Alumni join School of Medicine’s anesthesiologist assistant program faculty

Three UMKC School of Medicine’s Master of Science in Anesthesia program alumni have been selected for faculty leadership roles. They all have served as preceptors for many years and bring diversity in their clinical and leadership experiences, expertise and advocacy for the anesthesiologist assistant (AA) profession.

Jonathan Chambers, a 2010 graduate, has been selected to serve as director of didactic education.

Chambers, an anesthesiologist assistant at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, has been a clinical instructor since 2011. He will be responsible for classroom teaching as well as coaching the School of Medicine’s basic medical science faculty in adapting courses to the anesthesiologist assistant profession. He also will serve as chair of the curriculum committee and ensure that the program’s curriculum meets the standards of accrediting and certifying bodies.

Adam Petersen, a 2012 graduate, is the new director of simulation education.

Petersen served as an anesthesiologist assistant at Ozark Anesthesia Associates in Springfield, then joined Saint Luke’s Hospital Kansas City in 2016. He will oversee the program’s simulation education, including “boot camp,” which involves intensive simulation training the first six weeks of the program. Students then receive a weekly curriculum of simulation and skills training throughout their first year. Petersen also will work to incorporate additional simulation training in the second year of the program.

Maggie Munn, who graduated in 2014, has been named director of clinical education.

Munn is an anesthesiologist assistant at Saint Luke’s Hospital Kansas City, and has served as a clinical instructor at the School of Medicine since 2015. As clinical coordinator, she will be responsible for scheduling all first-, second-, and third-year students at their clinical rotation sites, and will ensure students are on pace to meet their clinical requirements. She also will coach students, providing feedback and helping them set goals for each rotation. Munn is active in advocacy for the AA profession. She has served on leadership committees with the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants since 2016 and as president and vice president of the Missouri chapter.

Many School of Medicine AA graduates and faculty are involved nationally with leadership roles within the AA profession. Matthew Pinegar, M.D., program medical director, is a member of the board of directors for the Accreditation Review Committee for Anesthesiologist Assistant. Lance Carter, program director, is a member of the exam-item writing committee for the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

The School of Medicine’s AA program started in 2008 and was the first AA program located west of the Mississippi. It is now one of 15 accredited AA educational programs throughout the country.

Established to help address the shortage of providers in anesthesia care, the program accepts up to 16 new students each year for admission and boasts a 100% certification exam pass rate and employment rate for its graduates. While certified anesthesiologist assistants can practice in 19 states and in Washington, D.C., the majority of UMKC graduates are employed in Missouri, where they deliver quality anesthesia care to patients.

Prerequisites for the program are a bachelor’s degree with pre-medical sciences classes and passage of the Medical College Admission Test or Graduate Record Examination. The 27-month program begins each January, and students receive more than 2,000 hours of hands-on clinical training with patients. A highlight of the UMKC AA program is the intense skills and simulation instruction in the clinical training facility, as well as experience in the operating room that begins in the first semester.


Pre-requisite Course Evaluation

Eligibility for the Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) program requires completion of the program’s pre-requisite courses, found by clicking here. In an effort to assist prospective students in evaluating their previous coursework for equivalency to the required pre-requisites, the School of Medicine Office of Admissions has provided information below for courses that have previously been evaluated for equivalency.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the high volume of courses offered that may meet the pre-requisite requirements, only courses that have been officially reviewed in the application process are posted below. If you have taken coursework that is not listed below, you may email a syllabus of the course to for official equivalency approval (and it will be posted below thereafter). This list is continually updated as courses are reviewed for approval.

Where do our students complete their clinical rotations?

MSA Program Affiliate Cities

Beginning in their second year, students will complete 4 or 8-week clinical rotations at hospitals and surgery centers throughout the Midwest and the United States. These rotations will further enhance their anesthesia experiences in general and orthopedic surgeries and also include rotations in the anesthesia sub-specialties of obstetrics, pediatrics, trauma, neuro, and cardiovascular surgery. The MSA program works with many sites across the country to continue expanding our network of cities with clinical affiliates that meet our program standards and curriculum needs.

Some of our growing list of affiliate cities includes:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Excelsior Springs, MO
  • Houston, TX
  • Kirksville, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • LaCrosse, WI
  • Leavenworth, KS
  • Liberty, MO
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Madison, WI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Springfield, MO
  • Springfield, OH
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Washington, DC

Where do Anesthesiologist Assistants practice?

Master of Science in Anesthesia Class of 2015
Master of Science in Anesthesia
Class of 2015 and faculty

Our students have a 100 percent job placement rate upon completion of the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program. These graduates have found jobs as anesthesiologist assistants in urban areas throughout Missouri and the United States, including:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Houston, TX
  • Kansas City, MO
  • LaCrosse, WI
  • Liberty, MO (KC suburb)
  • Madison, WI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Springfield, MO
  • St. Louis, MO
  • St. Peters, MO (St. Louis suburb)
  • Trinity, FL (Tampa Bay suburb)

Anesthesiology practices in many states employ Anesthesiologist Assistants as part of their anesthesia care team. Visit the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants website for a map of the states where Anesthesiologist Assistants currently practice.

Program Outcomes

Dedicated to the education & advancement of the anesthesia care team

The vision for the Master of Science in Anesthesia program is to provide a didactic and clinical environment producing anesthesiologist assistants who are integral components of the Anesthesia Care Team. Our graduates will be driven by compassion and guided by science and sound technical skills producing high quality and competent patient care. The students, graduates and faculty foster the belief of lifelong learning and service through academic endeavors and professional engagement.

Program Statistics

The MSA program reports a 100 percent pass rate for students attempting the NCCAA certifying exam, as well a 100 percent positive job placement rate. Approximately 80% of all program graduates have accepted post-graduation jobs in Missouri. 

UMKC School of Medicine

Anesthesiologist Assistant Program

Matriculation Year 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Number of Students initially enrolled 16 16 13 13 16 14 12 13
Attrition 1 0 3 2 0 2 3 4
Graduates 16 10 11 16 12  9  9
First-time Certification Exam Pass Rate 94% 100% 100% 92% 100% 78% 100%
Cumulative Certification Exam Pass Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%  100%
Positive Job Placement 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

The Master of Science in Anesthesia Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of Accreditation Review Committee for the Anesthesiologist Assistants.

25400 US Highway 19 North
Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763

Admissions Timeline

March: Application is Available

The application process involves three separate applications: the UMKC General Application for Admission, the CASAA application, and the School of Medicine MSA Student Portal.

August 15: Application Deadline

The CASAA application must be submitted and verified by this date, unless this date falls on a weekend, in which case the deadline will be the next business day. CASAA applications that are submitted or verified after the deadline will be considered late. The UMKC General Application for Admission and the UMKC application fee are also due by August 15. After the CASAA application has been verified, applicants will receive additional information on accessing the School of Medicine MSA Student Portal, reviewing the Technical Standards, verifying shadowing experiences and completing the final submission. The Technical Standards, shadowing verification and final submission must be complete two weeks after the application deadline. The latest MCAT/GRE score accepted is the July MCAT/GRE.

*If any of these materials are submitted after the deadlines provided, the application will be considered late and reviewed with other late applications at the discretion of the admissions committee. The admissions committee does not guarantee the review of applications that become complete late. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Once admissions decisions have been made, no other applications for admission will be considered.

September: Offers to Interview are Extended

Applicants selected for an interview or placed on the interview waitlist will be notified electronically. Applicants not selected for an interview will be notified electronically, as well.

All applicants selected for an interview must select and confirm a date for interview. All applicants must interview in person at the School of Medicine. Phone interviews are not permitted.

October: Interviews Take Place/Offers of Admission are Extended

Applicants offered admission will be notified electronically of their acceptance to the program. Students placed on the alternate list or denied to the program will also be notified electronically. All admission decisions are communicated electronically. Admission decisions are not communicated via phone. All decisions of the admissions committee are final.

January: Classes Begin

Students who have been offered admission and who have accepted the offer of admission will matriculate to the School of Medicine Master of Science in Anesthesia program in January.

Overview of the Profession


What is an Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA)?

Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs) are highly skilled health professionals who work under the direction of licensed anesthesiologists to implement anesthesia care plans.  AAs work exclusively within the anesthesia care team environment as described by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). 

All AAs possess a premedical background, a baccalaureate degree, and also complete a comprehensive didactic and clinical program at the graduate school level.  AAs are trained extensively in the delivery and maintenance of quality anesthesia care as well as advanced patient monitoring techniques.

Typical AA Job descriptions include:

The specific job descriptions and duties of AAs may differ according to local practice.  State law or board of medicine regulations or guidelines may further define the AA job description.

  • MSA_Profession1Making the initial approach to a patient of any age in any setting to obtain an appropriate and accurate pre-anesthetic health history, perform an appropriate physical examination and record pertinent data
  • Performing or assisting in the conduct of diagnostic laboratory and related studies as appropriate, such as drawing arterial and venous blood samples
  • Establishing non-invasive and invasive routine monitoring modalities
  • Assisting in the application and interpretation of advanced monitoring techniques such as pulmonary artery catheterization, electroencephalographic spectral analysis, echocardiography and evoked potentials
  • Assisting in the induction, maintaining and altering anesthesia levels, administering adjunctive treatment and providing continuity of anesthetic care into and during the post-operative recovery period
  • dsc_7254bAssisting in the use of advanced life support techniques, such as high frequency ventilation and intra-arterial cardiovascular assist devices
  • Assisting in making post-anesthesia patient rounds
  • Performing evaluation and treatment procedures essential to responding to life-threatening situations, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, on the basis of established protocols (basic life support, advance cardiac life support, and pediatric advanced life support)
  • Assisting in the performance of duties in intensive care units, pain clinics and other settings, as appropriate
  • Training and supervising personnel in the calibration, trouble shooting and use of patient monitors
  • Performing delegated administrative duties in an anesthesiology practice
  • Assisting in clinical instruction
Employment characteristics

Anesthesiologist assistants work as members of the anesthesia care team in any location where they may be appropriately directed by legally responsible anesthesiologists. The AAs most often work within organizations that also employ nurse anesthetists, and their responsibilities are identical. Experience to date has been that AAs are most commonly employed in larger facilities that perform procedures such as cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, transplant surgery, and trauma care, given the training in extensive patient monitoring devices and complex patients and procedures emphasized in AA educational programs. However, AAs are used in hospitals of all sizes and assist anesthesiologists in a variety of settings and for a wide range of procedures. Starting salaries for recent graduates range from $120,000 to $140,000 for the 40-hour work week plus benefits and consideration of on-call activity.

Faculty & Staff

Lance Carter, M.S.A., CAA

Associate Teaching Professor, Program Director – Anesthesiologist Assistant Program
Department(s) of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
UMKC School of Medicine
Carter, Lance
View Full Profile
Matthew Pinegar, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Medical Director - Anesthesiologist Assistant Program
Department(s) of Anesthesiology, Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
Saint Luke's Hospital
Pinegar, Matthew
View Full Profile
Program Staff
Laura Begley, Ed.D

Assistant Dean
Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
UMKC School of Medicine
Begley, Laura

Laura joined the UMKC staff in 2009 as Program Assistant for the Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) program and spent seven years as the program coordinator for the Office of Allied Health. During that time her work supported the achievement of continued accreditation for the Physician Assistant (PA) program. Her current role as Assistant Dean allows her to serve students in the MSA, PA, and Health Professions in Medicine programs. She serves as a member of the admissions committee for the AA & PA programs and previously served as a Copyright Advocate for the School of Medicine and an evaluator for the UMKC RooWriter writing assessment program.

Laura has more than 15 years of experience working in higher education and nonprofit organizations. In her personal time, Laura is committed to serving her community through the work of the Waldo Brookside Rotary Club. She is a proud charter member, as well as an acting executive board member of the club.

View Full Profile
Amber Blair

Student Support Specialist II
Department(s) of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
Blair, Amber
View Full Profile
Brioni Garvin

Student Support Specialist I
Department(s) of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
Garvin, Brioni
Program Faculty
Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., F.C.C.P.

Assistant Dean , Chair and Professor – Department of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
Department(s) of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Internal Medicine
Section: Pharmacology
UMKC School of Medicine
Banderas, Julie
Medicine M3-217
View Full Profile
Maria Cole, Ph.D., M.Ed.L.

Associate Teaching Professor
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences
Section: Anatomy
UMKC School of Medicine
Cole, Maria
View Full Profile
Theodore Cole, III, Ph.D.

Teaching Professor
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences
Section: Anatomy
UMKC School of Medicine
Cole, Theodore
View Full Profile
Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., M.B.A.

Professor, Vice Dean
Department(s) of Internal Medicine
Section: Pharmacology
UMKC School of Medicine, University Health - UMKC Health Sciences District

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Clinical Pharmacology

Cuddy, Paul
View Full Profile
Dan Hladky, AA-C

Assistant Teaching Professor
Department(s) of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
UMKC School of Medicine
Hladky, Dan
View Full Profile
Mary Hladky, M.S.A., C.A.A.

Clinical Instructor
Department(s) of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
UMKC School of Medicine
Hladky, Mary
View Full Profile
Trent Platz, M.M.Sc., C.A.A.

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department(s) of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine
UMKC School of Medicine
Platz, Trent
View Full Profile
Chad D. Touchberry, Ph.D., M.S.

Assistant Teaching Professor
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences
UMKC School of Medicine
Touchberry, Chad D.
View Full Profile
Michael Wacker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Associate Dean - Academic Affairs, Vice-chair - Biomedical Science
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences
Section: Physiology
UMKC School of Medicine Wacker, Michael

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Cardiology, Cell Biology

Wacker, Michael
HSB 2232
View Full Profile
James Wooten, Pharm.D.

Associate Professor
Department(s) of Internal Medicine
Section: Pharmacology
UMKC School of Medicine, University Health - UMKC Health Sciences District

Specialties and Research/Medical Interests

Clinical Pharmacology

Wooten, James
View Full Profile

Campus Visit Options


The UMKC School of Medicine offers prospective MSA students the opportunity to visit the Health Sciences Campus to learn about the MSA Program curriculum and selection process.

Virtual & On Campus Visits

The School of Medicine offers virtual information sessions for the MSA program that allow students to meet with an admissions representative, as well as, staff from the MSA program. Prospective students will have the opportunity to ask questions of the program director and/or a faculty member.

Thursday, September 15 (On Campus)

Thursday, October 27 (On Campus)

Thursday, November 10 (Virtual)

Thursday, December 15 (On Campus)

If registration becomes full or you are looking to register less than one week prior to the event, please contact the Office of Admissions at 816-235-1870 or

Costs & Financial Aid

It is important to take into consideration the cost of your graduate education and your individual financial needs.  Financial planning for the MSA program should include estimated tuition and fees, supply costs and living expenses.

MSA Program Estimated Education Fees, 2021-2022

The estimated annual educational fees for 2021-2022 provide estimated financial costs to assist you in planning.  These estimated expenses are subject to change without notice.

Semester Expense Estimate
Summer Resident Tuition $8,075.50 (per semester)
  Non-Resident Tuition $9,642.80 (per semester)
Fall/Spring Resident Tuition $12,283.10 (per semester)
Non-Resident Tuition $14,666.20 (per semester)

All numbers above are approximate and do not include additional university and program fees or any living expenses. For exact tuition and fee figures, please see the Cashiers Office Website. MSA Program tuition and fees are set per semester and are not determined by credit hours. Tuition assistance may be provided by the School of Medicine.

Financial Aid

The UMKC Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can assist with providing additional information regarding financial aid programs, including federal and state grant and loan programs.  In addition, the UMKC Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships can offer you more information on the types of expenses you can expect, as well as the type of assistance that might be available to you.

In general, students interested in merit or need-based financial aid may be eligible for various loans, grants and/or other financial aid programs. To be considered for such programs, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available through the UMKC Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships or online at

The priority date for filing the FAFSA is February 1.

For additional financial aid information, contact:
UMKC Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships
University of Missouri-Kansas City
101 Administrative Center
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2449
Phone: 816-235-1154
Web site:

External Scholarship Opportunities Anesthesia Scholarship
AAAA Diversity Scholarship