It’s Official: Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Will Join Rockhurst University

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Rockhurst Bell Tower

The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits Rockhurst University, has approved the University’s application to acquire the Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences — a move that will significantly expand Rockhurst’s ability to meet the region’s growing need for health care professionals.

The transaction is anticipated to close at the beginning of May and the College will become part of Rockhurst and be known as Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences at Rockhurst University. The new academic division will bring approximately 700 additional students to Rockhurst in an array of associate, bachelor’s, master’s and certificate programs that are accessible to students with a variety of scheduling needs.

“We have already begun to get acquainted with our new companions from Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences and we are excited about the many possibilities this partnership creates for students, the health care community and our entire region,” said Rockhurst University President the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J.

Rockhurst University’s strong academic reputation played a role in Saint Luke’s interest in uniting the two institutions, according to Jani Johnson, CEO, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

“Saint Luke’s is incredibly proud of the Health Sciences programs we have built, and the thousands of health care providers we’ve trained and educated over the years,” said Johnson. “It’s now time for Rockhurst University to take the banner and lead this program for the next generation of health care leaders. We’re gratified to entrust this responsibility to such a respected institution. We’re confident they will enhance and grow the College for many years to come.”

Becoming part of Rockhurst University will allow the College to broaden its reach, according to Dr. Hubert Benitez, president and CEO of Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences.

“This partnership will further assist us in fulfilling our mission to increase access to our diverse student population. In doing so, we will continue making a difference, one student and one family at a time,” said Benitez.

For now, classes in the College will continue to be held in Saint Luke’s College’s building at 624 Westport Road. The College is expected to move to the Rockhurst University campus in 2022 following a complete renovation of Sedgwick Hall to accommodate the expanded offerings in health care. Much of the original façade will be retained and interior space renovated, with a new addition extending into the interior of the campus. The 55,000-square-foot facility will provide the latest in classroom technology and simulated clinical experiences for educating the next generation of health science professionals.

Rockhurst has partnered with Helix Architecture + Design, Co Architects and JE Dunn Construction on the project. Interior demolition began in January and construction is expected to begin in fall 2020.