Bill and Judy Docking, longtime supporters of the University of Kansas' flagship campus in Lawrence, believe in the mission of KU School of Medicine-Wichita just as strongly. Their latest gift is $10,000 to support the development of young faculty in the Department of Family & Community Medicine.
"I appreciate the importance of there being a branch of KU School of Medicine in Wichita, and Salina as well," Bill Docking said. "I briefly served on the board of what is called 4-Wichita (a board overseeing expansion of the Wichita campus) and really got to understand the need then. And so we have followed with interest the progress that the Wichita branch is making and wanted to reach out and help in this way."
The need Docking refers to is for physicians to practice in underserved parts of Kansas, something that KU Wichita is focused on achieving.
Bill Docking is chairman of the board of Union State Bank of Arkansas City, while Judy is a retired nurse who cared for patients in Ark City and Ponca City, Oklahoma. Judy's daughter, Jennifer Worley, is an intensive care nurse at Alliance Healthcare Ponca City hospital.
The Docking family has a long history of service in Kansas. Bill is the son of former Gov. Robert Docking (1967-75) and the grandson of former Gov. George Docking (1957-61). His brother, Tom, served as lieutenant governor.
Bill and Tom were born in Lawrence and grew up in Arkansas City, where their father bought a majority interest in the bank in the mid 1950s. Bill earned a law degree from KU in 1973 and an MBA four years later. After working in Kansas City for seven years, he joined the Arkansas City bank in 1983.
Bill and Judy's first major gift to KU - $1 million - went to establish a professorship in the School of Business, create scholarships for law students and other purposes. They've previously donated $45,000 to KU Wichita, including $30,000 for its expansion in 2010.
Bill Docking said that after another gift, Dr. Rick Kellerman, chair of the Department of Family & Community Medicine, and Brad Rukes, development director for KU Wichita, "came to thank Judy and me for that contribution and to brief us on the progress that the School of Medicine is making in educating doctors who choose to stay in Kansas. I was so impressed with their presentation that I sent them a letter afterward saying Judy and I would like to make a contribution to be used for faculty development."
The money "is basically to provide enhancements for young faculty members," he added. "In one case it was to attend a national conference."
Union State Bank is currently in what Docking calls "growth mode," expanding in recent years with branches in Wichita and Bartlesville. While the bigger cities it serves have numerous physicians, Docking said the need for more physicians in small towns and rural areas is clear.
"It's essential that they have access to adequate health care."
Originally published by KU School of Medicine-Wichita,
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