Kentucky Senate includes UofL Health request for $25 million cancer center in budget proposal 

Republished from Kentucky Lantern


FRANKFORT — In its newly-released budget proposals, the Kentucky Senate has included a $25 million allocation to UofL Health after the Louisville system asked for help in building a rural cancer center in Bullitt County. 

Sen. Chris McDaniel presented the Senate’s edits to the House budget Wednesday in the Appropriations and Revenue Committee, which he chairs. 

UofL Health wants to build new cancer center, needs $25 million from Kentucky General Assembly  

McDaniel said that the decision to invest in this center — as well as a separate $12 million investment for a cancer center in Middlesboro — comes as the state tries to “push some cancer care out further and into more of our rural communities.”  

Getting through traffic in cities like Louisville can be a barrier to care for some patients who are used to driving in rural areas, the Lantern previously reported. UofL wants to build the Center for Rural Cancer Education and Research in Bullitt County off Exit 121. 

“We’re just trying to get more Kentucky-based care for Kentucky citizens as part of that transformational effect,” McDaniel said. 

In 2021, more than 10,000 Kentuckians died with cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kentucky has the nation’s third highest rate of cancer deaths, better than only Mississippi and West Virginia. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the state and nation, behind heart disease. 

The Senate must still work with the House and come to an agreement on the final version of the budget. 

Dr. Jason Chesney, the chief administrative officer for UofL Health’s Brown Cancer Center said in a statement that the health system “applauds” the Senate budget “for recognizing the need to increase access to cancer care, especially clinical trials, for many in western Kentucky.” 

“We look forward to the Center for Rural Cancer Education and Research, in Bullitt County, being in the final approved budget.”

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