A message from Dean Jackson

Happy New Year to all!

New faces are filling our halls. In January, we welcomed our 14th class of anesthesia assistant students, our eighth cohort of PA students, and MD track students at both of our campuses. This year’s class is the second at the UMKC School of Medicine St. Joseph campus. And we’re not done. We look forward to interviewing prospective students for our 51st class of BA/MD students who will enter in the summer of 2022. And in the fall, we will launch a one-year MBA program in collaboration with the Bloch School of Business. The program is structured for medical students who envision a career path as a leader in health care organization strategy.

We are also celebrating the expansion of our research initiative, which has grown extramural funding by 850% in the last five years. Our research work in surgical safety (Dr. Gary Sutkin), neurosciences (Drs. Paula Nichols and John Wang), vision sciences (Drs. Peter Koulen and Karl Kador), maternal fetal health (Dr. Nihar Nayak), and health equity (Dr. Jannette Berkley Patton) is flourishing. Under the leadership of Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair, Dr. Mamta Reddy, we have initiated a new program to teach the principles and practice of quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS). Ten faculty from our clinical affiliates have been invited to be members of the inaugural class. The yearlong QIPS program will prepare faculty to provide resources and collaboration for students and other interested faculty.

After our recent curricular retreat, we prioritized the focus on innovations to our medical curriculum. Our talented BMS faculty and course directors have navigated the pandemic challenges in medical education through enhanced virtual platforms for education delivery and our clinical faculty continue to teach students, residents and fellows embarking on rotations at our affiliates.

We not only commit to educating the next generation of health care professionals, providing cutting edge clinical care, and researching new treatments, but also to fostering community and partner collaborations. The community alliances are taking center stage as faculty like Dr. Berkley Patton promote health equity by engaging a myriad of investigators on the Health Science District campus. Our steadfast focus on equity, professionalism and ethics is essential as we address health care disparities and other emerging threats to our population. We will get beyond this pandemic as we anticipate the Omicron surge to diminish over the next four to six weeks. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, we stand shoulder to shoulder with all of our colleagues who are working tirelessly and look forward to the next stage as SARS CoV-2 declines and our society gets back to a more near normal.

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D. ’78
Dean, School of Medicine