Gift supports Alzheimer's research at KU Medical Center

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A $10,000 gift from Local Union No. 124 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, of Kansas City, Mo., for the University of Kansas Medical Center will help fight Alzheimer's disease. The gift will support research conducted as part of the Alzheimer's Prevention Program within the medical center's Alzheimer's Disease Center.

"Local 124 has long been committed to being a community partner" said Terry Akins, principal officer for IBEW 124. "Our involvement with not-for-profits like KU Endowment has continued to grow in recent years. I was particularly drawn to the KU Alzheimer's Center because the disease is so pervasive and terrible. Most of our members have been personally touched in one way or another by the disease. We want to help rid the world of Alzheimer's."

Jeff Burns, M.D., associate director of the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center, expressed appreciation for the gift. "Thanks to the support of the members of the IBEW, we will be able to accelerate our research efforts toward finding preventative measures, improved treatment and eventually a cure for this terrible disease," said Burns. "This donation will directly benefit the community in which their members live and work."

Akins said this union has 2,000 active construction members and provides health insurance for 9,000 people, including dependents and retirees. "Statistically speaking, Alzheimer's poses a huge exposure for our in-house health plan so, to a degree, it is self-preservation," said Akins. "But we also endorse the thought that a rising tide lifts all boats. It's the union way: ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.' So we're here to help."

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university's $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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