Introducing Kansas City's new
Health Sciences District
A cooperative partnership formed by 12 neighboring health care institutions on Hospital Hill.

What is it?

The UMKC Health Sciences District was formed in May 2017 and strives to be a premier academic health district, engaging in cutting-edge biomedical research and entrepreneurship, delivering state-of-the-science health care, and educating the next generation of health care professionals.

Health Care Partners

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City and its
    • School of Medicine
    • School of Dentistry
    • School of Nursing and Health Studies
    • School of Pharmacy
  • Truman Medical Centers
    • University Health
  • Children’s Mercy
  • Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department
  • Missouri Department of Mental Health Center for Behavioral Medicine
  • Jackson County Medical Examiner
  • Diastole Scholars’ Center
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City
  • Charlie’s House

 

 


 

What is its purpose?

The UMKC Health Sciences District brings together health care partners in the Hospital Hill area. Working as one, they will create new potential for collaboration on research, grants, community outreach and shared wellness for employees, faculty, students and surrounding neighborhoods.

The UMKC Health Sciences District represents a new chapter in advancing health care, outreach and medical education throughout greater Kansas City.

 

  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • School of Pharmacy
  • Truman Medical Centers
  • University Health
  • Children’s Mercy
  • Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department
  • Center for Behavioral Medicine
  • Jackson County Medical Examiner
  • Diastole Scholars’ Center
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City

UMKC Health Sciences District Map

 

UMKC Health Sciences District By the Numbers

 

 

Alumni:

21,220

Students:

3,311

Residency and Fellowship Programs:

77

Residents and Fellows:

511

Degree Programs:

19

Employees:

12,814

External funding:

Research Faculty have attracted external funding totaling:
$30,299,512

Outpatient Visits:

458,070

District Events

Follow our calendar to keep up with events and activities of the UMKC Health Sciences District and its members.

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In the News

The UMKC Health Sciences District, consisting of 12 partner institutions, is committed to sharing news of collective and individual partner efforts to enhance and expand health care research and community outreach throughout Kansas City and the surrounding region.

UMKC Awarded $5 Million to Fight COVID on the East Side

Jackson County approves CARES Act funding to promote vaccinations and other preventive care

The Jackson County Legislature has appropriated about $5 million in CARES Act funding to a project led by the University of Missouri-Kansas City to promote and deliver widespread COVID-19 vaccinations and other health services to neighborhoods on Kansas City’s east side, the city’s most socially vulnerable community.

Our Healthy KC Eastside (OHKCE) has been developed through a community-engaged process that included input from 10 meetings with community stakeholders across the east side. Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., professor in the UMKC School of Medicine and director of the university’s Health Equity Institute, is leading the project.

The project’s primary goals are to address vaccine hesitancy and health inequities in portions of Jackson County identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having exceedingly high socially vulnerable index scores. The project will run from June 1 until Nov. 31.

“We are eager for the opportunity to partner with Jackson County on this project, and address health disparities related to COVID,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “Thanks to Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton and her research, we have a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead of us – and the critical relationships that will ensure the program’s success.”

The COVID-19 education, communication and vaccination project will work with partners including Truman Medical Centers, the Kansas City Health Department and the Black Health Care Coalition. Other UMKC partners include the schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing and Health Sciences; Center for Neighborhoods, Multicultural Student Services Center and Roos Advocating for Community Change.

To reach people in the community, the project will engage with more than 120 community leaders and liaisons in east side neighborhoods, including businesses, churches, neighborhood associations and youth organizations.

According to the university’s funding proposal,  the east side has experienced some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths in Jackson County while low vaccination rates persist. COVID-19 has also contributed to a drastic reduction in use of preventive health services.

Published: May 10, 2021



COVID-19 Vaccine Answers From the UMKC Health Sciences Deans

UMKC is one of the fortunate few universities in the U.S. to have its health professions schools clustered on one campus, and its medical, nursing, pharmacy and dental faculty and students have been on the front lines fighting this pandemic since the beginning.

This Q & A round table with the UMKC Health Sciences Campus deans will be updated often with the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine, its effects, distribution and developments.

Mary Anne Jackson, dean of the School of Medicine; Russ Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy and interim dean of the School of Dentistry; and Joy Roberts, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, are involved in leading vaccination efforts for our campus and Kansas City area communities.

After you get the vaccine, should you still follow social distancing guidelines? Should you still quarantine if you’re exposed to someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19?

Jackson: Yes, you should still mask and socially distance. The CDC just came out with new guidelines on quarantining. You do not need to if it’s been two weeks or longer after your second dose.

Currently, there are two companies that have two-dose vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer. How are they being distributed?

Jackson: States are distributing, and there is no clarity on how many doses each site is given. It is in a tiered system, with frontline workers receiving in the first tier. (Here are the tiered vaccination distribution plans for Missouri and Kansas).

Roberts: Distribution of the vaccine from the federal government to the states has been a tremendous challenge. Once the supply is large enough and is rapidly distributed to the states, the benefit to Americans will be clearly visible.

Melchert: We are preparing and beginning to plan how we might more broadly impact our communities and especially those in Phase 1A, Phase 1B Tier 1 and Tier 2 who are currently eligible. Teaming with our regional and state partners to leverage our assets with theirs is essential to efficiently reach those who are eligible to receive the vaccine. To that end, we need to get vaccine and we are trying. It is really difficult right now with the short supply and high demand. However, I suppose the high demand is a good thing because the more folks who get vaccinated, the more likely we are to achieve “community immunity.”

How should people sign up for the vaccine?

Jackson: The best strategy is to register in multiple places, with your county, and with your primary-care physician on their websites (In Missouri, here are the JacksonClay and Platte county sites; in Kansas, here are the Johnson and Wyandotte county sites).

What is getting the vaccine like?

Roberts: The vaccine injection was done by the very skilled registered nurses at Truman Medical Center. The injection was not any more painful than any other shot, however the muscle was later sore for about 8 hours. After that, there were no issues. Our partners at TMC are operating a very well organized vaccination clinic providing expert nursing care and safety measures.

How effective is the vaccine?

Jackson: Both the Moderna and Pfizer have high rates of effectiveness, including against the UK B117 variant (a newer mutation believed to be more infectious) and has some coverage against the more mutated South African strain. It cannot give the infection, none of the vaccines contain live virus. It won’t change your DNA – it uses small amounts of messenger RNA that guides your body to make the antibodies, then breaks down; it cannot enter your DNA. It won’t cause infertility; there is no link to miscarriages or infertility. Still, those who are pregnant should consult with their physician.

How has UMKC helped the community with the vaccine?

Melchert: The School of Pharmacy has an army of student pharmacists and faculty pharmacists who are certified and very experienced with providing vaccinations, including the wonderful work they do every year to provide influenza vaccines for the UMKC community. Many of our students and faculty are also participating with many of our partner organizations in Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and around the state. Dr. Cameron Lindsey and her team are partnering with the Medical Research Corp of Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Dental Society, the Missouri Dental Association, KC CARE Health Center and others to offer a clinic in February for local area health practitioners, especially dental practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and emergency medical technicians and others in Phase 1A who have not otherwise had an opportunity to get vaccinated. Keeping our health care providers protected will increase capacity to serve those needing services.

Roberts: The School of Nursing and Health Studies has students and faculty who are educated and skilled vaccinators, ready to assist in the immunization effort as soon as mass vaccination sites have enough vaccine available. Our students have had the option to volunteer as COVID testers and as vaccinators at various sites in the metro area, including at the UMKC Student Health Center.

Jackson: Besides being vaccinators, we provide information about the vaccine at forums. The School of Medicine hosted “COVID Vaccine: Fact or Fiction,” a virtual community-wide forum with school faculty and alumni physicians on Feb. 4.

Tell us about the latest developments with the vaccine.

Jackson: Upon approval, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a good safety and effectiveness profile, a single dosage and no cold chain issues (they don’t require the ultra-cold storage like the current vaccines do), which makes this vaccine a potential game changer if we can get a large supply.

Give us your final thoughts about the vaccine.

Roberts: The COVID 19 pandemic has been a colossal challenge to the United States. The rapid creation of a safe, effective vaccine is nothing short of miraculous. This vaccine needs to be distributed as quickly as possible to all Americans, utilizing every trained vaccinator from registered nurses to pharmacists to physicians, while at the same time being shared globally. It will take immunizing the global population to end this pandemic.

Jackson: There are no restrictions on who can receive. The oldest and those with immune-compromising conditions may not have immune response that is as good as those who are younger and healthier, but there is no downside to the vaccine.

Melchert: The vaccine is a huge step for us to combat COVID. The more informed we can be about the safety of the vaccine, the more people can benefit from the protection it provides. However, keeping each other safe, even with the vaccine, includes continuing to be vigilant with wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and remaining at home when you have symptoms.

Original Story: https://www.umkc.edu/news/posts/2021/january/covid-19-vaccine-answers-from-the-umkc-health-sciences-deans.html 

 



Grant will help Black churches fight COVID-19

Grant will help Black churches fight COVID-19

Berkley-Patton, JanetteCOVID-19 has infected, hospitalized and killed Black Americans at a higher rate compared with whites. As it has with other health disparities, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is going to partner with churches to fight this one. The National Institutes of Health has awarded UMKC a two-year, $1.9 million grant to do so as part of its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative.

“By working with 16 churches, which are trusted institutions in the African American community, we will greatly expand COVID-19 testing opportunities and access to care in low-income areas of Kansas City,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant, director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute and a professor at the School of Medicine. “This RADx-UP grant will help people who probably never would have gotten tested get the support they need.”

The team of investigators on the grant are from UMKC, Children’s Mercy, University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Massachusetts, University of California-San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University. In addition to churches and their leaders and members, they will work in partnership with Calvary Community Outreach Network and the Kansas City Health Department for testing, contact tracing and linkage to care services.

“By working with 16 churches, which are trusted institutions in the African American community, we will greatly expand COVID-19 testing opportunities and access to care in low-income areas of Kansas City. This RADx-UP grant will help people who probably never would have gotten tested get the support they need.” – Jannette Berkley-Patton

“One of our aims with the grant is to not only expand testing but to also help get the community prepared for the vaccine,” said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., an investigator of the grant, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine and an infectious disease expert at Children’s Mercy. “Vaccine confidence relies on trust and transparent communication of vaccine science and safety. The mistrust among people of color about the COVID-19 vaccine stems back toward experience in other research impacting this population, namely the Tuskegee trials in 1932 to study syphilis where Black males were not provided treatment.”

Key social determinants contribute to the disparities for Blacks and COVID-19 including essential public-facing jobs, cultural norms like medical and contact tracing mistrust and limited access to health care. African Americans also have a high burden of chronic health conditions including obesity, diabetes and heart disease, which put them at an increased risk for COVID-19.

Studies, including UMKC investigations led by Berkley-Patton, have shown that community-engaged research with African American churches has led to health screening uptake for HIV and STD testing and reducing risks for diabetes. Yet, no proven COVID-19 testing interventions exist for African American churches, which have wide reach and influence in their communities, high attendance rates and supportive health and social services for community members.

At churches, the grant aims to reach people through sermons, testimonials, church bulletins, and text messages. This also includes faith leaders promoting testing – and getting tested in front of their congregations – so that people can actually see what the testing process looks like.

To date, Berkley-Patton’s work has been supported by more than $12 million in federal grants over the past 14 years. The community-engaged research she has conducted in partnership with faith communities has benefited people in the Kansas City area as well as Alabama and Jamaica.

“At UMKC, we fight racial inequity at all levels, and that includes life-saving health care at our public urban research university,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We are proud of the work Dr. Berkley-Patton is leading through proven strategies at places of worship. We know this team of investigators and their partners will help keep our community safer from COVID-19.”

Link to Original Story written by Kelly Edwards: https://med.umkc.edu/grant-will-help-black-churches-fight-covid-19/ 



Hospital Hill Run Announces Official 2021 Charity Partner in Children’s Mercy

Hospital Hill Run is proud to announce Children’s Mercy as its 2021 official charity partner. Runners will have the option to fundraise in 2021 to raise awareness and funds for the I love Children’s Mercy Fund, which provides advanced medical treatments, compassionate care and world-class research to kids across the region.

“As we approach our 48th year in June, we’re excited to announce the launch of a Hospital Hill Run fundraiser for Children’s Mercy,” said Lisa Drake, Race Director of the Hospital Hill Run. “Runners can now fundraise to earn prizes and create and join teams while participating in our Half Marathon, 10k or 5k.”

A portion of every race entry, along with 100% of funds raised through the Hospital Hill Run fundraiser, will go directly to Children’s Mercy to fuel research and care for children and their families.

Promoting health and wellness through physical activity while giving back to the community is core to Hospital Hill Run’s mission.

“As two long-standing fixtures within our community, we are thrilled to partner with Children’s Mercy, who stands with us in our focus on health and wellness and makes such an incredible impact for children within our community.”

“With our race born out of the hospital community in 1974, it is only fitting to come back to our roots and focus our charitable efforts on Children’s Mercy, located on our racecourse on Hospital Hill,” said Drake.

To view more information about the fundraising options, visit hospitalhillrun.com or follow @hospitalhillrun on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

For more information, contact Lisa Drake at lisa@hospitalhillrun.com

 About Hospital Hill Run

 What began in 1974 with 99 athletes paying a $1 fee to run a 6.8-mile course starting and ending in Crown Center, has evolved into an annual Kansas City running Tradition that regularly hosts thousands of athletes from all over the country. Hospital Hill Run was recognized in 2020 by the Pitch Magazine as the reader’s choice award winner for best-organized footrace in Kansas City, MO. The 48th annual Hospital is set for June 5, 2021, featuring 5k, 10k, and half-marathon distances.

For more information regarding Hospital Hill Run, go to www.hospitalhillrun.com.

 About Children’s Mercy

Founded in 1897, Children’s Mercy is a leading independent children’s health organization dedicated to holistic care, translational research, educating caregivers and breakthrough innovation to create a world of well-being for all children. With not-for-profit hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, and numerous specialty clinics in both states, Children’s Mercy provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21. U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly ranked Children’s Mercy as one of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.” For the fifth consecutive time in a row, Children’s Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to only about 8% of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. More than 850 pediatric subspecialists, researchers and faculty across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and education of the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. Thanks to generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s Mercy provides hope, comfort and the prospect of brighter tomorrows to every child who passes through its doors. Visit Children’s Mercy and the Children’s Mercy Research Institute to learn more, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for the latest news and videos.

 Contact: Lisa Drake, Race Director at Lisa@hospitalhillrun.com



UMKC and National Network Awarded $30 Million-Plus to Tackle Opioid Epidemic

5 ways this coalition has helped people in the Kansas City area and more than 3 million nationally

Closeup shot of pills on table

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is a key collaborator on a recently awarded $30 million-plus project to address the opioid and stimulant crises across the nation. The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry is the award recipient working with UMKC and Columbia University to lead an unprecedented coalition of 40 national professional organizations on the project.

The UMKC partner in the effort is the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network Office at the School of Nursing and Health Studies. The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration supports the ongoing work of the Opioid Response Network, originally funded in 2018. To date, the initiative has reached more than 3 million people with education and training to mitigate opioid and stimulant use provided at no cost.

“We’re proud of the network we’ve built nationally, regionally and locally,” says Holly Hagle, co-director of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, UMKC assistant research professor and UMKC site principal investigator. “This literally started with a budget on a napkin of what could be done.”

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network Office at UMKC is part of the Collaborative to Advance Health Services at the School of Nursing and Health Studies, which has about 30 employees.

“Helping people with substance-use disorders would not be possible without the foundational work of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center located at UMKC since 1993 and collaborating with universities across the country,” says Laurie Krom, principal investigator and co-director of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network Office and UMKC program director. “There have been a lot of people who have put in countless hours of effort and unyielding passion to develop the network.”

“This latest grant, and the ongoing long-term exceptional performance of the Collaborative to Advance Health Services, exemplifies UMKC leadership in healthcare research and service,” said Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal.  “Our School of Nursing and Health Studies is at the forefront of national efforts to address the scourge of opioid addiction.”

The new two-year grant began Sept. 30. The Opioid Response Network also intends to expand its support for justice and corrections settings, grow its culturally specific work groups, such as its American Indian/ Alaska Native committee and create new work groups for African Americans, LGBTQ and rural communities. Recognizing the impact stimulant use is having across the country, the network plans to expand resources to provide more educational services in this area – a need that is especially relevant locally.

Based on requests, here is how the network has helped people in the Kansas City area and regionally:

  • Provided consultation and support on evidence-based strategies for establishing a recovery high school to a local Kansas City businessman.
  • Presented a treatment and recovery-based training series to Jackson County Family Court personnel, including judges, guardians, social workers, juvenile correction personnel and private attorneys. This training included an overview of opioid-use treatment from a medical and behavioral health perspective, a local recovery subject-matter expert with lived experience and an anti-stigma training.
  • Consulted a Kansas City-based recovery coalition to help the organization collect information, strategize and plan an initiative to increase the number of recovery housing beds available in the metro area, which included applying the National Alliance for Recovery Residences’ accreditation processes and other recovery supports.
  • Developed and support a regular meeting of medical directors and treatment staff from opioid treatment programs in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska, providing opportunities for sharing ideas around treatment and operational issues. This meeting became a vital connection for the participants after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the region. Many programs had to pivot quickly to begin providing services virtually via telehealth and develop safety guidelines for in-person services.
  • Translated patient education materials on opioid use disorder in Burmese, Somali and Rohingya for a community hospital in rural western Kansas located near a meat packing plant. The hospital is treating people with limited English language proficiency and had no materials in those respective languages to describe opioid-use disorder symptoms and treatments.



Health equity mini-grants aim to jump start collaborative research

Funding from institute encourages UMKC-community research partnerships. Informational webinar on the grants Oct. 16; applications due Nov. 9.

Research to encourage fitness, access to care and better community outcomes

Making access to health care more equal is a tough task, and a pandemic only makes the job tougher. To help, the UMKC Health Equity Institute is trying a new tool — mini-grants to university researchers and their community partners — to boost those efforts.

“We have about $12,000 to $15,000 spend, and we think putting $1,000 to $2,000 in the right places could help eight to 10 projects move forward,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., the director of the institute and a professor in the UMKC School of Medicine. “Sometimes help paying for study participants, software, consultants or other resources can make a real difference.”

Though small, the grants could be the seed money — or the Miracle-Gro® — needed to turn ideas into budding projects that encourage and measure the effectiveness of community health efforts.

The brief application for the mini-grant program is available now, and institute members are encouraging researchers and community groups to submit their joint applications. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a webinar Oct. 16 to learn information about the mini-grants. Important information, such as budget documents and the grant program overview, are available, as well.

Applicants will have until Nov. 9 to submit their proposals, after which finalists will be chosen. The finalists then will give short oral presentations and recipients will be chosen. The institute plans to have the funds available at the beginning of 2021.

“We’re hoping the mini-grants stimulate our researchers to be creative and to collaborate with community partners — or build relationships with new partners,” Berkley-Patton said. “The institute’s steering committee will evaluate the applications, and we hope to have applicants make a brief, but impactful, oral pitch for their proposals sometime this fall in a virtual presentation akin to “Shark Tank®.”

The idea behind the Health Equity Institute, an initiative Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal started in April 2019, is to partner UMKC researchers with community groups, non-profits and government agencies in underserved areas on projects that aim to improve community health.

“We’re hoping the mini-grants stimulate our researchers to be creative and to collaborate with community partners — or build relationships with new partners.” — Jannette Berkley-Patton

The institute, for example, is working with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to evaluate the impact of the city’s now-free bus service on health outcomes. The institute wants to understand whether their recruited residents’ health and overall well-being improve because they walk more and have better access to jobs and health care through the free transit system. The institute has also helped the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department conduct COVID-19 drive-through testing by coordinating more than 90 student volunteers. The students helped with intake, traffic control and providing COVID-19 information to people seeking testing.

The institute also helped with formation of an interfaith ministers’ group, the Clergy Response Network,

founded to address COVID-19 inequities in Kansas City’s faith-based settings, and has created a church reopening checklist for clergy. The network recently received 30,000 face masks to distribute to congregations to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Berkley-Patton is a veteran of community-based health research, including studies that engage churches and other community-based organizations’ in efforts to combat health disparity issues such as HIV and other STDs, mental health, obesity and diabetes.

“We need more research projects that improve the health of people where they live, play, worship and work, and projects that can be sustained for the long haul after research shows they work,” Berkley-Patton said. “We think these mini-grants can get more projects like these up and running while engaging the community in research efforts that we hope will reduce disparities and improve health in Kansas City’s urban areas.”

For more information on the mini-grant program, visit the Health Equity Institute website.

 

Published: Oct 6, 2020



Beams of Light to Treat Diabetes: UMKC Invention Gets Federal Funding Boost

Beams of Light to Treat Diabetes: UMKC Invention Gets Federal Funding Boost

Pharmacy researcher awarded $1.5 million NIH grant to refine innovation

Simon Friedman, at right, with one of the researchers on his team.Simon Friedman, at right, stands in his lab talking to a researcher on the team.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue work on an important advancement to help treat the tens of millions of people who have diabetes.

The lifetime burden of constantly checking blood sugar and injecting insulin is significant. UMKC research has developed a way of delivering insulin to diabetics that eliminates pumps and most injections.

“We’re aiming to improve the lives of diabetics all over the world,” said UMKC pharmacy professor Simon Friedman, the principal investigator on the grant.

Normally, diabetics must inject themselves with insulin numerous times per day to enable the body to absorb blood sugar. The amount of insulin needed and timing vary with what an individual eats and their activity level. With blood glucose continuously varying, the insulin requirement parallels the amount of glucose in the blood.

The only clinically-used method to permit continuously variable delivery of therapeutic proteins like insulin is a pump. But they do so at a high cost:  a physical connection to the outside of the patient, where the drug reservoir resides, and the inside of the patient, where drug absorption will ultimately take place. This connection in insulin pumps is a cannula — or needle — which can be dislodged, crimped, snagged, infected and most importantly, rapidly gets biofouled from moisture after implantation. This leads to variable and unpredictable delivery.

For several years, Friedman and his lab associates have been developing a method in which a single injection of a material called a PAD (photo-activated depot) can take the place of multiple normal insulin injections and allow for minute-by-minute automatic updating of insulin release. The material is injected into the skin like insulin, but lies dormant until a beam of light stimulates release of insulin, in response to blood sugar information.

The new grant will help make the technology more reliable for someone to use and easier to manage.

“With the improvements, we anticipate creating a new and revolutionary approach to continuously variable protein delivery, one that minimizes invasiveness and maximizes the close matching of therapeutic with patient requirements,” Friedman said.

Karen Kover, associate professor of pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine and Children’s Mercy, has been an integral member of the research team for years, and Friedman is grateful for her collaboration.

Reviewers of the grant application praised the work, and Friedman, who has won previous NIH funding, said this was his highest rated grant award.

“We are grateful for the enthusiastic response from the NIH study section, given the very competitive nature of funding at this time during the pandemic,” said UMKC Vice Chancellor for Research Chris Liu.

The project is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the NIH.

In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. Patients need insulin to process sugar from meals.

People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their bodies don’t respond well to it. At first the pancreas produces extra insulin to make up for it. But over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep blood sugar at normal levels.

About 34.2 million children and adults in the U.S. — 10.5% of the population — have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 25 percent use insulin shots. About 86 million people ages 20 and older in the U.S. have prediabetes.

Complications from diabetes include heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system damage and amputation.

People with diabetes risk more serious complications from COVID-19 than others who do not have the disease.

“Through research at UMKC, we strive to improve the health of not just our community but our entire population,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We are proud of Dr. Friedman and his team’s innovation, which could significantly benefit people around the world.”

Published: Jul 8, 2020



UMKC School of Medicine Approved to Expand Its Program in Missouri

New campus in St. Joseph in partnership with Mosaic Life Care will increase rural health care

A photo of Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, MissouriA new UMKC School of Medicine campus in St. Joseph in partnership with Mosaic Life Care will increase rural health care by addressing physician shortages in Missouri.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine plans to expand its program to St. Joseph, Missouri, to address the state’s rural physician shortage.

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved the proposal on Thursday.

UMKC received a $7 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to start the new program in January 2021. HRSA, the primary federal agency for improving access to health-care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable, will pay out the grant over four years.

“We are thrilled we will be able to address a critical health-care need in Missouri,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “This will enable more patients throughout the state to get better access to high-quality medical treatment.”

The need is great in the United States – the American Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortage of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032, with primary-care physicians making up almost half of this shortage. And the need is especially great in Missouri: the state has 250 primary-care health professional  shortage areas, including 109 of its 114 counties. It ranks No. 40 among U.S. states in terms of health.

“The disparities in care in rural areas result in higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease for rural Americans. Expansion of our medical school to the northwestern region of our state will serve to bridge this gap, knowing that students training in rural programs are three times as likely to remain in practice in those areas.” – UMKC School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson

“Missouri is facing a physician shortage in the next five years, creating major challenges for rural communities,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri). “As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services, I started the Medical Student Education Program to ensure resources were specifically targeted toward improving access to care where it’s needed most. I am glad to see the University of Missouri-Kansas City focusing efforts on addressing that challenge by training more physicians to practice medicine in rural and underserved areas. This is great news for UMKC and the St. Joseph community.”

Typically, physicians remain in the areas where they go to medical school, and 80 percent of UMKC School of Medicine students are from Missouri and the surrounding counties, said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., dean of the school. “The disparities in care in rural areas result in higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease for rural Americans. Expansion of our medical school to the northwestern region of our state will serve to bridge this gap, knowing that students training in rural programs are three times as likely to remain in practice in those areas.”

While the UMKC School of Medicine is known for its innovative six-year B.A./M.D. program that admits students directly from high school, it will offer a four-year M.D. program in St. Joseph open to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. This M.D. track option has been part of the school tradition since opening its doors almost 50 years ago.

”I am glad to see the University of Missouri- Kansas City focusing efforts on addressing that challenge by training more physicians to practice medicine in rural and underserved areas. This is great news for UMKC and the St. Joseph community.” – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt

The new program in St. Joseph will expand the UMKC School of Medicine M.D. program by adding 20 students in St. Joseph to each cohort of about 100 students in Kansas City, said Steven Waldman, M.D., J.D., program director and principal investigator on the grant, and vice dean and chair of Humanities at the UMKC School of Medicine. The co-investigators on the grant are Michael Wacker, Ph.D., associate dean of academic affairs, and Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., associate dean of research administration, both from the UMKC School of Medicine. The four-year program eventually will allow the UMKC School of Medicine to train 80 additional medical students.

In addition to the grant, the expansion is possible because of a partnership with Mosaic Life Care, located in St. Joseph. Mosaic is one of the largest private rural primary-care networks in the U.S. and a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Students will be able to learn and train in Mosaic’s rural healthcare network.

“The receipt of this federal grant, as well as the partnership, will allow the UMKC School of Medicine to expand our mission of training superlative physicians and health-care professionals to care for our most vulnerable populations,” Waldman said. “The addition of the UMKC School of Medicine’s St. Joseph campus will greatly enrich rural health-care education for our students.”

Other partners:

  • Truman Medical Centers, the primary teaching hospital for the school, has a mission dedicated to providing public health and specialty services for those with financial, health or insurance issues that limit access to care in Kansas City. Students, residents and faculty who are based at Truman in Kansas City will be able to learn and teach at Mosaic in St. Joseph and collaborate on care for patients.
  • UMKC Health Sciences District is a partnership of a dozen health-care entities including four UMKC health professions schools. This further expands the district’s reach into rural health care.
  • UMKC STAHR (Students in Training, in Academia, Health and Research) Partnership Program is committed to increasing the number of students from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are prepared to enter, persist and graduate from a UMKC health sciences degree program. STAHR serves as a mentorship resource to students.

UMKC has a successful track record of creating rural health education programs in Missouri. The UMKC School of Pharmacy includes satellite campuses at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Missouri State University in Springfield.



For the Sixth Year in a Row, All 10 Children’s Mercy Specialties Ranked by U.S. News and World Report

KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 16, 2020 – Children’s Mercy Kansas City is once again recognized as one of the nation’s top pediatric hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 “Best Children’s Hospitals” report. For the sixth year in a row, Children’s Mercy is listed with the best in the country in 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties included in the survey. Children’s Mercy is one of only 14 pediatric hospitals in the nation to rank in all 10 specialties in each of the last six years.

Children’s Mercy specialties’ rankings, with one in the nation’s top 10:

  • Nephrology (#10)
  • Urology (#21)
  • Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#23)
  • Neurology & Neurosurgery (#26)
  • Orthopedics (#28)
  • Cancer (#29)
  • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#31)
  • Pulmonology (#35)
  • Diabetes & Endocrine Disorders (#43)
  • Neonatal Care (#46)

“Having all 10 specialties ranked for the sixth year is a remarkable achievement when considering only about two dozen children’s hospitals rank in all 10 specialties each year,” said Paul Kempinski, MS, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s Mercy. “The excellent care given by our entire team is keeping families closer to the communities in which they live and providing a sense of comfort and familiarity, and I think that contributes to the treatment and healing process.”

This year, U.S. News surveyed nearly 200 pediatric centers to gather clinical and operational data. This data was then combined with results from a reputational survey in which board-certified pediatric specialists representing the 10 areas were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty.

Those pediatric specialties consist of: cancercardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinologygastroenterology and GI surgery; neonatologynephrologyneurology and neurosurgeryorthopedicspulmonology; and urology.

The full rankings and methodology are available at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

Original story: https://news.childrensmercy.org/for-the-sixth-year-in-a-row-all-10-childrens-mercy-specialties-ranked-by–us-news-and-world-report/



Grab your running shoes! Hospital Hill Run goes virtual and extends to July

UMKC participants receive discounted registration

by Kelly Edwards

The UMKC-Hospital Hill Run relationship may go back 47 years, but it’s still making history. The 2020 Hospital Hill Run has gone virtual, and participants can run their distance anytime and anywhere they choose before July 1.

This year’s race is sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District and UMKC faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends receive a 20% discounted registration using code WPFCUMKC20.

The race, founded in 1973 by School of Medicine founder Dr. E. Grey Dimond, has long been a favorite of runners and walkers nationwide. As in the past, the 2020 virtual race offers three race options – 5K, 10K and half marathon. Participants will receive digital finisher certificates and a swag packet – including t-shirts and medals – in the mail. Here’s how to join the virtual event:

  • Register and run virtual by July 1. Run or walk your distance on roads, tracks, treadmills, or one of many new race routes throughout town and provided on the HHR virtual website.
  • Submit your results. Runners and walkers send in their results online and see how they stack up against other participants.
  • Share your experience. Using the HHR Facebook page and hashtag #HHRVirtual2020, share your run photos, videos and screenshots.

Race organizers have also developed several race challenges (with prizes!), training tip videos and other resources to support participants. Visit https://virtual.hospitalhillrun.com/ for more information.

Original story: https://med.umkc.edu/grab-your-running-shoes-hospital-hill-run-goes-virtual-and-extends-to-july-1/



Contact Us

Alison Troutwine
Project Manager
UMKC Health Sciences District
816-404-2532
Info@UMKCHealthSciencesDistrict.org