The first Dane G. Hansen Foundation Professorship of Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Salina has been named. The recipient, Michael Robinson, Ph.D. is the associate Dean for Foundational Sciences at the school.
An investiture ceremony was held at Salina Regional Health Center in Salina on October 20.
Gary Poore, a member of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation Board of Trustees, spoke at the event.
Mr. Poore said, “Although Mr. Hansen died in 1965, his vision of nurturing the residents of northwest Kansas continues through the charitable foundation he established.”
He noted that the establishment of the medical school in Salina would be instrumental in improving accessibility to quality healthcare in northwest Kansas.
“It attracts students that understand rural Kansas; the area that Mr. Hansen thought was the best part of the state,” he said.
The professorship is a 20-year commitment of $50,000 per year by the Foundation to the school for this faculty position.
The relationship between the Hansen Foundation and the KU School of Medicine at Salina began shortly after the establishment of the school- the smallest medical school in the country. In 2011, the Foundation trustees approached Dean William Cathcart-Rake, M.D., about establishing a scholarship for medical students that would practice in northwest Kansas after graduation. From that conversation, the Foundation provided two gifts to the school.
A $100,000 grant assisted with the initial remodeling and ongoing maintenance of the school’s home on the Salina Regional Health Center campus.
A $50,000 donation created a scholarship pool that allows the medical school faculty to award tuition assistance to a student they believe is likely to establish a practice in northwest Kansas.
The Foundation has since added $125,000 to the scholarship fund and provided $75,000 for some needed equipment.
“The Dane G. Hansen Foundation has been absolutely wonderful to us,” said Dr. Cathcart-Rake. “It seems like I send a letter every week thanking them for something they have done for us.”
Dr. Robinson is originally from Derby, England. His father was a butcher. His career path started there. According to Dr. Cathcart-Rake, it was his exposure to tape worm and liver flukes infesting the butchered animals that stimulated his interest in pursuing his Ph.D. in parasite immunology at the University of Nottingham. Subsequently, Dr. Robinson did a research fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He has since worked at the University of London, North Dakota State University, North Georgia College and State University, and Ross University School of Medicine. He joined the basic science faculty at KU School of Medicine in Salina in 2011.
The Dane G. Hansen Foundation serves 26 counties in northwest Kansas. The Foundation’s mission is to better the communities and improve the quality of life for the residents of those counties.