homepage