Donation Honors Son - Dr. Gary Benton Remembered

South Central Kansas Medical Center (SCKMC) announced a significant gift in memory of Arkansas City native, Dr. Gary S. Benton, for its "Building a Future of Excellence" program. The $25,000 gift was provided by his parents, Charlie and Mary Benton, and brother, Greg Benton, all of Arkansas City. In making the announcement, SCKMC said that the pre/post operative care area of the new hospital would be named for Dr. Gary Benton, who passed away in July 2010. The new space will provide comfortable and efficient surrounds for all patients before and following their surgeries.

In making the announcement SCKMC CEO Steve Perkins said," We are pleased and honored that the family would choose to remember their wonderful son and brother in this manner. Dr. Benton was an outstanding surgeon and wonderful human being and having this important patient care area named for him is ideal."

Mr. and Mrs. Benton said, "We have always been active in and committed to Arkansas City and we felt this is a way for us to do something special for the community and to honor Gary. He looked forward to one day returning here to live."

Dr. Benton was very highly regarded in the Kansas medical community and loved by his patients, colleagues and facility staff members because of his outstanding surgical skills and warm personality. Most recently he was Chair and Medical Director of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, DeBakey Heart Institute of Kansas in Hays. Prior to his move to Hays in 2005, he was a longtime surgeon with the Wichita Surgical Specialists. Dr. Benton received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. At the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals in Richmond, Dr. Benton completed his internship and residencies in general surgery, serving as Chief Resident. He completed his Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at that same institution. Born and raised in Arkansas City, Dr. Benton attended the local schools then received his Bachelor of Science degree Summa Cum Laude from Washburn University in Topeka.

Over the years, Dr. Benton remained close to family, friends and physician colleagues in Arkansas City. He was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed hunting and fishing and supported many outdoor related organizations. Commenting of thefamily's gift, brother Greg Benton said, "Gary was a special person and this is a special community. Supporting the community in this way made seemed logical."

This is the second major donation received by SCKMC for the Building a Future of Excellence campaign within the past month.
"The Benton's donation will significantly benefit the new replacement facility. SCKMC's future is centered on excellence. The generosity and vision of Mary, Charlie and Greg Benton will help achieve that and is deeply appreciated by all those connected with this institution," said Perkins.