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
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
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.
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 students put research efforts on display at Health Sciences Research Summit
The idea of seeking out a mentor and embarking on a research project was a somewhat frightening experience for Sayra Nieto Gomez when she got started.
But with the support of a program for students underrepresented in the health professions and a willing faculty mentor, the fifth-year UMKC School of Medicine student was one of nearly 70 students who presented a research project at the 2023 UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit.
The event took place on March 22 at the Children’s Mercy Kansas City Research Institute, returning the summit UMKC’s Health Sciences Campus after being held at the Student Union on the UMKC Volker Campus for the past several years.
The annual summit provides an avenue for health sciences students to display their research, while also fostering collaborations across disciplines and schools that will provide economic, health, education and quality-of-life benefits for the community.
Students from the schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, education, computing and engineering and psychological sciences presented posters that displayed a vast array of research on medical science topics to community health programs.
Faculty members from the health sciences schools judged and scored the presentations based on overall quality and aspects of the presentations, including the research hypothesis, background, methodology and conclusions. The top three scores were announced in three categories: overall, graduate students (residents, post-doc, fellows), and undergraduate students.
Nieto Gomez’s presentation placed second in the overall division. She worked with her mentor, Karl Kador, Ph.D., a scientist at the School of Medicine who focuses on retinal research, to produce an abstract that looked at how early stage retinal ganglion cells are formed.
“Hopefully we can take this information and one day apply it to find cures for blindness,” she said.
School of Medicine student Josephine Nwankwo had the top-scoring presentation in the overall division, while medical student Keerti Ivaturi had the top poster presentation in the undergraduate division and pharmacy resident Rachel Askew earned the top score in the graduate division.
Nieto Gomez is member of STAHR (Student Training in Academia, Health, and Research), a collaborative of the UMKC schools of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy designed to increase the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds entering health care programs and better prepare them for success academically and professionally.
She said participating in the STAHR program and meeting with other underrepresented minority students provided her with the encouragement she needed to embark on a research project.
“The conversations we had in the STAHR program with other students, and hearing about how they were doing research and how they got involved helped,” she said. “It made me feel that if I can see other students in the program doing research, then I can do it.”
Kristen Mize, Pharm.D., a UMKC pharmacy resident who works with ambulatory care patients at a KC CARE Health Center clinic, was another student who presented a poster at the Research Summit. Hers described her efforts to provide early, preventive eye exams for patients with diabetes.
Mize explained how she is trained to perform simple eye exams using a retina imaging machine to look for early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of adult blindness and vision loss. It occurs when a diabetic’s blood sugar level rises too high, causing small blood vessels in the retina to break and leak blood or fluid into the eye, damaging the retina.
The project also looked at the effect her service has had on patients keeping current on eye exams.
“The purpose is to catch things early before the patient knows they have that issue,” Mize said of the exam.
Mize also planned to present her poster at a pharmacy conference later in the week with a broader message for pharmacists and other health care providers.
“For pharmacists, I want to show that we can do this,” she said. “I got trained on this machine and I’m the only person at KC CARE offering the exam right now. Next month I’m going to be training nurse practitioners, and they’ll be able to do it. Our message to those who aren’t ophthalmologists is, you can make a difference in this, too.”
2023 UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit Top Scoring Posters and Presentations
1st Place – Josephine Nwankwo, School of Medicine: Relationship between SES and Utilization of a Hospital Based Food Pantry
2nd Place – Sayra Nieto Gomez, School of Medicine: Early Stage Retinal Ganglion Cells Have Increased Axon Growth
Mentor: Dr. Karl Kador
3rd Place – Vijay Dimri, Shruti Mishra, Mauli Patel, School of Medicine: Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome in a Trauma Patient with Multiple Gunshot Wounds
Mentor: Dr. Binod Wagle
1st Place – Keerti Ivaturi, School of Medicine: Effects of Placenta Glucocorticoid Receptor Knockout on Gene Expression and Fetal Survival
Mentor: Dr. Dave Bridges
2nd Place – Samuel Brown, School of Medicine: Pericyte Recruitment and von Willebrand Factor Expression are Associated with Blood-Brain Barrier Tight Junction Formation During Embryonic Development in Mice
Mentor: Dr. Nihar Nayak
3rd Place – Paris Yates, School of Medicine: Is Ciclesonide a safer glucocorticoid alternative in the developing brain for preterm birth?
Mentor: Dr. Paula Monaghan-Nichols
1st Place – Rachel Askew, School of Pharmacy: Impact of pharmacist-led intervention of dispensing naloxone to an at risk of overdose patient population
Mentor: Dr. Yifei Liu
2nd Place – Dr. Soumya Rao, School of Dentistry: Loss of Function Mutations in SF3B2, A Regulator of mRNA Splicing, as a Cause of Oculo-Auriculo-Vertebral Spectrum
Mentor: Dr. Timothy Cox
3rd Place – Roland Klar, School of Dentistry: 3D printed multi-gradient microsphere scaffolds for guided osteochondral tissue engineering
Mentor: Dr. Stefan Lohfeld
Story by Kelly Edwards
Original story: https://med.umkc.edu/umkc-students-put-research-efforts-on-display-at-health-sciences-research-summit/
Hall Family Foundation Awards $15 Million to UMKC for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building
The state-of-the-art facility will position the district as a premier academic medical district and help propel health care equity in the region
The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced a $15 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation, which will help fund an innovative new medical and dentistry building in the UMKC Health Sciences District.
The university has secured $95 million toward the $120 million cost of a new Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building on the corner of 25th and Charlotte.
The new building will enable UMKC to provide leading-edge health care education, attract top students and researchers and advance care for disinvested populations. In addition, the project will serve as a catalyst for developing the UMKC Health Sciences District into a major regional academic medical center that can generate billions of dollars in jobs and economic impact for the Kansas City region.
The new multi-story building will house dental teaching clinics and expanded medical school teaching facilities. In addition, it will provide space for the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the university’s Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center and its new Biomedical Engineering program.
“We are grateful to the Hall Family Foundation for its investment in our students and the Kansas City community,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “The Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will further solidify the UMKC Health Sciences District as a national leader in medical education and health care as well as supporting our mission of increasing health equity in the Kansas City region and beyond.”
U.S. News and World Report listed the UMKC School of Medicine as one of the top medical schools in the nation for primary care and it was the highest-ranked in Missouri in 2023. Its graduates practice in 71 counties in the state and its students and faculty members provide thousands of hours of free health screenings and services each year. The new building will provide advanced technology to enhance physician training and provide more doctors to meet a critical need of providers in the region. It will also house the new Biomedical Engineering program, providing proximity with doctors and engineers to support the innovation of new medical technologies.
The UMKC School of Dentistry is the only public dental school in the state of Missouri and is a major low-cost provider of dental care in the region. UMKC dentistry students serve more than 13,500 community members each year and provided more than $630,000 annually in free dental care to community members at its clinics from 2016-2022. The new building will allow UMKC to see more patients and update the technology at the clinics to streamline care and create more efficient visits for patients and provide industry-leading education to students. In addition, the new space will increase ADA accessibility for patients with physical limitations.
Furthermore, the building will house major community outreach and research initiatives, such as the UMKC Health Equity Institute, designed to identify and address health disparities, and the Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center, which supports innovation in personalized healthcare.
“The Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will provide immeasurable benefit to the Kansas City community for generations to come, and we are proud to support it,” said Mayra Aguirre, president of the Hall Family Foundation. “Our Foundation’s mission is to support and fund projects that enhance the quality of human life for all Kansas Citians. This new building will enable UMKC to expand its important work in equitable and inclusive health care delivery and we are inspired by the collaboration between UMKC, Children’s Mercy Hospital and University Health that improves the lives of people in our community.”
The latest gift to UMKC is not the first investment the Hall Family Foundation has made in the UMKC Health Sciences District. In 2018, the organization provided $75 million in funding for the Children’s Mercy Research Institute dedicated to pediatric medical research.
Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation in July from the state of Missouri that appropriated $40 million for the UMKC Health Innovation and Delivery Building, contingent on a funding match. Since then, UMKC has received $30 million from the Sunderland Foundation, $15 million from the Hall Family Foundation, and $10 million in federal funding secured by Sen. Roy Blunt for a total of $95 million to date.
“UMKC is a leader in the Kansas City community and that is thanks, in large part, to the support of our partners. We are thankful they share in our vision of creating a cutting-edge healthcare hub that will provide state-of-the-art care to everyone in our community,” said Amanda Davis, chief advancement officer and president of the UMKC Foundation.
Formed in 2017, the UMKC Health Sciences District is a partnership between UMKC and 12 neighboring healthcare institutions. The district houses the UMKC schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy in a single, walkable campus, allowing for greater interprofessional training and research collaboration.
Sunderland Foundation Gives $30 Million to UMKC Health Sciences District Project
The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced a $30 million gift today from the Sunderland Foundation to help fund a new state-of-the-art medical and dentistry building in the UMKC Health Sciences District. The project will escalate momentum for expanding the district into a major regional academic medical center that can provide innovative health care, attract top medical students and researchers and generate billions of dollars in jobs and economic development, while advancing care for the underserved.
The multi-story, $120 million Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Building will house new dental teaching clinics and expanded medical school teaching facilities. In addition, it will provide space for the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the university’s Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center and its new Biomedical Engineering program.
“We are grateful to the Sunderland Foundation for their investment in taking the Health Sciences District to the next level, spearheading an academic medical center with extraordinary community benefits,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “This gift — by a local foundation that supports making big positive change in Kansas City — is an investment not just in a building, but in a truly big, longer-term vision. We believe our new building will escalate momentum to exponentially expand the Health Sciences District in coming years to become the major regional academic medical center that we know it can be.”
On hand today to help announce the gift was Gov. Mike Parson, who in July signed legislation from the state of Missouri to appropriate $40 million for the building. This appropriation came with a challenge to the Kansas City community to raise the additional funds needed.
“We are proud to support the efforts of UMKC to improve educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math to expand health care access in the state of Missouri, particularly in rural areas,” Parson said. “Missourians will reap the benefits of increased collaboration between health care services and the data science and biomedical engineering programs that will share the building. This partnership could help further health outcomes through new, innovative solutions right here in Missouri.”
Grants from the Sunderland Foundation focus on brick-and-mortar projects for established organizations to foster a stronger, safer and more vibrant future for the communities it serves.
“The Sunderland Foundation is proud to give to UMKC’s efforts to transform the Health Science District,” said Kent Sunderland, chairman of the Sunderland Foundation. “The cutting-edge facilities will provide innovative training opportunities for tomorrow’s doctors, dentists and healthcare leaders who will improve prosperity in our neighborhoods, cities and state. The Sunderland Foundation and UMKC share a mission of caring for the underserved and lifting neighborhoods.”
UMKC is one of only 20 universities in the country where schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy share a single, walkable campus, an arrangement that facilitates interprofessional training for students and opportunities for research collaboration among the health sciences.
Additionally, the new building will create opportunities for increased collaboration among UMKC and its health district partners including University Health and Children’s Mercy, which allows for a greater capacity for finding health solutions and providing patient care. This project will expand UMKC’s mission to elevate health equity across Kansas City, including many initiatives that work with the underserved including UMKC’s dental clinics, the Sojourner Clinic and the Center for Health Equity, which works through a network of churches in the urban core.
More About the Building
UMKC will occupy the first several floors of the project and additional floors may be available to public partners for medical office space, clinical space and other uses. University Health has already expressed interest in using space in the building to bring more of their support staff on campus.
Here’s what will be housed in the UMKC space:
School of Dentistry
UMKC has the only public dental school in the state of Missouri, as well as the only school in-state with dental specialties. New cutting-edge technology for Dentistry will serve students as well as the community, allowing for a lower cost dental care and faster turnaround time for patients, as well as the ability to implement a teledentistry program to further expand the program’s reach.
School of Medicine
The new building will provide state-of-the-art educational facilities for UMKC medical students and programs, such as space for more simulation labs, which lead to better training for students and better care for the community. UMKC will be able to educate more doctors, meeting critical needs in Kansas City, the region, the state and beyond.
UMKC Health Equity Institute
The UMKC Health Equity Institute was founded in 2019 to tackle complex and systemic health disparities and their root causes. UMKC students and faculty meet people where they are – in community groups and at local churches – and use their research strengths to bridge the gap in health care experienced by Kansas City’s underserved populations.
Proximity between doctors and developers of medical devices is paramount, and this new building will foster faster, more effective collaboration between engineers and medical professionals to accelerate product development in areas such as imaging technology, implants and microsurgery tools. UMKC will expand its ability for creating new technology, generating innovations for products and patents with the potential to work with companies to develop and produce them.
Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center
Through its expertise in data science, UMKC and its clinical partners are ushering forward a new era of personalized health care — one that will treat diseases based on individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle, rather than a traditional one-size-fits-all approach. The data center’s work will drive innovation in a variety of domains, ranging from health care and business intelligence to agriculture and digital humanities.
The Children’s Mercy Kansas City Research Institute Pioneers Most-Advanced Genomic Sequencing System in the World
Original Post: https://news.childrensmercy.org/the-childrens-mercy-kansas-city-research-institute-pioneers-most-advanced-genomic-sequencing-system-in-the-world/
The Children’s Mercy Kansas City Research Institute announced it has pioneered advances in the human genome using 5-base genomic sequencing that transforms diagnosing and understanding of unsolved pediatric disease. For the first time, researchers are now able to both sequence the full genome and methylome and extract its function to see disease variations never seen before in a single test, accelerating answers for kids with rare diseases across the globe.
“This is a major shift in contemporary clinical gene testing by next-generation sequencing, which continues to rely on the genetic code that was first described in 1961. The technology allows us to see into part of the human genome that has never been clinically tested and interpret changes beyond genetic code,” said Tomi Pastinen, MD, PhD., Director, Genomic Medicine Center, Children’s Mercy Kansas City. “On average, only 30-40% of rare disease cases are diagnosed. What we are doing is giving those remaining 60% of families hope that we’ll find answers by discovering relevant gene variations in long-read sequencing only detectable by using this technology.”
Thanks to $18.5 million in philanthropic funding, Dr. Pastinen started the Genomic Answers for Kids (GA4K) program at Children’s Mercy, a first-of-its-kind pediatric data repository. The goal is to collect genomic data and health information for 30,000 children and their families over seven years to create a database of 100,000 genomes.
Just three years after launching the program, GA4K has already hit a major milestone providing 1,000 rare disease diagnoses to families, far out-pacing other rare disease diagnostic programs. Of those, Dr. Pastinen and his team successfully sequenced nearly 300 genome samples using the cutting-edge 5-base sequencing, which captures all genomic variants in a single test allowing for one-stop assessment of patient DNA instead of sequential testing by multiple clinical tests and laboratories.
“What once was a previously undiagnosed disease-causing mutation in a rare disease case is now discoverable because of full 5-base genome sequencing,” noted Dr. Pastinen.
In addition, each analyzed genome harbored a number of rare functional variations unique to each patient expanding the “genome alphabet” available to study for unsolved rare disease. This data has been recently published and is available for preprint.
“Children’s Mercy is once again moving the goalpost and pushing the envelope for what is possible for discovery through advanced genetic sequencing,” said Tom Curran, PhD, FRS, Senior Vice President, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer. “We are years ahead in this space and have been driven by the realization that clinical sequencing as it was being done today was not sufficient, so we set out to advance the science in hopes of moving kids to the forefront of research discoveries much sooner.”
Because of the advancements Children’s Mercy has made in Genomics, other health care organizations and undiagnosed disease clinics across the country are collaborating with Dr. Pastinen and his team to solve difficult cases through long-read data and 5-base sequencing.
“It is a major challenge to understand why many children with genetic conditions remain undiagnosed despite all the advances so far in genetics and genomics. Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone’s collaboration with Children’s Mercy allows us to use the latest long-read sequencing technologies to help families find answers,” says Gilad D. Evrony, MD, PhD, from Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital and the Center for Human Genetics and Genomics at NYU Langone Health.
This new advancement in technology and genome science allows Dr. Pastinen and his team to reach optimal results in a single test giving families hope everywhere.
“Patients and families living with rare disorders often wait decades to find an accurate diagnosis. Many of us enduring a heart-breaking journey despite current genetic testing options,” said Kelly Ranallo, Founder, RareKC. “The hope that 5-base sequencing offers our families is truly transformative to children not only here in the Kansas City region but across the globe. We are incredibly grateful to Children’s Mercy, our philanthropic community and the unwavering commitment to push the boundaries to ensure every child and family has a future of hope.”
Thank you to our lead philanthropic Genomic Answers For Kids donors:
Black & Veatch Corporation
Brad Bradley and Roberta Harding
Linda and Paul DeBruce
Dee and Dave Dillon
Marion Merrell Dow Donor Advisory Fund
The Stanley H. Durwood Foundation
Robert and Marlese Gourley
Members of the Hall Family in Honor of Adele Hall
William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee
Schools of Law, Medicine Advance in National Rankings
U.S. News & World Report recognizes excellence in primary care, trial advocacy and legal writing
The UMKC professional schools of Law and Medicine achieved high rankings in the 2023 graduate school rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
The School of Law was ranked among the nation’s best in two key legal education categories: Trial Advocacy (no. 31) and Legal Writing (no. 21). The School of Medicine was ranked no. 52 in the nation for Primary Care, up 12 places from last year’s rankings. The 2023 rankings list was released March 29.
The Trial Advocacy ranking came in 23 places higher than last year; Legal Writing was up 13 places. Overall, the School of Law was ranked no. 114 nationally.
“Trial Advocacy is more than just public speaking in the courtroom – it is a skill that requires understanding and translating a client’s story into a persuasive narrative that must fit the constraints of the formal rules of evidence and procedure,” said Barbara Glesner Fines, dean of the UMKC School of Law. “Legal Research and Writing is a foundational skill for all attorneys. Attorneys communicate in writing to their clients, public, courts, companies – it’s all writing, all the time and the formats vary significantly across the audiences. UMKC is proud of its record of educating our students to be excellent professional writers in all these settings.”
In addition to its overall ranking, the School of Medicine ranked No. 29 in the nation for graduates practicing in healthcare shortage areas.
“The UMKC School of Medicine opened its doors more than 50 years ago on our Health Sciences District campus with a commitment to serve the people of Missouri,” said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. “We are leading the way as we provide the highest quality programs to educate our next generation of outstanding healthcare professionals and provide the highest quality of care to our community and beyond.”
Jackson noted that UMKC medical program is built on the enduring vision of Dr. E. Grey Dimond. Students experience an innovative curriculum, care for patients in clinical settings from day one, and learn in small teams led by docent physician mentors, who emphasize a humanistic approach to medicine. And now UMKC’s model takes place not only on the Kansas City campus but in St. Joseph, Missouri, serving a more rural population.
Earlier this year, in its annual ranking of online graduate programs, U.S. News ranked the online graduate nursing program at the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies among the nation’s top 50 for the tenth consecutive year.
Dental Screening Event Helps Roll Out Reopened Dental Clinic
From kindergarteners to high school seniors, it was all smiles at University Academy
The UMKC School of Dentistry closed out February’s Children’s Dental Health Month strong, screening about 900 students at the University Academy, a Kansas City school serving K-12 students. More than 30 dental and hygiene students volunteered to provide care along with four faculty from the school.
The screenings are part of the lead up to reopening the dental clinic housed within University Academy. Opened in 2012, the dental clinic was temporarily shut down due to the pandemic. School of Dentistry faculty and students that provide care at the clinic say they are looking forward to reopening the clinic. Hayley Ferris, an instructor who works with dental hygiene students in the clinic, said the screening event played a critical role in the getting the clinic up and running again.
“This all-school screening will give us a baseline of where the population sits right now,” she said. “That way, we have an idea of what the needs are for these students before we go in with our preventative care.”
Dr. Megan Wendland, associate professor in the Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science at the UMKC School of Dentistry, said additional funding from the state of Missouri was critical to the reopening of the dental clinic at University Academy.
“Our department is all about preventative care and preventing dental caries (cavities),” Wendland said. “The state had funding from the CDC to promote dental sealant programs and they said they would absolutely help with this.”
Ferris is returning to UMKC within the public health department to help manage the University Academy clinic. She helped established a similar clinic in the Olathe, Kansas, School District with Dr. Melanie Simmer-Beck, a professor and chair of the department. That program ran from 2007-2014.
The clinic at the University Academy is part of the dental school’s mission to provide health care in-house to students attending the school. UMKC will provide the oral health care in partnership with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, which manages the health clinic within the school. The dental clinic will be staffed by a UMKC dental hygienist and hygiene students who will provide preventive care, assessments, cleanings, fluoride, varnish and sealants.
“Right now, tooth decay is the number one childhood illness that causes kids to miss school,” Ferris said. “It’s extremely important that they have these resources available right there in the building so parents don’t have to take time off of work and kids don’t have to take time off from school.”
The experience is also beneficial to the participating third-year dental students, exposing them to a population they don’t get as much experience with, at least not 900 children at once.
“This is a great opportunity for them to see children in that mixed phase of having both permanent and primary teeth,” Ferris said. “And with pandemic restrictions, there aren’t as many of these outreach opportunities available to them so we filled up our sign ups in a matter of minutes.”
Children’s Dental Health Month is an initiative by the American Dental Association that promotes the importance of good oral health to children, their teachers and parents. The emphasis for this year’s campaign was on dental sealants for children. That is a welcomed focus for Wendland.
Wendland’s research focuses on disparities in health care and improving health outcomes in diverse populations. Sealants are an area she and the school focus on as a first line-of-defense in achieving those improved oral health outcomes. Sealants consist of a thin plastic coating that is placed on the back teeth, where a majority of cavities form. Wendland the sealants can prevent 80 percent of cavities.
“At University Academy, as well as our mobile clinic at Gladstone Elementary, we’re part of a big push to raise the national average for sealants,” said Wendland. “That average nationally is about 37 percent with the goal to push it above 40 percent. However, Missouri is at about 19 percent, which is obviously far and away from where we want to be.”
Wendland came to UMKC from Chicago where she was a clinician at a Federally Qualified Health Center. While there she experienced the scope of what a fully comprehensive program is capable of. The Chicago Department of Public Health partnered with the public school district to provide a universal sealant program to all K-12 schools.
“That program would see more than 120,000 kids a year,” Wendland said. “Currently, there isn’t anyone doing that kind of broad sealant program in Kansas City but having come from that model, ideally that’s what I would want to see.”
Assessing 900 children at the University Academy was a good start.
Original post here: https://dentistry.umkc.edu/dental-screening-event-helps-roll-out-reopened-dental-clinic/
UMKC SOM researcher receives NIH grant to study treatment for chronic lung disease
UMKC School of Medicine researcher Paula Monaghan Nichols, Ph.D., has received a $867,000 National Institutes of Health grant to look into a treatment that minimizes neurological side effects for a chronic lung disease that affects a significant number of premature babies.
The project is part of a multi-principle investigator initiated proposal between Dr. Monaghan Nichols, Dr. Venkatesh Sampath from Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas City, and Dr. Donald DeFranco at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, that totals more than $3 million in NIH funding over a 5-year period.
The research will explore the use of Ciclesonide (CIC), an inhaled steroid currently used to treat asthma, as an alternate therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). BDP causes tissue damage in the tiny air sacs of the lung leading to severe respiratory distress. It is often the result premature birth and mechanical oxygen ventilation. The disease touches nearly seven of 10 infants born before 28 weeks of gestation. In the United States, that is an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 babies a year.
There is currently no cure for BPD but clinical treatments to limit inflammation and the progression of BPD include long-acting synthetic drugs such as dexamethasone. Those drugs, however, also come with a significant risk of adverse effects on a child’s systemic growth and neurodevelopment that can lead to long-lasting changes in brain structure and function.
Monaghan Nichols, associate dean for research, professor and chair of Biomedical Sciences, said infants that acquire BPD face significant mortality rates. Survivors often have recurrent hospital visits, need respiratory therapies and experience persistent limitations in pulmonary function.
“Therefore, there remains a need for a pharmacotherapy for BPD in neonates that will have beneficial anti-inflammatory and lung maturation effects, but limited adverse neurological side effects,” Monaghan Nichols said.
Preliminary studies have found that Ciclesonide, even with intermittent doses, can suppress acute lung inflammation with limited neurological alterations in rat models.
“Given the established safety of CIC in very young children, the clinical translation of our proposed studies to human neonates could be expedited, particularly given the limited, safe and effective therapeutic options available for treating or preventing BPD in susceptible premature infants,” Monaghan Nichols said.
Original story by Kelly Edwards: https://med.umkc.edu/som-researcher-receives-nih-grant-to-study-treatment-for-chronic-lung-disease/
Kansas City’s Essential Hospital is now University Health
A new name, a new chapter, same commitment to quality patient care
The roots of this trusted healthcare system in Jackson County reach back 150 years. In recent decades, the Kansas City community has come to rely on Truman Medical Centers/University Health as the area’s only essential, safety net hospital, known for providing high quality, equitable care to everyone.
Now, this medical center is ready to turn the page on an exciting new chapter in patient care. Beginning today, Truman Medical Center will be known as University Health (UH).The reason for the change is simple: The name University Health reflects our commitment to delivering high quality, research-based, academic medical care for all.
University Health also highlights our partnership as the primary teaching hospital of the UMKC Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry. Academic medical centers draw experts interested in treating the most complex cases and scientists dedicated to research that saves lives.
Today marks the culmination of years of planning, preparation, and hard work. University Health already appears on many buildings and facilities throughout the hospital. Today’s change will bring all facilities, including outpatient clinics, under the same University Health umbrella. We will continue to honor our legacy names at our two main campuses. Our main downtown campus will be University Health Truman Medical Center, while our eastern Jackson County campus will be University Health Lakewood Medical Center.
As we begin this new chapter, one thing will remain the same; the commitment by our caring doctors, nurses, and staff remains the same to provide the highest levels of care to everyone. That includes those with private insurance or no insurance at all.
Please take a moment to watch this video featuring Charlie Shields, President and CEO of University Health, as well as other doctors and staff members, explaining the importance of this transition into a new era of providing academic medicine for all.
Original Post: https://www.universityhealthkc.org/news/releases/kansas-citys-essential-hospital-is-now-university-health/
UMKC School of Dentistry Will Offer COVID Vaccinations Beginning July 26
Vaccine effort targets low-income and underserved living in Kansas City’s east side
The UMKC School of Dentistry will collaborate with the School of Pharmacy to begin offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to patients visiting its dental clinics beginning July 26.
Melanie Simmer-Beck, Ph.D., R.D.H, chair of the dental school’s Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Sciences, said the project brings the two schools together to provide a community-based public health service.
“We felt it was important to offer vaccinations to School of Dentistry patients to be acting within the spirt of what this grant was intended to do,” Simmer-Beck said.
More than 1,000 of the dental clinic’s patients come from areas of Kansas City identified as part of the grant’s target audience with the intent of addressing vaccine hesitancy and health equities. Operating under COVID restrictions during the previous year, the dental clinics serviced more than 1,750 patient appointments and saw 576 individual patients who live in those targeted areas. When at full capacity, the dental school’s clinics serve more than 2,200 patients a week and are the largest provider of dental services in the states of Missouri and Kansas.
Original story: https://dentistry.umkc.edu/umkc-school-of-dentistry-will-offer-covid-vaccinations-beginning-july-26/
Haas to Lead UMKC School of Dentistry
New dean has extensive experience with clinical training, education and operations at all levels
Steven E. Haas, D.M.D., J.D., MBA, will be the new dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Haas comes to UMKC from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in Lincoln, where he serves as associate dean for clinical affairs and interim chair of the Department of Adult Restorative Dentistry. He received his D.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, his J.D. from Touro College Law Center in Huntington, New York, and his MBA from the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. He will begin his tenure on Aug. 16.
“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead the UMKC School of Dentistry, a more than century-old institution known for cutting-edge research, pioneering work in diversity and inclusion, proud and dedicated alumni and a commitment to exceptional clinical instruction,” Haas said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the school’s outstanding faculty, staff, and students to build on that record of achievement, as we look towards 2030 and beyond. These are exciting times ahead and I am grateful to take this journey with you.”
Haas has deep knowledge of dental education accreditation and compliance, as well as innovative clinical educational practices, according to Jennifer Lundgren, Ph.D., UMKC provost and executive vice chancellor.
“He values science and research and the importance of evidence-based clinical decision-making,” Lundgren said. “Steven is committed to improving the experiences of under-represented students, faculty, staff and patients in the School of Dentistry and in advancing the university’s goals of increasing diversity among our faculty and staff.”
According to Lundgren, Haas will focus on improving diverse representation and inclusivity within the school; growing research; interprofessional collaboration; and innovation and advancement in the clinical practices and in community outreach, particularly with communities of color and other under-represented communities in the greater Kansas City region.
The UMKC School of Dentistry has a deeply rooted reputation for innovative leadership in dental education. For more than a century, the school has led the way by preparing the next generation of oral health care professionals, conducting cutting-edge research, delivering high-quality care to patients and allowing professionals to elevate their careers through continuing education and practitioner training programs. The passionate commitment to oral health care of the faculty, students and staff is on display daily inside sophisticated classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories and bustling practice clinics providing care to more than 73,000 patients annually.
Original story: https://dentistry.umkc.edu/haas-to-lead-umkc-school-of-dentistry/